Residents: Voters Deserve Choices
Petition candidates' efforts finding strong support
Supporter of efforts by candidates removed from the primary to become petition candidates say that voters deserve more choices.
Pattie Jakubowski was in front of the polling place at St. Matthias Lutheran Church in Easley and had been there since 7am collecting signatures for Chris Bowers, Stan Whitten and Rex Rice.
She said response had been good so far.
“Most people do want the choice, so they’re signing,” Jakubowski said. “I’m not pressuring anyone. If you want to sign it, that’s great, if not, that’s your choice. But most people do want to sign it. “
“Sometimes new blood is better,” Jakubowski said. “New blood is a really good thing. New, fresh ideas. I know Chris personally and I can’t say enough good about him. He’s really for the people. I think that’s what we need.”
She said the ballot controversy, with candidates get tossed off ballots in the state even just days before the primary, “stinks.”
“I wouldn’t be out here if I thought it was fair,” Jakubowski said. “Everybody should have the right to be on the ballot. Even you’re late, so what? So you’re a day or two late.
“It’s making it harder for people to run,” she continued. “And you need people to run because eventually (incumbents) are going to be unable to do it. You need fresh people. You need fresh ideas. I believe in choice. That’s what people are supposed to have, is choice. And they’re not getting a lot of choice right now. “
Jimmy Stathos paused after voting to sign the petitions.
Stathos said authorities should investigate thoroughly when races start, instead of waiting until the last minute to declare a candidate is ineligible to run.
Candidates an their supporters have put a lot of time and effort and money into the races, Stathos said.
“There should be a little better organization when they start with, when you see the names individually, so that they can have a fair chance – and time to fight it,” Stathos said. “That’s a little rough. I can understand that if they’re not eligible, that’s what has to happen. You have to follow the rules.
“But still, I don’t think it’s fair for these people,” he continued. “They put in in January, and here we are it’s a week before, you’re running with your high hopes and spending your money and your time and somebody tells you not eligible. I think that’s a little unfair.”
Poll Clerk Mary Ann Turner said turnout at St. Matthias had been steady. More than 100 people had cast their ballot when she spoke to Patch around 1:30 this afternoon.
“We’ve had people all morning,” Turner said.
She said some voters have had questions about the ballots.
“Most people are surprised that it’s one person on each primary,” Turner said. “It’s just Sheriff on one and U.S. House of Representatives on the other, depending one which one you’re voting in.”
She said she was surprised not to have people already waiting when the polls opened at 7am.
“Usually, I’ll have 5, 6, 7 people already lined up people before seven o’clock,” Turner said. “But I guess most people felt they didn’t have to hurry.”