Kemmeter Column: Primary brings first vote since 2020
By Gene Kemmeter
Many Portage County voters will go to the polls Tuesday, Feb. 15, to practice their constitutional right to vote for the candidate they desire for the first time since the infamous November election in 2020.
Will their vote actually count? Will a loser declare the election results were wrong, and, as a result, was cheated out of the office? Will supporters of the loser storm the County-City Building and demand the results be changed? Or will they follow the rules that are in place to challenge a vote and accept the ruling?
Who would have thought so many would stand idly by, supporting a loser’s demands and actions with silence, afraid to speak out against that loser because it might jeopardize their political future?
Why does a controlling political party that imposed the election laws requiring individual identifications and signatures now consider those laws insufficient and seek stricter laws because it doesn’t agree with an election outcome?
Sadly, the state of elections in the United States has reached this point. Will a candidate admit defeat, or will that candidate blame election fraud and go stand on a pulpit and yell to supporters to reverse the outcome?
The February election is a primary, the opportunity to narrow a race with three or more people seeking a single position to two so the voters can return to the polls April 5 and give one of those candidates a majority of votes.
The February primary and the April election are also local elections, letting each municipality in the state choose the individuals for public office in those municipalities. There’s no “big money,” if any at all in many cases, involved in these elections.
These are truly neighbors literally volunteering to represent their neighbors in public offices.
Candidates should have some knowledge or experience in government and need to know how to deal with budgets as well as fellow citizens. Taxes are often a major reason a candidate runs. Of course taxes are too high, they always are, but how will a candidate lower them and what will the consequences be?
Portage County is a precious place for its residents. They need to elect a neighbor who keeps the local government on a financial even keel, and have the foresight and the character to protect the resources that make this county a good place to live.
That means neighbors will be electing their neighbors to public office. And neighbors will be manning the polls, asking neighbors to present identification to verify they are the neighbors that have lived next door to them for 20 years or a new neighbor that has resided there for at least 28 days. Yes, there have been rules that have been enforced.
Voting is a constitutional right for every American and a civic responsibility. Get out and vote to show that people’s voices can be heard. The only way that officials can take that vote away is by inaction of the people.