Archive for Thursday, July 24, 2008

Voters to decide important races, issues in primary

July 24, 2008

Elections are always important, and the wrong people can get elected perhaps more often because voters make no choices rather than bad choices.

That is especially true of primaries, which struggle to get the participation of 25 percent of eligible voters. In races in which the winning candidate will face no ballot opposition in November, that sometimes means 10 to 15 percent of the electorate can determine who will hold office.

There is nothing De Soto and Johnson County voters can do between now and Aug. 5 to fill candidate slates, but they can prevent candidates representing truly minority views from winning office. It's a task as simple as voting.

Election reform has made it much easier to vote. Advance voting can be done by mail or at four sites in the county: Johnson County Election Office, 2101 E. Kansas City Road, Olathe; Johnson County Northeast Office, 6000 Lamar, Mission; Metcalf South Shopping Center, 9531 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park; or Ten Quivira Plaza, 12156 Shawnee Mission. Advance ballots applications can be obtain online, by fax, at most civic buildings or by mail.

The Republican contest for Johnson County district attorney and sheriff should interest all in that party. Democrats have fewer big decisions but have the rare opportunity to participate in U.S. Senate primary that has one candidate with statewide stature.

There is also the Johnson County sales tax extension question, which would make the county share of quarter-cent sales tax available for expanding the crime lab, jail projects and their operations. We often hear people wonder why certain issues are not decided by referendums. This important issue is, and it deserves the participation of more than 25 percent of the county's voters.

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