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Independent voters can make a difference

By Staff | May 22, 2020

Jefferson County has a unique arrangement of registered voters: Democrats (33 percent), Republicans (33 percent) and Independents (33 percent).

Many Independents falsely believe they cannot vote in the Primary Election, as this is the case in some other states. Ironically, registered Independents have the most power during the primary election, because they can vote from any ballot.

With so many heated races this year, it is crucial for registered Independent voters to cast their ballots — by mail, during early voting or in-person on June 9 and July 21. Not only can their primary election participation impact the general election, but it can also give them the chance to vote for non-partisan seats: Board of Education, Magistrate, Circuit and Supreme Court Judges and Conservation District Supervisor.

The rules regarding Independent voters are that they will only receive the nonpartisan portion of the ballot (Board of Ed, Magistrates, Circuit & Supreme Court Judges and Conservation District Supervisor), unless they request a specific party ballot. Each party ballot does include the nonpartisan offices.

Additionally, any 17-year-old can register and vote in the Primary Election, if they will be 18 by the General Election, on Nov. 3, 2020.

Donna Joy, Jefferson County Board of Education candidate