Cast your vote the correct way

Washington’s presidential primary is approaching and unfortunately many of the ballots that have already been mailed in have been deemed invalid.

Why? Because people are either too stubborn to mark their party preference or they are oblivious to the fact that you must clearly mark your choice of Democrat or Republican. Nearly 3,000 ballots in Kitsap County have already been voided because the voter failed to designate their party choice, according to the Kitsap County Auditor’s Office. This is a staggering number and we still have more than a week to go before the Feb. 19 deadline.

This is such a waste of time and resources and it all could have been avoided had these voters marked one of the two party boxes on the purple envelope. A few thousand people will not have their votes counted because they failed to follow simple instructions. To those who purposely refrained from choosing a political party and sent in their ballot anyways, you just wasted 41 cents on the stamp. It shouldn’t be a big deal to have to designate which party you support. Granted, this rule hasn’t always been enacted, but neither have all-mail ballots, and it’s something voters have learned to accept.

There are some who have refused to vote because of these rules, especially the requirement to choose one party, but they are just ruining it for themselves. They have made the decision to give up their right to vote, which is a sad reality. Others, however, just don’t pay attention. These were the ones in school who asked a question after it was just answered by the teacher. There was always at least one in the class.

Another error that can void a ballot is choosing a party preference and voting for a candidate of the other party. You can’t vote Democrat if you mark the Republican party preference on your ballot.

Filling out a ballot should be taken seriously. If someone missed the bright yellow box marked with the words “Important! Presidential Primary Voting Instructions” right above the the list of candidates maybe it’s better their vote wasn’t counted. They could be like that other kid in class who always took the “eenie meenie minee moe” route on tests. For the sake of our nation, let’s hope most voters take the time to do their homework on their choice of the next president of the United States.

For those who exercise their civic duty and send in their ballot, double and even triple check it. Don’t forget the purple envelope must be signed and postmarked by Feb. 19.