As filing continues for the March Primary Election I've been receiving phone calls or e-mails asking about next year's elections. There will be a bunch of elections and every one is unique.

In March the Democrats and Republicans will hold their respect primary elections. Primary elections differ from General Elections in that the members of a political party select their representative to the General Election. The important issue is "members of a political party".

As we begin a new election cycle the two political parties must determine who from their party will run in the General Election. It is not an easy decision because there are many qualified individuals who wish to serve in public office. The method we currently use to make this choice is a primary election, a first election, to allow "members" of the party an opportunity to narrow the field.

Now all registered voters are eligible to participate in the primary elections. Voter registration rolls do not assign party affiliation. Only participation in the primary election (or primary runoff) aligns an individual with a specific party.

The tickler here is you may vote only in one party's election process (primary or runoff). This means you must decide before you go to the polls whether you wish to support Democratic or Republican candidates.

Sometimes this doesn't seem very fair because there are candidates in both parties who deserve our support. But you cannot vote for candidates of a party if you are affiliating with an opposing party. As much as we may want to straddle the fence, voting is making a choice.

There still are several other elections in 2010 including those in May and the General Election in November. We'll get into those in another blog.