I believe I was denied my right to vote in the June 12 Edgefield County Primaries. I was forced to decide between casting a vote for my county council representative or the Probate judge. Specifically, Kennion and Bibbs were on the democratic ticket and Anderson and Taylor were on the republican. The winner of each of these primaries is running unopposed in the November election. The requirement to vote by party meant I was not allowed to vote for who represents me for one of two very important positions of county council or probate judge.
Neither the Democratic nor the Republican Party is a part of our government on the local, county, state or National levels. Our tax dollars however pay for these two private organizations to hold primaries and these parties write their own rules. They do not write laws.
A possible solution is for our county council or other political representatives to vote to change or allow the registered voters the opportunity to change our primary law in Edgefield County. Changing to an “open primary” where all candidates compete in one primary would ensure everyone has a voice in selecting the people who represent us.
In an open primary, the top two candidates regardless of their affiliated party are in a runoff. This change in the primary process would encourage candidates to appeal to a broader electorate and compete in the areas of ideas and plans to address the needs of our county above the dictates and needs of a party. It would also mean we would have the opportunity to vote for all the people attempting to represent us when we have primaries like the one on June 12.