In the Colorado primaries, the turnout rates were well above those held in Georgia, Connecticut, and Minnesota—over 40 percent for both Democrats and Republicans—matching or exceeding the turnout rates for all primaries going back at least three decades, according to the Denver Post. Two things believed to contribute to the high level of turnout here in Colorado were the convenience of mail-in ballots and the tight contests within both parties. I can attest to the convenience of the mail-in ballot, my husband and I have voted that way for years now. Whether it is the greater ease in the process, or the desire to make a difference, it is good to see more of the citizenry participate.
As a delegate for the first time this year, I quickly recognized the value of getting involved early. I found the election process to be akin to Christmas shopping months in advance—there’s a lot more to choose from early on, but come December (or November in this case), you may not be happy with what’s left. Based on the record numbers turning out to vote in these primaries, it would appear that complacency has run its course. November will bring enough political spin and media hype to wear us all thin. However, there has scarcely been more impetus to understand the times and the impact of the decisions made within our government, than right now. Our future and the future our children and grandchildren inherit, depend on it.
The primary issue is, there is more at stake here than simply motivating people to vote for a shift or stay in power. On the opposite side of apathy can be a blind political affiliation that fosters loyalty to party above all else—even above personal faith or thinking critically. We must resist the notion of simply checking the box beside the (R), (D), or (I), we must answer the why questions. Why do you believe that? Why do you think that? Why is that a better solution? Why does a particular candidate deserve your vote? If we do not know why we are aligned with a particular group or idea, we are vulnerable to the changing winds of politics and those who would use emotion over principles to gain power. It is not simply our right it is our responsibility.