|Vote, Vote, Vote!|
|Written by Bob Dill, Publisher|
|Wednesday, 06 June 2012 00:00|
The Democrat and Republican primaries will be held Tuesday, June 12th. Primaries are not elections. No one is elected to public office as a result of a primary. The purpose is for political parties to select candidates to represent them in the general election in November.
Republican and Democrat presidential and vice presidential candidates will be selected by delegates from the various states and territories at conventions later in the summer. Some so-called “third party” candidates have already been selected. Delegates at conventions select most of them. All of the selected primary and convention candidates for all qualified political parties will be on the ballot for the 2012 General Election in early November. That is the only election, except special elections, where anyone is elected to any public office.
Primaries are very important just the same. Unless a candidate is selected by a political party or collects the required number of signatures to be placed on the ballot as an independent candidate, the name will not be on the ballot for the general election.
Failures by lawmakers, mischief by candidates, interference by judges and failure of state party leaders to clearly communicate legal requirements to county chairmen have created confusion and chaos in the 2012 Democrat and Republican primaries. Many candidates have not known until very recently if they were on or off the ballot.
With the surprise withdrawal of incumbent Sen. Phil Shoopman from the District 5 state senate race, five senate races in parts of Greenville County are hotly contested. Three candidates are seeking the District 5 seat that covers most of Northern Greenville County and North Western Spartanburg County. One of those candidates has a pending court case attempting to get a judge to disqualify the other two candidates based on alleged illegal procedures by the state Republican Chairman.
Two candidates are challenging incumbent Sen. Mike Fair in the 6th Senate District. One of the challengers is a member of the Greenville County School Board with a very liberal voting record and is reportedly campaigning to encourage Democrats to cross over and support her in the Republican primary. Should that materialize, there could be a runoff in the 6th Senate District that covers the area from Berea to Travelers Rest and Paris Mountain.
Senator David Thomas has four challengers in Senate District 8. Jim Lee has been campaigning for two years and is supported by RINO Hunt and Tea Party Republicans. Some of the other candidates are spending large amounts of money on radio and other advertising. A runoff is almost a certainty in this district.
Democrat Sen. Ralph Anderson declined to seek another term in Senate District 7. One of the three Democrat candidates in that primary race was taken off the ballot, but has been restored. The other two candidates currently hold public office. There is no Republican primary in that district. The Republican candidate is unopposed.
The state senate primary race between incumbent Sen. Lee Bright and challenger, former Senator John Hawkins, is primarily in Southern Spartanburg County, but takes in a small section of Southern Greenville County. This race is bitterly contested, primarily regarding a continuation of issues that surfaced four years ago.
Turnout will be critical in determining the winner in these senate races. The winning candidates must ensure that all of his or her supporters get to the polls and vote. Boxes for absentee voters are already open at Greenville County Square. Any voter who will be unable to make it to the polls on Election Day for any number of reasons may vote early at County Square.
There is no test for party affiliation in South Carolina and Attorney General Eric Holder has blocked implementation of South Carolina’s law requiring a photo ID, therefore anyone with a valid voter registration card may vote in any primary covered by the card on June 12. In lieu of a voter registration card, voters may use their driver’s license to vote as long as they are on the registration list for the precinct.
Someone is telling uninformed voters that there is no need to vote. “Your vote doesn’t matter, political parties are all the same anyway.”
Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! This is very bad advice and contributes to bad government.
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