Primary is just around corner, and it’s important

Every four years it happens.

Politicians come at us from every angle, flooding the inboxes of our emails, appearing all over our Facebook newsfeeds and sprouting up in signs on citizens’ front yards.

Some of them even visit us in our homes.

About this time of year we all start to get a little overwhelmed, possibly even annoyed, and we tune it out – right when we should be paying the most attention.

The Aug. 2 primary is right around the corner. While some might be planning to sit this one out, this election is equally as important as the general election.

For local voters, this election could decide the next Marquette County sheriff, as no Republican candidates have come forward. There are also important issues on the ballot, like millage renewals for the Iron Ore Heritage Recreation Authority and new millages for street improvements in the city of Negaunee, as well as for operation of the Ishpeming Township Police Department.

Even without these issues on the ballot, primaries are vital because they narrow the field of candidates down heading into the November general election.

Understanding the subtle nuances of elections can be tricky. In a primary, voters nominate the top candidates for partisan offices. According to the Michigan Secretary of State, if a partisan primary appears on the ballot, you cannot cast votes under both parties; you must cast votes under one party only.

Partisan elections, like the November general election, are held to fill partisan offices. If a partisan election appears on the ballot, voters may cast a “mixed ticket.”

Visiting the Secretary of State’s website can help eliminate confusion, and it even offers information on the candidates and a sample ballot. (www.michigan.gov/sos).

The Mining Journal will also begin primary coverage next week. Look for information on the candidates, as well as millages and other issues.

For citizens, voting is not just a privilege of living in a democracy; it’s our responsibility.

We have given you the tools to inform yourselves. Now, go out and vote.

Mining Journal (Marquette)