Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Now is the time to make your voice heard

Two stories in this week’s DCI got me thinking about the state of the nation and how we react.

First was the announcement that absentee voting is now open for the Presidential Primary in Minnesota coming up on Tuesday, March 5. For decades Minnesotans made their preferences known for president by attending caucuses even while most states were voicing their opinions in primary elections.

A few years ago Minnesota made the switch to the primary system.

Most opinion polls are telling us that Americans, on all sides of the political aisle, are unhappy with the direction the country is taking. That seems to be the only thing we agree on — we don’t like it.

I keep reading that most voters are pretty unhappy with the choices being offered at the presidential level, at least. And I certainly understand that when I vote in the primary, my choice of candidates will be limited. First, by the party I choose to align with and second by the candidates offered by that party.

But still, the fact that I have the chance to cast my vote should give me some feeling that I do have a say in the process. And the switch to the primary system does make it easier in that I don’t have to commit to attending a caucus at a specific time on a specific day to make my selection.

The way absentee voting is conducted now makes it a lot easier. Request an absentee ballot, have it sent to you, fill it out, following the rules, of course, and return it to your local election office where it will be counted on Election Day. And if you like the idea of voting on Election Day you still have that option.

But if you really want to make an impact Minnesota still has a caucus system. This year precinct caucuses will be held on February 27, one week before the Presidential Primary. They all will begin at 7 p.m. at locations set by the respective parties.

What’s important about the caucus is that it is the first in a series of meetings where parties will endorse candidates, select delegates to party conventions and set goals and values that are written into the party platform.

As the time draws near, you can find where your party caucus is by going to the Minnesota Secretary of State website.

My point in all this is that while it is easy for one to say they are dissatisfied with the direction of the state, or nation and the voice of the individual does not matter, there is a way to make your voice and opinions known.

Rather than letting apathy take over, one can make the effort and get involved. You may not get your way all the time but at least you know you have tried to make a difference.

The second story was about the Salvation Army Red Kettle campaign during the Christmas season.

Locally, the Salvation Army raised almost $31,000. All of that money will stay in Dodge County and be used to help residents here.

The Salvation Army “team” which oversees this kettle drive and other Salvation Army activities did not do this by themselves.

They rely on an army of volunteers. It takes volunteers to man those kettles at retail outlets and those volunteers are members of Scout troops, churches, civic groups and individuals who see a need and want to help.

The same goes for the volunteers who help throughout the year.

Congratulations to the leaders of the local Salvation Army organization and all the many volunteers who step up to help.


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