The Gadfly is a series of letters offering commentary on local issues and published in the Warrensburg Gazette.
In a few days we get to vote in a very important election. Our votes may affect the balance of power in the Missouri General Assembly and even the U.S. Senate. We’ll also vote to fill many local, most of which have incumbents running unopposed. The purpose of this letter is to explain how to split a “straight ticket” vote.
Now, if you’re an absolute loyalist for one of the four parties represented on the ballot (Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians or Greens), all you need to do is fill in the oval for that party’s “straight ticket” at the top of the ballot. Your vote for each of that party’s candidates will be recorded and you don’t need to fill in the little ovals for any of their candidates. Easy.
Let’s suppose you’re a straight ticket voter, but you think one of the unopposed candidates of another party is doing a good job and is worth voting for. Just select “straight ticket” at the top, but select the specific candidate of the other party. You don’t have to fill in the ovals for any of your party’s candidates because your “straight ticket” vote already votes for them. Still easy
Now, suppose you identify with one party but don’t like their candidate in a contested race (perhaps your party’s candidate has a felony conviction?). You can still select a “straight ticket”, but select a different candidate in any race (opposed or unopposed). You’ll only abandon your party for the specific races you select. If you are upset with both of the major parties or support a so-called “third party” you can use this same philosophy to express your opinion of the major parties by voting a “straght ticket” for a “third party” while still voting for individual candidates you like.
In any case, learn the issues and candidates before you go to the polls and cast an informed ballot.
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