Primaries fundamental part of process

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 19, 2012

Just a few weeks from now Ohio voters will head to the polls — or at least they should if they want to have a voice in our precious democracy.

The state’s primary is set for March 6 and could have a significant impact on the political landscape locally, statewide and nationally.

Just as it has been for many years, Ohio will likely be integral in determining our next president.

Email newsletter signup

One important thing to remember about Ohio’s primary system is that citizens can ask for either a Republican or Democrat ballot, regardless of which party for which they are registered.

Voting the ballot for one party or the other technically changes the voter’s registration status but does not obligate him or her to anything. Party affiliation is based solely on which primary a citizen votes in, which is flawed in a way because it is a deterrent to third-party candidates having any real chance.

Ultimately, we need to start looking at ourselves as Americans instead of Republicans or Democrats.

Choosing which primary can be very important if voters are concerned about electing the best representatives rather than just following party lines.

Because of Ohio’s primary structure, three or four of the best candidates could face off in a primary that would pit them against a lesser qualified opponent in the fall or even give them the position outright if the race is uncontested in the general election.

But the most important thing is to simply get out and cast a ballot, one way or the other.

Voter apathy seems to be at all-time highs yet some people seem surprised that Congressional approval ratings are at record lows.

What do we expect to happen when so few voters are left to make decisions for all of us?

We, the people, have to educate ourselves, vote for the best possible person and then hold them accountable.

That is the bedrock foundation our great country was founded upon and tens of thousands have died defending over the years.

We owe it to them and to ourselves to make sure it wasn’t for nothing.


Michael Caldwell is publisher of The Tribune. To reach him, call (740) 532-1445 ext. 24 or by e-mail at