Our View: Be part of the solution this spring — go vote in the primary election

April 11, 2014 

Early voting for the May 20 primary election in Idaho starts April 21 in Canyon County and April 28 in Ada County. That's getting close.

We have a few words for Idahoans: March 11, 2014, Kuna school levy; May 2012 primary.

If you were a fan of the $3.19 million Kuna levy - which failed - and you didn't vote, you are fortunate that circumstances resulted in a mulligan. The Kuna levy was the only one to fail in the Treasure Valley, losing by fewer than 100 votes.

Proponents - and we are among them - hope voters make good on this second chance May 20. We hope this is a lesson for those who skip voting and abdicate to others who do exercise their privilege.

The last primary election was May 2012. Only 24 percent of those registered to vote did so. Granted, it was the first year of the closed Republican primary that the GOP fought for, and there were no competitive statewide races. Plus, primaries rarely muster the higher percentages of general elections. But that anemic 24 percent is far from the potential of Idahoans who, on occasion, have rallied to send 77 percent of eligible voters to the polls during high-profile general elections.

We heard and witnessed lots of frustration from many of you during and after the close of the 2014 Legislature. Some of you were downright angry your issues were not debated or passed. We lament that some of the candidates involved in some of the most controversial votes have no opposition in the upcoming primary.

But many do.

Democrats will allow any registered voters to cast ballots for their candidates. Republicans now require you to declare for their party before you may vote for a GOP candidate.

Though it is too late for Democrat, Libertarian and Constitution party members to register as Republicans for the May primary, the largest class of voters in the state may do so right up until the day of the election. If you are among the 400,000 registered "Unaffiliateds," you have options.

Your choices are to take a pass on the whole matter or let your voice be heard by registering and voting early, or on May 20 at the polls.

Traditional wisdom is that only the most ardent party faithful show up for primary votes.

To the Unaffiliated, we encourage you to break tradition, use your power and crash the party.

"Our View" is the editorial position of the Idaho Statesman. It is an unsigned opinion expressing the consensus of the Statesman's editorial board. To comment on an editorial or suggest a topic, email editorial@idahostatesman.com.

Idaho Statesman is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service