Archive for Thursday, July 27, 2006

Voting important, even in primaries

July 27, 2006

Those who decide their participation in Tuesday's primary election isn't warranted, for whatever reason, should reconsider.

We've pointed out in the past the need for participation in the electoral process, and Tuesday's primary is no exception.

For Republicans, the stakes are high. GOP voters will select the party's gubernatorial nominee. Sure several prominent Republicans, including Sen. Sam Brownback, Congressman Jerry Moran and former House Speaker Doug Mays declined to run, but the field of seven offers voters a variety of choices.

Incumbent statewide officeholders also are facing GOP primary challenges, which should pique voters' interest.

In addition to designating the Republican standard-bearer in the November general election, at stake is control of the party apparatus through the election of precinct committee men and committee women. Will the party's moderate wing be successful or will the Kansas GOP take another step to the right?

On the Democratic side, there is no glamour race. In fact, there are few races period. But there are important selections in the races that will take place.

For example, the winner of the Democratic primary for 1st District State Board of Education race is all but guaranteed the seat since no other candidates - Republican, unaffiliated or otherwise - are seeking the office. And, indeed, the primary features candidates with two different views of a hot-button topic on the board: science standards in the state's public schools.

Beyond the races, though, there's a more important reason for participation in Tuesday's primary. Hundreds of thousands of young men and women are serving their country in Iraq, where one of their missions is to build a democracy after years of rule by an iron-fisted dictator. What kind of message do we send to those U.S. servicemen and women or to the Iraqis struggling to understand their new democracy when we fail to exercise our right to vote?

Voting is a right, and it's right to vote.

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