Driving around town, listening to local radio stations and watching television are all good indicators we have a Primary Election coming on May 10. Elections are happening for a wide range of offices from the federal to local level.
Since I have been involved in politics, I have always adhered to the philosophy, “all politics is local.” This year is certainly a highlight of the importance of local elected offices. Human natures (and the news on television) generally get us to focus on the national political issues. Yet, when you think about it, the decisions made for local offices impact our lives on a very personal level and what happens in our community on a daily basis.
On Tuesday, May 10, the members of political parties will be casting ballots to choose their nominee for offices at every level. Political parties will select their nominees on May 10 for the following offices: Congress, Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, State Treasurer, Auditor of Public Accounts, County Commissioner, and County Treasurer. In races which are non-partisan, voters will be narrowing the fields in races such as Legislature, State Board of Education, Southeast Community College Board of Governors, Natural Resource Districts, and some area school districts. Having all of these on the Primary Election ballot can be a task to understand which candidates to cast our vote to support.
When I think about all of these races and being prepared to vote for each of these offices, information is hard to come by and I really have to do my research. I believe it is very important to conduct this research and be informed as a voter. Thankfully, since my first election in 1990, it is much easier to gather information on candidates to make an informed decision. Going to a website or social media page is so much more instant learning than waiting for endorsements to be published or for the mailings to arrive. Yes, I am someone who loves to save political mailings and read them from time to time.
Gathering information on candidates isn’t the only thing that has changed since the 1990s (and earlier). Now we can go online to confirm our polling location and also to find a sample ballot so we can be prepared when we step in the voting booth.
These local elections have such a significant impact on our daily lives. The decisions made locally impact our roads, public safety, our tax dollars, and the engagement with government when we have to do things such as pay our taxes or license our vehicles. Our interactions with government are what we should be thinking about when we prepare to go and vote.
I am often reminded of how the importance of voting in elections was instilled in me at a very young age. I can remember in elementary school learning about the Electoral College and even once having the opportunity to attend the Electoral College in Nebraska back in 1984 where I counted the votes and reported them right here in Lincoln.
Many times I have shared my belief on the importance of elections, especially our local elections, and asking everyone to show up and vote. Here in Lincoln, if you aren’t sure of your polling place or where to find more information, go search for the Lancaster County Election Commissioner and fi nd your polling location and then learn which races you will be voting on and please do your homework. I often think of the statement, “Decisions are made by those who show up.” It is our right and duty to show up and cast our ballot supporting the candidates who best match our values. The Primary Election is traditionally not seen as an election that matters as much as a General Election. I believe all elections matter and it is our duty to do our research and go vote. I hope you will all join me in voting in the Nebraska Primary Election on May 10.