How Low Can You Go? 

Down Ballot Races Matter- So Vote Every Race!

MoCo voters, Maryland primaries are starting next week.  You’ve heard from us why every vote matters, and when we vote, we win!  You know we’re focused on turnout.  Now, for those of you who already have a plan to vote- take our challenge to vote every race, all the way down the ballot.

Remember those crazy school board candidates in Kansas who wanted to stop teaching human evolution, or climate science?  Think it can’t happen here?  In recent years, only 16 percent of registered voters in our county have turned out to vote in primary elections.  But that’s not all.  Primary voters may vote the top of the ticket- the races for Governor or Senator.  But the numbers of those who vote all the down ballot races- for county council, judges, sheriffs, and school board members is even fewer.  That means a very small percent of us, less than 10 percent, are making decisions that are important not only to our immediate neighborhoods, but also to our future ‘bench’ of candidates for statewide and national office.  That’s not good for democracy.

Think you don’t know enough to make a choice in these races?  Think about that 10 percent (or less) that think they DO know enough to decide for you.  Are they really representing your interests?  Probably not.  The more of us who vote, the more likely the outcome will reflect what’s best for the majority of voters- not just the vocal minority.

Too many candidates to decide between?  We’ll admit, MoCo has an abundance of excellent candidates on the ballot for all races this year.  Grab a copy of the League of Women Voters’ excellent Vote411 guide from your local library or community center, and read through the brief profiles.  And MoCo Voters helps identify candidates who are not reliant on special interests.  Or if you care passionately about a particular issue, like gun control or the environment, see who groups like Sierra Club or Moms Demand Action are supporting.  Maryland Matters is trying to keep an updated list of all endorsements that you can check. 

Also don’t be shy about asking your friends and neighbors!  There are many candidate events going on throughout Montgomery County; if they have attended one, they will probably love to tell you about it! 

Don’t worry if you don’t know who the ideal candidate is.  Just make sure the candidates you decide to support are doing something about the issues that matter to you.  And remember, the more of us who vote every race, the more truly representative our government will be.

Remember- Maryland primaries are on June 26!  Early voting starts June 14!  And you can get a mail-in ballot for any reason by contacting the Maryland Board of Elections.