Earlier this year I wrote about becoming a candidate for local office as a means to advocate for the compassionate treatment of animals at the municipal level. Some of you who read those articles may have taken that step to place you name on the ballot for next Tuesday’s Primary elections. If you did so, I commend your efforts and wish you success!
For those of us who could not make a commitment in February to circulate petitions to become a candidate ourselves there is still the opportunity to add our voice to selecting candidates who will best pursue our goals through local government. There is also the opportunity to become a candidate on election day!
In municipal elections there are often no candidates for all of the offices. The way to discover if there are ballot vacancies in your municipality is to visit or go online to your county elections office and view the sample ballot for the party in which you are a registered voter. Because the election is a primary nomination process, you may only be a candidate in the party in which you are registered.
On election day you and your friends can urge voters to write your name on the ballot for any office in your municipality. Often it is as easy as standing outside of the polling place and simply handing a slip of paper to the arriving voter with your name and the name of the office on it. The message is also simple: ”Our party does not have a candidate for this office and I think our citizens should have a choice! Will you help me to be that candidate?”
Write-in candidacies, when there is a vacancy on the ballot, can be won with minimal effort and with only a handful of voters writing in the name of a candidate. In most cases, your circle of neighborhood friends would be sufficient.
Most importantly, whether you choose to be a write-in candidate or to support another candidate, be sure to vote on Tuesday and to urge your like-minded friends to vote and make sure that the candidates working the polls know that policies affecting animals are important to you! On average, fewer than 30% of registered voters bother to vote in a primary election. This means that a well-disciplined minority can exercise influence beyond their numbers in determining the outcome of the elections. Be part of that well-disciplined minority!
Part three of a four-part series by Senator Roy Afflerbach, Ret.
Learn more about why it is important to vote in local elections: Act Globally – Vote Locally