Vote even when it seems academic

ElectionsPoliticsMike GattoCarol Liu

The June 5 primary is, admittedly, a mostly academic exercise: The two top vote-getters, regardless of party affiliation, move on to the November ballot.

For most of our readers, that means the 43rd Assembly District race is a wash. With incumbent Mike Gatto (D-Silver Lake) and Glendale Unified school board member Greg Krikorian the only ones on the ballot, no matter what, they’re both headed to November.

In fact, the only race that will be winnowed by the outcome of the primary is for state Senate District 25, where incumbent Carol Liu (D-La Cañada Flintridge) faces two challengers: Republican Gilbert Gonzales and Democrat Ameenah Fuller.

Like anything that seems academic, voters tend to eschew practice tests and wait for the one that matters. But that’s a dangerous precedent to be part of.

The primaries, no matter how shored up the results appear to be, do serve a purpose. For the candidates, the results can be an important gauge of popular support. For voters, the results can be a measurement of how safe or at-risk your favorite candidate is.

But these measurements depend on the fact that everyone who plans to vote in the general election also participates in the primary; otherwise, the results are skewed and unreliable.

And really, when we start cherry-picking which election to participate in, we also start heading down a slippery slope with complacency at its base.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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