We tend to differ with anyone who would decide against casting a ballot in Tuesday's West Virginia primary election while claiming that with the nominees in the presidential race already a virtual lock, there is simply no reason to vote.
True, it has been common knowledge for several weeks that Texas Governor George W. Bush is the likely GOP nominee and Vice President Al Gore the likely nominee for the Democrats. And yes, there are those who have expressed disgust that this state's primary should have been held two months ago when there was still a hint of uncertainty about the race for the White House.
However, we strongly disagree with any who would say there is no longer a reason to vote. The presidential nominees are not directly chosen in the state primaries anyway, but in the respective national party conventions this summer. In our view, there is more reason to go to the polls in the 2000 West Virginia primary than any previous one. Our nation, our state and our counties are all at important crossroads, and it is so necessary for each voter to select the man or woman deemed the best to do the job to which he or she is elected -- be it U.S. senator or representative, governor or county-level official.
As Democrats continue to carry more than a 21Ú2-to-1 edge over Republicans in West Virginia -- in Harrison County, the GOP ballot reflects many races in which no candidate even filed to seek office -- it is highly conceivable that many races will be all but decided on Tuesday, although technically, the unchallenged nominees must also appear on the general election ballots in November. The main exception to this would be the non-partisan board of education races in the various counties. Candidates for school board will be selected by the voters this Tuesday, not in November. Also, there is the Harrison County Levy for Funds to Continue Public Bus Transportation and the special levy to support other vital services to be decided on Tuesday.
While the gubernatorial, congressional, state Supreme Court and secretary of state races are keeping many West Virginians in suspense, in Harrison County, the intra-party contests for House of Delegates, the new third circuit judge, prosecuting attorney, magistrate and particularly sheriff are somewhat close.
We have attempted to list just a few good reasons why registered voters should exercise their all-important right to vote on Tuesday. For, in our opinion, to not exercise that right is tantamount to waiving the right to complain about the final outcome.
Today's editorial reflects the opinion of both the Exponent and Telegram editorial boards.