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Democrats: Exercise your right to vote, as not all parties have the chance

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By Jeff Moore

Democratic Party voters of Carroll County have an important duty this Tuesday as they go to the polls for the county’s primary election.

Dozens of Democrats are vying for their party’s nomination to face their Republican challengers this fall for judge-executive, magistrate, sheriff, jailer and constable. The circuit court clerk race will likely be decided with the primary as there is no one registered to run as a Republican in that race and candidates must pass a test before being eligble to run.

The choices made this Tuesday, May 22, will set the slate for all of us to vote on in the November General Election. And as I noted, this year Carroll County voters will have many fall races with the GOP stepping up with candidates running in most of the contests.

What is decided Tuesday is important.

I am sure that I’m not alone in not being able to take part in the Tuesday primary. As a staunch independent, I am not and never have been aligned with any political party. Kentucky has what I consider an unfair system where you must register for a party to vote in a primary.

When I moved here from Virginia 15 years ago, I was surprised to learn that I would not have a voice in the county’s elections because I will not register under a political party because I vote for the person, not based on a political party. I was told that you have to register as a Democrat here to be able to vote in the Primary where the races have always been for our county offices, because no one ran as a Republican.

Needless to say my fierce stand on my independence has come with the cost of not being able to vote in primaries that have selected the person who ultimately became the only person left to vote for in November.

I contend the Kentucky system is wrong to require such a thing. Lots of other states allow you to vote in primaries by declaring the party you want to vote in on the day you go to the polls. They also do not require you to register under a party.

Prior to moving here, I voted in primaries for both parties because of candidates I supported.

So from my perspective, and that of many others who will not be allowed to vote Tuesday, you have an important job to do as you select the people we will have to choose from this fall.

I have worked along with our news team here at The News-Democrat to ensure you have had excellent coverage of the candidates so you make informed choices.

First, working with Carroll County High School FFA, we hosted a forum for all candidates to address the issues over three nights back in April. The videos of those forums are on our website and our YouTube channel, Carrollton News-Democrat.

Then, we followed that with questionnaires, giving everyone a chance to state their platform and to share their backgrounds in order to give voters a good in-depth look at each person.

The majority of the candidates took part in the forums and responded to the questionnaires. mber who did not. Voters must consider this when heading to the polls.

Why did a candidate not show up, answer questions and share their views? I am sure there are some who had good reasons, but you need to know and question them on this.

Why did so many candidates not take the time to submit answers to written questions for our election preview edition? I think you should ask them why.

Their participation alone should not be a reason for voting for a candidate. You must look at what they said. You should also consider what they did not say and the questions they failed to truly answer.

You still have time to view the community forums and to read and study up on the candidates. Everything is available online at mycarrollnews.com.

This year’s election is very important because Circuit Clerk Laman Stark and Jailer Mike Humphrey are retiring after many years of excellent service to the community. Plus, we will have a new sheriff because Sheriff Philip Marshall agreed to accept the appointment to come in and get the office back in good shape until voters could elect a new person this fall. All of their leadership will be sorely missed.

Then there are the many important issues facing our community: the drug epidemic, cleaning up the county, how to make use of the Camp Kysoc property, whether the jail should be expanded, just to name a few.

I, and many other Carroll Countians, are counting on you this Tuesday. Your choices will narrow the field of contenders and set the races for this fall. Please vote if you can and make your selections wisely.

Jeff Moore is the publisher of The News-Democrat and The Trimble Banner. He resides in Carrollton, where he is active in the community serving as president of the Carrollton Main Street Program and the Rotary Club of Carrollton.