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updated: 9/12/2017 9:54 AM

It's important to vote in primaries

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At election time, what I always tell (told) my students is this:

In any election, the people who stand for office are not perfect -- that is, it's very unlikely you will agree with anyone all the time. (You may even disagree with your earlier self, if you learn new information.) For this reason, many people prefer not to commit themselves in a primary. Remember, you are allowed to vote for someone in the general election whom you didn't support in the primary and vice versa.

The really important thing to remember is that every office will be filled by some person. Primaries are when those who run in the general election will be chosen. Since fewer people, generally, are voting, any individual vote is far more important, that is, it carries more weight. People who have strong opinions, especially single-issue voters, are more likely to vote in the primaries than those who do not consider themselves "political."

The challenge for a sensible voter is to find out as much as possible before the primary on each of the candidates in both parties. If it turns out that you see no good choice for any office, remember that each office will be filled by someone. Weigh as many the factors that enter into the situation as you can think of. And if you don't like any, you should find the candidate you dislike the least.

Then vote.

Be assured: you will have the chance to change your mind in the general election.

Elizabeth Anne Hull, Professor Emerita,

William Rainey Harper College

Palatine

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