On May 13, a day short of two weeks from today, West Virginia will return to the voting booth to decide who will represent each party in the general election next November. Typically, the primary mid-term election has a low turnout as people aren’t interested and paying attention if the Office of the President of the United States isn’t on the ballot.
That’s a mistake.
This election cycle includes all three of West Virginia’s members of Congress along with one of the two Senate seats, a position being vacated by Jay Rockefeller. It was just last fall that everyone hated ever member of the Senate and House of Representatives because of the shutdown of the Federal Government and the budget brinkmanship.
On a local level, every member of the West Virginia House of Delegates is up for election. Half of the members of the West Virginia State Senate are up for election this year. Unhappy with the way the state government handled the West Virginia Water Crisis? How about the the subsequent legislation to protect our water supply that got bounced back and forth during the legislative session? Get out and vote.
I’ve heard it said a number of times, and said it myself a few more, that we should remove every incumbent from office. After a little more thoughtful reflection, I’m not sure I still believe that. However, I believe every incumbent has to prove to me why I should give them my support. And I don’t mean with simple platitudes like “More Jobs and Lower Taxes” or whatever. Of course, everyone wants those things. But most of us realize life isn’t quite that simple and you can’t sum life up in five words.
There is a saying that “Everyone hates Congress, but loves their Congressman.” I’m not sure I understand how that disconnect exists, but I know it does. When you’ve met someone, shaken a hand and looked a person in the eye, it makes a difference.
I wouldn’t dream of telling anyone how to vote, or even how I plan to vote, but I will say I plan to pay a lot closer attention to this election than I normally would have. I hope everyone takes these next two weeks to actually look into the people running and see what they stand for. Understand who they are and who supports them financially.
If you’re not sure where to find out the information you need, the Sunday Gazette-Mail always publishes a voter guide. You can also find out who your representatives are on the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Election Division website.
Whatever you do, get out and vote. Let your voice be heard. If you don’t like the way things are going, do your part to change it..