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A Matter of Perspective

by Karin L. Nauber

I volunteered “was voluntold” (thanks for that one Jolene Sabrowsky) as an election judge for this coming election “season.”

For the first time since 1992, Minnesota will be holding a Presidential Nomination Primary (PNP). This basically means that voters will decide which candidate they want to represent their party for the office of President.

The Republican slate has one name, while the Democrat slate is quite full and needs to be narrowed.

This will be the voting that takes place on March 3. And guess what? You can vote either Democrat or Republican. That’s it. No Legalize Marijuana Now party. No Independent party. You can vote for an “elephant” or a “donkey” and that is it. You can’t choose anything else at this point.

I was told this was because the other parties did not choose to be part of this PNP.

So...where does that leave the voters who will not find their party represented? Likely, it will find them at home on their couches.

If I had not volunteered, that is where I would be. I suspect that a lot of people will not turn out for this primary. If you are voting Republican, you don’t even need to as only Incumbent President Donald Trump is on the ballot. You still can come in and vote and I personally encourage it, but you won’t be “deciding” anything unless you want to cast a write-in vote. I understand there may be some “underdogs” also on the Republican slate, but I have not seen that as of yet.

The Democrat side has a lot more to decide in this election as this will narrow the field down to one contender from the 20—more or less—candidates who started the race. I think there are approximately eight (Minnesota’s Amy Klobuchar among them) contenders vying for the chance to run in the BIG race—the Presidential race —the others have dropped out.

There is a lot involved in this and as an election judge, frankly, I’m rather nervous.

During the training last week, I may have even experienced something like a “panic attack” as we went over repeatedly how important it was to keep a voter’s party affiliation secret and private.

I guess I never saw this as a problem before. I remember when Democrats and Republicans could work side-by-side and accomplish things.

Now, apparently there is such animosity between the parties that we have to use Poll Pads (iPads) for registration so that our party can be kept a secret from every other voter.

Hmmmm.... As an election judge, it will be my job to keep that information safe. No problem. At least I don’t think so.

As an election judge for a small city, we also have to have equal party representation. So there can not be two Republican party election judges and only one Democrat. Since Clarissa only needs three judges, that means that one of us (or two because of the split shifts) will have to declare another party even though we can’t vote for that party on March 3. I see no sense to this, but as you may remember from last week, I don’t care much for political games anyway.

I’m not even sure I want to be affiliated with any political party at this point.

Maybe a monarchy might be the best thing. Because of voter suppression that will be evident because of this presidential primary, do we really have a “vote” anyway?

There will be another primary held in August. At that primary, you will be voting to narrow the other fields like senate or representative races.

Then the BIG deal will take place the first Tuesday in November. That’s when all the votes for all the offices are cast, counted and winners—and losers—are declared.

Which side will you be on? And why do we even have to take sides?



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