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BECK: Whether early or on Election Day, cast your ballot in the primaries
Taylor Beck
Taylor Beck

There’s really no excuse as to why anyone properly registered can’t vote during this election cycle.

That’s largely contributed to expanded advance voting opportunities, which, for the first time ever locally, includes Sunday voting days. And, of course, absentee ballots are still available.

In Newton County, early voting sites this year have even changed to better accommodate residents. Election officials say they moved the polling location from the county’s administration building and a local library to two area churches due to long lines at the former locations.

Simply put, if you don’t cast a ballot this year, it’s because you chose not to. 

Historically, voter turnout for midterm elections is putrid, but turnout for primary elections is even worse. It’s said that less than half of registered voters typically turn out for primaries. I challenge my fellow Newton Countians to break this trend and turn out to vote like never before.

Why? Because primary elections might be the most important. 

The outcome of primary elections set the stage for the general election. It determines which of the numerous candidates running for one office will become THE party nominee.

Remember that one time, just less than two years ago, when what was supposed to be a debate between two presidential candidates turned into a spectacle that could only best be described as a hot, chaotic mess? 

And then, remember when everyone and their mother wondered how on Earth those two men acting like children — former President Donald Trump and current President Joe Biden — were supposedly the best candidates each party could put forward? 

Well, that was decided in a primary election.

This year, there are several crowded races in which the primary results will be pivotal. This includes local offices such as Board of Commissioner seats, as well as state and congressional elections, including the hotly contested race for U.S. House District 10. With eight Republican candidates, five Democrat candidates and no real clear-cut favorites, it’s truly anyone’s race to win. In all likelihood, the primary election will go to a runoff, but the journey to discovering which two candidates make the cut will certainly be interesting to watch. 

And a handful of votes could make all the difference.

Whether it’s early and in-person, via absentee or on Election Day, I implore everyone to exercise their right to vote. After all, the ballot box is where change begins, but it’s up to you to get there.

Taylor Beck is editor and publisher of The News. Reach him at