EDITORIAL: Better to adapt to new primary

This week election watchers will finally know how the citizens of Washington state will react to the newly-imposed primary system.

In Island County alone, nearly 30,000 absentee ballots were mailed out Tuesday. People will start opening them today, and many will scratch their heads. What’s with the four ballots? There’s always been only one in the past.

As we all should know by now, the U.S. Supreme Court torpedoed our traditional open primary, where voters could pick anyone on the ballot. Now, we must choose a Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, or Independent ballot. If you’d like to vote for a favorite Republican in one race, and a favorite Democrat in another, you can no longer do that in the primary election.

The new system is bound to anger many voters who became accustomed to the “Washington way” of primary voting. It’s easy to understand why voters may complain, or even refuse to vote. But we should put emotions aside and adapt to the new situation. Elections are too important to ignore. And if you do decide to not go along with the new system, at least choose the Independent ballot. That will allow you to vote on the important local ballot measures: a 10 cent increase in the property tax levy for Central Whidbey Fire and Rescue; and the creation of a North Whidbey Library District and associated 34 cent increase in the property tax levy to build a new library in Oak Harbor.

We may not like the new primary system, but we’re stuck with it and should make the best of it -- which means doing your civic duty and voting.

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