The Primary Election: Legislative Edition


knowledgeispower

Earlier this week, we shared information on what a Primary Election is, the candidates, and where to vote.  It was a long blog post, but a crucial blog post.  The Primary Election is confusing and easily overlooked, but Homes for Families aims to rectify this by speaking of its importance, sharing when it is and clarifying who the candidates are. In the previous blog post, it was all about the new administration- Governor, LG, Attorney General, Secretary, Treasurer and Auditor.

Today, it is all about the legislative side of things: Who is running in your district and why that matters.

Because the ballots are different for every district, we point you to the website: http://www.wheredoivotema.com so you can preview them.

Adding in your address will bring you to a page that shows you your voting location and who your current elected officials are. This page also brings you to a choice: a Democratic Ballot or a Republican Ballot. Even if you are registered as Independent, you have to choose one of these party designations for the purpose of the Primary Election.

This ballot shows you the people running for the following legislative seats in your district:

Senator in Congress: Represents Massachusetts on a national level (6 year term) at the Capital in Washington, DC. Our two Senators in Congress are Ed Markey (D) and Elizabeth Warren (D).  Senator Markey is up for re-election.  He is not facing a democratic challenger.  There is one Republican running against him.  Each ballot, therefore, has one candidate listed.

Representative in Congress: Represents a smaller Massachusetts district at the Federal Government level (2 year term).  MA has 9 Representatives in Congress, all of them are Democrats, and all are up for re-election. Five are running unopposed.  Representative Clark and Representative Tierney are facing challengers within the Democratic Party so will have opponents listed on the primary ballots.

Councilor: Authorizes public improvements and expenditures, adopts regulations and ordinances, levies taxes, controls the finances and property taxes of the City, and performs many related legislative tasks.

State Senator:  The Senate is comprised of 40 members, with each Senator elected to represent a district consisting of approximately 159,000 people. As required by the Massachusetts Constitution, the Senate meets every 72 hours, year-round in either formal or informal session to consider legislation. Senators serve two-year terms which are not limited. The State Senators are your voice on Beacon Hill and are a part of determining funding levels and program rules for the state programs that we all depend on.  Click here for more information on the State Senate.

State Representative:  The Massachusetts House of Representatives is comprised of 160 members, each representing a district of approximately 40,000 people. As required by the Massachusetts Constitution, the House meets every 72 hours, year-round in either formal or informal session to consider legislation. Representatives serve two-year terms which are not limited. State Representatives also are a part of determining funding levels and policies for state programs. Click here for more information on the State House of Representatives.

District Attorney: District attorneys serve as the prosecutors representing the government in criminal trials. Depending on the jurisdiction and level of government, district attorneys are also known as county attorneys, county prosecutors, state attorneys, crown prosecutors, crown counsel or procurator fiscal.

Register of Probate registers of probate are administrative officials managing cases involving divorce, child custody, and other family issues.

Sherriff: Their role in county government is typically defined in legal statutes, but they will usually have the power to arrest and detain suspects, investigate crimes, and patrol the county. The legal system within a county may also rely greatly on their management and leadership.

Before going to vote, it is crucial that you know who you are voting for, and why. Although this election doesn’t bring a new U.S. President, it brings us the policy makers who are closest to your community, and the policy makers representing the problems that are closest to you.  It is SO important that the person elected reflects the community’s priorities, or else the point of having this representation is lost.

This country was founded on the principle of representation and it is our civic right and responsibility to take advantage of that and control who is representing our communities and state.

For more information, use these helpful links:

Where Do I Vote MA– to find out where your voting poll is and who your elected officials are

Ballotopedia – for a comprehensive list of the election season happenings

Rock The Vote – a list of all things MA election

 

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