Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Election Day 2009 - Opposed to Unopposition

Another Election Day is here.

Without a big Presidential election to push people to the polls, I won't be surprised if voter turn-out is down around the country.

With all the races that are unopposed within our own county, I wouldn't be surprised if voter turn-out is down in this area as well.

I am not a fan of having candidates who are unopposed, even if they are members of my registered party. It tends to decrease the number of people who actually make it to the polls. For districts where maybe there are other races, this can hurt candidates who do have an opponent.

An example would be the election district where I currently reside, or any district within the city of Jamestown. The entire City Council is running unopposed. This is unprecedented in the 10 years I've lived here or for anywhere I've ever lived in my 33 years. Fortunately, I live in one of three County Legislative districts where there are two people squaring off against each other for a seat. There are six County Legislative districts that cover the City of Jamestown. This means that three of the current County Legislators are running unopposed.

So, as a city resident you could live in an election district where the only opposed races on your ballot will be the County Executive race (Incumbent Greg Edwards vs. Democrat Chuck Cornell) and State Supreme Court Justice District 8 where you vote for 3 of 4 people on the ballot.

Exciting? Hardly. It's an abomination in my opinion to have so many unopposed races at the city and county level. I believe in having a choice, especially if I am not happy with how my elected official has performed while in office. For this reason, I will be entering the most write-in votes ever in my personal voting history for every race where I am not given a choice and the person running doesn't meet my expectations.

Do I think my write-in will make a difference? Well, considering I haven't mounted a write-in campaign so that large numbers of people put down the same names as me, probably not. Although, there have been races locally where no one who showed up to the polls voted for the guy running unopposed but someone did submit a write-in vote. The guy running unopposed got quite a surprise when results were made public. My write-in effort is being done more as my personal right.

If you are registered to vote, I ask that you follow through on your civic duty and get to the polls today regardless of who is running and the types of races that are on your ballot.

For voting information and for local voting results after polls close here in Chautauqua County, visit VoteChautauqua.com.

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