Editorial: Beyond the president
While the record numbers of people filling out early ballots for today’s election is a positive sign of voter interest, there could be a potential downside buried in all of the ballots already cast. Some elections officials are concerned that many of those voters were primarily motivated by the presidential race and didn’t bother to mark the remainder of their ballot after checking off their choices for president and perhaps a couple of other high-profile offices such as governor or U.S. Senate.
We won’t know how widespread that trend may be until all the ballots are counted, but let’s hope it’s limited to a small percentage of voters. Obviously, the presidential race has provided much of the fuel for today’s primary, especially among Democratic voters (or unaffiliated voters choosing Democratic ballots). But voters who designate their choices only for a presidential candidate, a gubernatorial or Senate candidate and abdicate their role in choosing candidates for local and state offices are deluding themselves if they think those races don’t count. As powerful a symbol as the president of the United States may be, it’s those lower-ballot state and local offices that most directly impact our schools, our transportation system, our local employment opportunities and other important areas of life.
Here are more comments from members of the Post’s Voters Panel on the upcoming primaries. You can find other panelists’... read more