By Melissa Rohan
This may be a non-presidential election year, but it is still important, or arguably more important.
There is a chance that this year’s election could change the makeup of the House of Representatives and the Senate. Historically, the election following a new president brings a wave of freshman representatives, senators, and governors from the other political party. But there are several factors that will determine whether this is a tsunami or just the wake from a passing boat. If enough Republicans win elections, the majority leadership of the House or Senate could change.
Governors’ offices across the nation could change parties as well, as recently happened in Virginia and New Jersey. These elections are more important this year than in the past because of the census. The number of congressional seats could change based on census data. If there is a change, the governor is in charge of redistricting the state to reflect the new number of congressional seats. Redistricting can affect election outcomes for the next decade or longer.
Of course, all of this is dependent on primary elections. Strategy, money and political environment are going to make this year’s primary election season even more interesting than in the past.
Most states have primary elections. Primaries are the way Republican and Democratic political parties nominate candidates for the November general election.
In some areas dominated by a single political party, the primary can essentially decide the winner of the general election. So a primary cannot be considered a “warm-up” for the big election.
Each state handles primaries differently. It is important to find out how and when your home state conducts its primary by looking at your state’s official Web site. You can also find that information – and voter registration info – on www.truckvote.com.
For your state, see truckvote.com
A few states have already held primaries, but most states’ registration deadlines are looming. Most OOIDA members are probably already planning on voting in the primaries. If this is your first time, make sure you know what kind of primary your state conducts (See chart below). The type of primary could help determine how you will vote or declare your party affiliation.
If you are unsure about whether you will vote this year, here are a couple of thoughts.
Trucking is the most regulated industry. Congress sets the agenda for regulatory agencies like Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. It’s important to find Congressional candidates who understand trucking – or are at least willing to listen to the challenges you face – and support them with your vote.
And we should all be grateful that we are citizens of a country with a Constitution that gives us this privilege. It’s up to us to use it – or risk losing the rights that affect our life and livelihood. LL