Opinion: Why voting in general elections is not enough

Submitted: March 2, 2023

Author: Mark Kilburn, resident of Pickens, SC

One of the cornerstones of living in a representative republic is a person’s right to vote for their elected officials.  The act of voting many rightly consider to be their patriotic duty and who isn’t satisfied when they get handed their “I Voted!” sticker? 

But is voting enough? Unfortunately, in the times we currently find ourselves in I don’t believe it is.   The candidates run campaigns, we vote to elect them and many of us think  “Job well done” and return to the cares of our daily lives.  We rightly expect our representatives to act in accordance with our wishes, as best they can, and to manage those forces that go against our values.

Sadly, as we check in with news, we realize that often our representatives fall short of what we were expecting.  We call them and write letters but mostly we have to wait until the next election cycle in order to vote them out.  It is then that we discover that as an incumbent they are hard to overcome.  In 2022 Congressional incumbents had a 98% win rate.  Forty-one states had a 100% win rate!

Incumbents are formidable, but they are not insurmountable.  While voting is vitally necessary,  it is not all that is required from us.   We need to get involved in the process locally in between the election cycles to influence our representatives and to find new candidates, if required.

On March 11, the Pickens County GOP will be holding its biennial Reorganization meeting.  This is the process to elect county GOP leaders starting at your precinct level and going all the way to Columbia at the state level.   There will be three sessions, and it is easy to go to the Pickens County Republican Party website (https://pickens-sc.gop/) to find out what time your session will be on the 11th.  Please join us and your neighbors for this one-time event to help save the country.