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‘Minor’ parties deserve ballots

No matter what ballot citizens choose from on May 4 — considering there is a wide variety this year — the important thing is that voters head to the polls.

Next Tuesday’s primary election will be a first for Lawrence County because the so called “small party” candidates will each have their own ballot.

In the past, voters in Ohio’s primaries could choose Republican, Democrat or Issue-only ballots. The other party candidates had to wait until the fall to get their names in front of voters

That changes this year thanks to a Ohio Supreme Court ruling that says each party should have its own ballot even in the primary.

So Lawrence County voters can this year choose ballots for the Constitution Party, Socialist Party, the Green Party and the Libertarian Party, in addition to the major parties and the issue-only version.

Although it may seem unnecessary because such a small percentage of Americans are members of these parties, the bottom line is that our democracy offers these candidates the same platform as the more widely dominant parties.

The Supreme Court got it right when it changed this law, even though it may not affect much in the long run.

Considering our nation is in a time of political unrest, with millions of Americans unhappy with the direction our country is going under Republicans and Democrats, it is vital that these other parties have a level playing field to compete and are given the opportunity to choose their best candidates before the November elections.

Democracy is about choices and government by the people, no matter what party they support.