Election time is coming up. (I promise, this will not be a political post, at least not in a partisan or candidate-specific manner) This is the first time since I came of voting age that I am planning on voting on local issues. I voted on the national and state items in the past of course, but I’d never felt like I was part of a local community, so it seemed strange and inappropriate for me to be deciding who their officials were.

So I nosed around a bit about what local offices and issues there were. Of the various Judges, sheriffs, and whatnots up for election in my semi-rural bit of the world, guess how many I am able to vote on? Exactly one. The rest are running unopposed.

Which I suppose is fine – if there are only five democrats in the whole county, it makes no sense for them to elect one into authority, and if they’d never get elected, they probably shouldn’t waste the money running.

But the non-choices coming up weren’t really (all) running unopposed – some of them did have opponents and a campaign – in the primary.

So in order to vote on local officials, I need to register as a republican. (Ohio has closed primaries).

Something about this turns my stomach. It isn’t pure political fevor. I’m largely non-partisan, as the issues that I tend to care about don’t follow party lines very well. If anything, I would have to say that I even agree with the republican view more often than the democratic. (with a few very sore counter-examples).

Nor does it have terribly important practical implications. We will probably get more junk mail. I can’t think of anything else.

But… the idea of having to declare myself something I am not in order to have the right to vote.

I’m sorry if this is old news to many. It was new to me, and I am still not done stewing it in my head. I thought it might be worthwhile to share with others who have never encountered such homogeneous political climes.