Firstly, there are only two primaries for the greater Dover area Dover and they are the Democratic primary and the Republican primary for the crowded race in the Delaware House of Representatives 32nd District. People need to keep in mind a few things, such as primaries being restricted to registered Democrats and Republicans, not Independents and the like. Also, many voters have new polling places thanks to reapportionment.
1 Know the races
First off, there are only two primaries on Sept. 11 in greater Dover and they are the Democratic primary and the Republican primary for the crowded race in the Delaware House of Representatives 32nd District.
Democrats Andria Bennett and Dr. William McGlumphy are vying for the right to face the winner of the Republican Primary – Ellis Parrott or Will McVey.
McGlumphy, 65, is a retired teacher and principal from the Capital School District and a retired Dover city councilman. Bennett, 41, the wife of retiring Rep. Brad Bennett (D-Dover), is a legislative aide. Parrott, 65, is a retired Delaware Justice of the Peace Court judge. McVay, 28, is a software engineer.
2 Recap of where the candidates stand
In the Democratic race, McGlumphy wants to improve education by continuing the state testing program, investing in early childhood programs for at risk 3-year-olds and hiring the best teachers who are dually certified in elementary education and special education. And he wants government to create a business-friendly climate that includes improving infrastructure and fostering a climate in which small businesses can start up and create jobs.
Bennett believes helping small businesses thrive is the key to economic development because they comprise 94 percent of all Delaware businesses and they employ more than 48 percent of Delaware's workforce. She also believes the state legislature needs to support local and state authorities as they seek to make residents and streets safe, particularly for vulnerable seniors.
In the Republican race, Parrott is focused on creating jobs by making the economic atmosphere more conducive to small businesses with lower gross receipts tax, and he wants to reduce taxes for middle class families. He also wants to reform education by giving parents more control of where their tax money goes in education and increasing parental involvement in public schools.
McVay believes more jobs will be created by working to get government out of the way of progress by ending the practice of the federal and state government using taxpayers' money to give loan guarantees, tax write-offs and other subsidies to "well connected businesses in politically popular industries." As for education, he believes the state needs to free itself of unfunded, federal mandates and the unnecessary bureaucracy in place for all the red tape involved with public education.
3 Local primaries will be busy
Primaries traditionally draw lighter turnouts compared to the General Election, but local races and issues tend to bring people out, said Joyce Wright, director of the Department of Elections for Kent County. "The 11th and 32nd representative districts and the 18th senatorial district will bring out more people," Wright said.
4 Know your party
At every primary, someone tries to vote for a party in which he does not belong to, Wright said. "It's definitely going to happen; it always does," she said. Some states may allow that, but Delaware does not. "And we've already had somebody call who was a Republican who asked if he could vote in the Democratic primary."
5 Know your polling place in light of reapportionment
People will inevitably go to the wrong polling place, most likely the place they usually vote — only to find out they have been assigned a new polling place thanks to the reapportionment required within a few years of the U.S. Census, Wright said.
"I ask them if they got their polling card and they say, 'Yeah, but I already had one and I pitched it.'"
Kent County saw 10,000 new voters come onto the rolls, and the number of voting districts increased from 67 to 89, Wright said. And the Department of Elections mailed out new polling locations to registered voters. If they lost that card and do not know where to go, they must call 739-4498 or go to the website, electionskc.delaware.gov.
"We've been giving out information left and right lately," she said. "I really think Independents [showing up] and people at the wrong polling places are going to be the big problems on the primary."