Next Tuesday, March 17th is the Ohio primary. It is your chance to get out there and voice your support for whomever you want to see as the next president. My nonpartisan statement is no matter who you want as president, get out there and vote. Your voice needs to be heard by the masses. Exercise the few civil liberties that we still have left to us.
You may be curious as to exactly what the Primaries are, well I am glad you are curious. In short it is the process where voters get to express interest in who is running for their party. Its purpose is to help narrow down the field of those running for any given office. There are two main types of Primaries. An Open Primary is one where the general public can come in and cast their vote for whomever they choose, without party affiliation. A Closed Primary is one where only affiliated party members can cast their votes for the candidates running the given party.
The concept of Primaries started in the early 20th century during the progressive movement. The purpose of it was to take away nomination power from party leaders and give it to the people. This sounds great, but in actuality the method of nomination is still controlled by the party, itself. What does that mean? Well let’s look at the two parties and how they decide. Democrats used a proportional method for awarding their delegate support. It basically means that the mood of the voters decide how many delegates support which candidate. The majority of voters who back one candidate will get the majority of delegates, remaining are divided among others.
The Republicans, however, allow states to choose between the winner take all method or the proportional method. Essentially, if the majority of the state goes for one candidate, then they get all the delegates. Remember that these are oversimplifications of the actual methods and it does vary by state. So, use this only as a general idea.
It is also useful to note any bills or other candidates that are on your local ballot. It is known that voter turnout for primaries and non-presidential elections have a lower voter turnout. This is the time that a lot of bill makers put issues on ballots for voting. The mindset is that since turn out is low, there is a greater chance to get the desired result from the issues. As voters we need to make sure we are educating ourselves on what will be on our ballots and how they will affect us. I mentioned in a previous article about ways to find out what is on your ballot and what it means. You can also check it out here.
It is, also, important to point out that as it stands now, we have three candidates that are on the ballot. Former VP Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Trump (our current president). It would be easy to focus on LGBTQ issues of the candidates, but that needs to be decisions you make for yourself. I will say this, though. Joe Biden, historically, has not supported LGBTQ people. It wasn’t until he was made Vice President to Obama that his stance on marriage equality changed and his views on LGBTQ issues in general. Bernie has consistently supported LGBTQ issues. And we already know that Trump can’t make a public comment about his support. One minute it’s very much against and then he seems to drop some small nugget towards us to make us believe he is in support. It definitely has enough LGBTQ Republicans fooled to support him. Do your research into those on your ballot before you go to vote. Being well informed on all issues and candidates is immensely important.
The one thing that remains true is that Democrats need to set aside the feeling when it comes to who gets the nomination. If Bernie fails to receive the needed support, then Democrats need to realign to support Biden. We are in a place where we cannot endure what Trump may do to this country in four more years. Policies affecting the environment have already been set back 50 years. We have seen him incite a crowd into action and show little support for the “little people” he claims to protect. Our country cannot endure another four years of that.
If you are reading this and it’s not Saturday the 14th, you have time to even request for a mail in ballot. This will ensure that you can vote in whatever means is more comfortable for you. So download that application and get it to the board of elections by noon Saturday. They even have a drop box behind their building to drop it off. They can be found at 2925 Euclid Ave Cleveland, Ohio 44115. Get out there and vote, it is your right and it is important. Decide who you want to lead the next four years.