Make a Difference

Deadline to register to vote is April 17

How can you make a more important difference for your community and the people you love than by voting for — or against — President Donald Trump?

That got your attention, didn’t it? But the question was more than a rhetorical one, and it has an answer that may surprise you.

The answer is: By voting in the May 8 primary election in West Virginia.

Throughout the United States, millions of voters pay little attention to primary elections, especially in years when there are no candidates for president on the ballot. Primaries are important for two reasons, however.

First, choosing party nominees for important local, state and national offices is a critical part of the democratic process. Pick the wrong nominee and your party — the one that, theoretically, matches your opinions on the issues best — can lose in the November general election.

But there is an even more important reason to vote in primaries. It is that they often are the deciding elections for local offices such as boards of education and, often, municipal posts.

School boards and positions in many towns are filled through nonpartisan elections. Candidates who win on May 8 will take office.

In addition, primaries often are used to decide tax questions.

As powerful as the president is, he has less effect on our communities in many ways than do members of local boards of education. It is they, not someone in Washington, who make the most important decisions regarding schools.

Clearly, then, May 8 is a day when registered voters should show up at the polls, if they have not previously made use of the early voting process.

Not registered, you say? There still is time to take care of that. The deadline to register is not until next Tuesday. You can take care of it at your county clerk’s office or online at ovr.sos.wv.gov.

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