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It’s worth a reminder once again — go out and vote Tuesday: Editorial

Posted 5/10/17

We forgive you if you have election burnout.

Those presidential races can be a real pain, and the 2016 edition (unfortunately) upped the ante. We still hold out some glimmer of hope that it will …

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It’s worth a reminder once again — go out and vote Tuesday: Editorial

Posted

We forgive you if you have election burnout.

Those presidential races can be a real pain, and the 2016 edition (unfortunately) upped the ante. We still hold out some glimmer of hope that it will be an aberration, but we know the over-the-top discourse is likely the new normal for presidential races. We do have a little time to breathe, although 2020 will be here before you know it.

Let’s set those warm and fuzzy thoughts aside for now. Next Tuesday is the first election since November. Fortunately, it’s a far cry from the fight for the White House. These municipal races are taking place right in our backyard.

We wanted to take a moment to tell you to do what you already know you should, which is vote. Your vote counts. And in these local races, in which fewer people will turn out than in the presidential race, each vote carries even more importance.

The biggest local races are for Middletown mayor (Robert Givler vs. Richard Hiester in the Republican primary) and for Lower Swatara Township commissioner, where incumbent Republicans Laddie Springer and Ben Hall, who was appointed to fill the seat vacated by now-state Rep. Tom Mehaffie, plus challengers Chris DeHart and Ronald Paul are vying for two open seats on the five-member board.

No one is on the Democratic ballot in either the Middletown mayor’s race or the Lower Swatara Township contest.

Pennsylvania uses a closed primary process. which means voters are required to register with a political party to vote in the primary election.

So in other words, if you are a Democrat, you’ll have a sparse ballot on Tuesday compared to Republican voters.

That brings up the point that primary elections are funny things. When it comes down to it, all they do is resolve which candidates will represent the Democratic and Republican parties in the general election.

The current mayor of Middletown, James H. Curry III, is no longer a Democrat. As we covered in a previous editorial, he is not running — as of now. In fact, he can’t, because he no longer is a member of either party. He can run as an independent as long as he files the proper amount of signatures by Aug. 1. If we were betting folks, we would place a wager that he will run again.

It does raise the question as to why all the taxpayers have to pay for a primary election in which not everyone is eligible to vote.

But we digress.

These people for whom you will have a chance to vote on Tuesday have a huge effect on your life — more so, in many ways, than the president.

We hope that the 2016 election (yes, we had to come back to that eventually) proved once again how important it is to exercise that important American right. Sometimes we take it for granted. If you were a Hillary Clinton supporter and thought she was going to win, so you decided not to vote, you’re likely regretting that decision now.

Information about the races is on pages A6-A8, as well as page A1, in this edition. Check it out. Get a feel for what will be on the ballot.

“No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except for all those other forms that have been tried.” That quote is wrongly attributed to not a great American, but a great American ally, Winston Churchill. He said it, but it was not original with him.

Yes, politics and elections are messy. But that doesn’t mean you should throw up your hands and walk away. Vote. You’ll feel better.

And a final note: Thanks to all of the candidates who raised their hand to be on the ballot. These are tough jobs, and we appreciate it.