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Editorial: Don’t forget you can’t cross-party vote on Tuesday

August 3, 2012
The Alpena News

Yesterday we urged area residents to surprise us, and vote in Tuesday's primary election. Today, we want to remind residents who do take us up on our request to not spoil their ballot by shifting votes from one party to the other.

Tuesday's election is an "open" primary, meaning voters will be given a ballot with columns listing both Democratic and Republican candidates. However, in a primary, you are only choosing candidates for one party - to determine who in that party will face opponents in the November general election. Thus, you cannot switch your votes back and forth on the ballot between one party and the other. Doing so will void your ballot.

Tuesday's primary is very important across the region as in many instances, the contested race will occur in the primary and the winner there, will not face competition in November unless someone mounts a write-in effort.

Depending on your party allegiance and the races involved, however, voters might want to consider voting in a party primary they otherwise would not have.

Take for instance the Alpena County Prosecutor's race. Incumbent Ed Black faces opposition from Don Dowling, with the winner of next week's race facing no GOP opposition in November.

Certainly one can make a very strong argument that a prosecuting attorney's race is very important to the future of a community. Thus, if generally you would have Republican leanings in most elections, but you feel strongly about the candidates in this particular election, you might want to vote in the Democratic column Tuesday. Or, in other cases, like in some Alpena County Commission District races, the competition is only on the GOP side.

We urge voters to review the ballots carefully and decide accordingly which party's column they prefer. Local ballot issues impacting the precinct you vote in will appear on both ballots, regardless of party affiliation.

Vote Tuesday. As you do, be smart about that vote, and don't spoil your ballot by jumping back and forth.



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