I hope that the readers of The Edgefield Advertiser continue to enjoy the political columns on this page and are thinking about the issues that Scott Cooper and I have been bringing up. Our perspectives are different, which is why the Editor has invited us both to write. One issue we have both written about is the need for all of us to become better informed about issues of our day and to vote.
The next opportunity for Edgefield County to vote is in the Party Primary Elections on Tuesday, June 12. Since South Carolina has open primaries, all registered voters may choose to participate in whichever party’s primary they want to, so long as they are registered voters. If you have not yet registered, registration deadlines are coming up this week: in person by Friday, May 11, and online by Sunday, May 13.
Voting in person at your voting precinct on June 12 is certainly the most popular method, but there are others. You can pick up an absentee ballot and vote early for any of several reasons. The most popular reasons are these: that you will be working on June 12; that you will be out of town on June 12; that you are disabled; that you have an excuse related to being in the military, or (the most popular) that you are age 65 or older. If you want to vote early and any of these reasons apply to you, you can vote in either party’s primary in person in Edgefield starting on Monday, May 14, all the way until the day before Election Day.
Myself, I frequently vote by mail. That way I can study the ballot, discuss the candidates with my family, and think about whom to vote for (or against) without being rushed. You can apply to vote by mail any time up to Friday, June 8, and must mail your ballot and have it postmarked by the day before Election Day. For me, the hard part for primary elections is deciding which party’s ballot to apply for, and that depends on who is running. Bear in mind that you don’t have to vote on Election Day for the party whose primary you voted in; but voting in a party’s primary does enable you to vote in that same party’s primary runoff elections if there are any. This year’s Primary Runoff Elections will be on Tuesday, June 26, and will have similar choices of the method of voting. But you can only vote in a primary runoff if you have voted in that party’s primary election in the first place.
Think about which candidates from which parties you would really like to see on the ballot in November, and which candidates you would really NOT like to see on that ballot. Choose the party primary you wish to vote in, and have a say about who will be on that November ballot. Become an informed citizen this year, and make a commitment to yourself and to all of us: I intend to vote in 2018!