Early voting is underway for the May 22 party preferential primary elections and there is no excuse for not casting a ballot. With Secretary of State Mark Martin predicting about 30 percent of the state’s 1.53 million registered voters will turn out at the polls, we have a responsibility to beat his forecast in our corner of Jefferson County.
Residents of White Hall, Redfield, and the Hardin and Jefferson communities should hold their collective heads in shame if less than one-third of the registered voters take advantage of the opportunity to vote in the primary.
In recent presidential election years, the primary turnout was 47 percent in 1992, 26 percent in 1996 and 19 percent in 2000.
It is scary when the numbers plunge 28 percentage points in less than a decade.
The three-way Republican primary for the 4th Congressional District seat and three-way Democratic primary for Jefferson County judge might boost the turnout. If the top vote-getter in the two races does not win a majority of the votes in their primary, the two top finishers will face off for their respective party’s nomination in the June 12 runoff.
Registered voters have no excuse not to cast a ballot. Early-voting hours are 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturdays except on May 21, when the hours will be 8-5 p.m., the last day of early voting.
Sample ballots for Jefferson County are available at https://www.voterview.ar-nova.org/. Mark that sample ballot in the privacy of your home and take it with you to your polling station.
Still think voting is too much trouble? Too many men and women have sacrificed their lives for your right to free elections.
Go to a polling station May 22 and count the number of older voters on canes, crutches and walkers. They understand their responsibility to vote.