Your Vote Makes a Difference, Especially in Run-off Elections
July 4, 2022
“For the Children” Weekly Column by Joe Dorman, OICA CEO
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Joe Dorman, CEO – Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy
Telephone: (405) 833-1117
OKLAHOMA CITY – I hope you had a great Independence Day, the holiday which not only established the United States as a sovereign nation but was the foundation for Americans’ right to vote for their leaders.
On Tuesday, June 28, Oklahoma voters went to the polls to cast their votes for nominees to represent their political parties in the upcoming General Election in November. Before that, though, some party races will head to a run-off on Tuesday, August 23. Run-off elections will also include Republican candidates for several statewide offices.
If you are reading this, you are likely a voter. I encourage you to consult your friends and neighbors about why they vote, or why they choose to not vote. You will hear the same stories that I do: “My vote does not count,” or “I didn’t have time,” or “I forgot.” Some say they do not know anything about the candidates.
In our recent primary elections, only 600,000 Oklahomans cast votes out of a population of 4 million. Obviously, many of those cannot vote, with about 900,000 being too young, and other having legal issues causing the loss of voting rights.
When you do not vote, your voice is not heard. Simply put, when you do not vote, you let others make the decisions for you. I spoke to a young woman at a store last week who had decided to register for the first time. She was frustrated with decisions being made by elected officials. This led her to register for the first time in her life.
She has the right attitude, her vote makes a difference, which grows when added to others who agree with her. Moreover, she is also now active and encouraging others to register and get involved.
Oklahoma has a much smaller population than many other states, so I hear that a vote for President in Oklahoma does not matter much for the outcome. President is not the only office that has an impact on us; in fact, the “down ballot” races elect people who have an almost daily impact on our lives, from school board to city council, or legislative seats, and statewide officials.
When fewer people vote, those who do cast their vote have a greater impact. Usually only the most avid voters show up for the primary run-off elections, those with the most extreme positions in each party. By not voting in the primary run-off elections, you leave the decision to the most extreme voters, giving them power far greater than their numbers deserve.
Officials who win primary run-offs owe their election to these extremists and listen to them. Extreme positions mean compromise is less likely, furthering gridlock and making it less likely a solution is found that serves anyone beyond those extremists.
If you are not registered, you can go to https://okvoterportal.okelections.us/Home/RegWizard to print your registration form. You may submit your voter registration any time. However, you must register at least 25 days prior to the date of the next election to vote in those elections; for the primary, that date is at the end of this month.
Those who are almost 18 may pre-register up to six months prior to their 18th birthday. This will ensure if their birthday is on or right before an election, they can exercise their constitutional right to vote at that age.
Please mark down on your calendars this primary run-off election on Tuesday, August 23. Do your research, choose who you feel will be the best person to serve, and make your voice heard.