Following the Primary election in Lehigh County I was disappointed in some of the results but incensed at the poor voter turnout in what is termed an off year election. No, We weren't electing a President to a four year term, but none the less, there were a number of elections that had an impact on the lives of local residence living in the Lehigh Valley in Eastern Pennsylvania.
Today, Saturday, May 25, 2013, I was surprised and delighted that Columnist Bill White for the Morning Call, had a front page article, with information and comments on the low turnout during this primary election. I am an admire of Bill White and follow his varied daily articles on life and times in the Lehigh Valley as an ardent fan.
In the front page article on Saturday, Bill White stated; "How bad was it? Only 13.7 percent of Lehigh County voters cast ballots Tuesday. In Northampton County, it was 14.4 percent." White went on to lament the fact that under Pennsylvania law, those registered as independents are not eligible to vote in primary elections. He stated: "I do sympathize with people who are registered Independent and not allowed to votein primary elections. Turnouts probably would improve if we had open primary elections so more people were eligible to vote and more voters had choices." "But we don't—would suggest that being an Independent in Pennsyvania makes no sense unless you're planning to run for something as an Independent. Why disenfranchise yourself every spring?"
I am in total agreement with Bill White on the issue of registering as an Indepedent. It is an ideological choice; a statement that you are not beholden to any party. I have no problem with this attitude, in fact I endorse the freedom that being an Independent carries with it except when it makes no logical sense. As Pennsylvania law is currently (requiring that one be registered as a Democrat or Republican to participate in Primary elections; it absolutely makes no sense to register as an Independent.
Bill White went on to stipulate that; "wherever you live, the bottom line is that our form of democracy gives you a part to play every two years in the direction of your county, municipality and school district."
"If you can't be bothered, that's your priviledge. But when you decide you don't like the government that you ended up with, don't complain. You had your chance. Sit down and shut up."
On the day before the Primary Election I sent the following e-mail message to friends and family members living in Lehigh County:
"Friends and Family,
Tomorrow is an important primary election for everyone that lives in Lehigh County. We cannot afford to allow the “Crash and Burn" Tea Party Candidates to take over. Your standard of living will suffer.
Please vote for Percy Dougherty for County Commissioner if you are a registered Republican living in District 2.
Also, cast your ballot for Dean Browning for County Executive.
If you are a Democrat, please go to the polls and vote!
If you are registered as an Independent, you can’t vote in the Primary, Sorry!
If you are of age and are not a registered voter or simply choose not to go to the polls on election day; then Shame on You!
Percy Dougherty’s 2013 Platform can be found on his web site at: http://www.votefordougherty.org/
Whatever you do and whomever you vote for; please4 vote!
I want to thank Bill White for publishing his thoughts with respect to the recent Primary Election and I want to congratulate him for making the front page.
If you are a registered Independent, I understand and emphatize with your choice but I beg you to reconcider. Unless Pennsylvania legislature members chance the law as it now stands, you need to register either as a Democrat or a Republican (whichever party is closest to your beliefs), so that you can participate in primaries and in selecting the candidates that appear on the ballot in the all-important November elections. Keep in mind that, with some time restrictions, you can change your party affiliation at any time.
Thanks Bill White for an excellent and timely article.
I am in total agree with Bill White; "You had your chance. Sit down and shut up!"
And so it goes...