Listen: Before coming into work today, I dropped by St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, the polling place for Ward 42, Aldermanic District 3, and took four minutes to vote in the 2010 Partisan Primary. It was, in every sense of the word, easy. A simple pitch and catch. Show my ID, complete a few arrows for the candidates I’d decided upon, collect an “I Voted” sticker, and off to work.
In many ways, I can see the democratic process more clearly in a primary than a general election. Even though it’s a partisan primary where an elector can only vote within one party, it’s unfair to think of this as “voting straight ticket.” Whereas in November the decision may feel black and white, choosing between parties that sit on opposite sides of the aisle, a primary is a chance to make fine-combed decisions. To look at candidates who have most platform-planks in common, and navigate their differences in values, political priorities, and track records.
In fact, as I’ve been reading up on candidates and arriving at decisions, it’s been exciting. Sometimes, critical thinking in the political process can feel rare because of the galvanizing nature of the discourse, but for me, this primary has been a refreshing opportunity to engage with ideas and ask myself some challenging and nuanced questions. Regardless of your personal motivation, go out there and vote today! And wear your sticker proudly!
If you took the time to read this post, you really need to go vote in the primary today! See our “Voting Made Even Easier” election guide for answers to all your questions!