When I turned 18, I registered a Democrat at the Jackson County Election Board in Kansas City on the first day I was eligible. As far as I know I have been a registered Democrat ever since, in Missouri, Iowa, Kansas and Oklahoma.
In the next few days I will be forced to change my party to Republican so I can vote in the sheriff’s race. Scott Walton recognized the political winds before we reported on them after the Presidential Primary. He knew anyone running with Barack Obama at the top of his or her ticket was dead.
So he changed his registration to Republican. Cole Butler, who ran for the office four years ago, also is a Republican. So we will elect our Sheriff in the Republican primary, since no Democrat appears willing to run as a Democrat.
When we came to the county in 1984, you had to register as a Democrat to have a chance to vote in local races. Most of them had no Republican candidates.
Now the opposite is true—many races don’t have a Democrat. So those who want to vote in local races often must re-register.
I am certain some of my Democratic friends will hate me. But I believe in Scott Walton. So I want to vote for Scott, and I can’t do it without changing party registration.
There may be many Democrats who think Cole Butler is the best man for the job. They, too, will be disenfranchised.
If you want a say on who is our next Sheriff, please visit the Rogers County Election Board by 5 p.m. Friday, March 30 and change your registration to Republican. You can change it back in August, but you can’t vote in the primary without changing now.
This shouldn’t have to be. The real solution is to change state law so that when the only candidates are in one party or are independents, all registered voters can cast ballots in those races.
Shouldn’t party affiliation be irrelevant in a citizens’ right to elect their public representatives?