It’s time to sign candidates’ petitions

To the editor:

Today, Tuesday, March 6, petitions go out for the seven Democratic candidates running for Congress in our Congressional District 21. The petitioning ends Thursday, April 12. The candidates are Patrick Nelson, Don Boyajian, Tedra Cobb, Katie Wilson, Emily Martz, David Mastrianni and Dylan Ratigan. These seven candidates must each gather about 3,000 signatures from fellow registered Democrats to be on the Democratic primary ballot June 26.

Three thousand times seven is a lot of signatures. This means that many of the registered Democrats will be receiving telephone calls or home visits … or both. I’m asking that the public be patient and see this as an opportunity to be involved in our democratic process.

All candidates for office must get petitions signed to be on a ballot. That’s how our democracy works. No matter what the party or if a candidate chooses to run without a party affiliation, to get on the ballot in an election, a certain amount of signatures must be collected in a certain way prescribed by election law. Yes, write-ins are allowed. But the surest way to get elected is through petitioning to be on the ballot.

Petitioning is a way for citizens to get to know the people who have chosen to serve our villages, towns, county, state and country. It is a time when we can ask the candidates and their volunteers or staff questions and tell them our concerns. It is up close and personal. We are saying to the candidate that we give our signature so that they can be on the ballot. It is a show of support for the effort that they are giving us.

Some people are afraid to sign because they feel that they are showing their vote. When you sign a petition you are not required to vote for that candidate. This is just the beginning of the real campaign. It is at this time that the voters can start really interacting with the electoral process. The actual vote for any candidate is in the privacy of the voting booth or absentee ballot.

The most important part of this whole process is VOTING. People have fought for the privilege to be able to pick their own candidate to represent them in governing their village, town, county, state or country.

So please be patient with our democracy. Listen to the candidates and their representatives. Sign the petition of the candidate you wish to be on the ballot. YOU CAN ONLY SIGN THE PETITION OF YOUR PARTY. YOU CAN ONLY SIGN ONE PETITION. But you can listen, read and learn what each candidate stands for. This is how you are best represented in your government.


Sue Abbott-Jones

Saranac Lake