Be ready to vote come Primary Day May 8

It seems we Americans are dissatisfied with our representation in Washington, D.C., and our chance to do something about it is quickly approaching.

A new study by researchers at Stanford University and the University of California-Santa Barbara with the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research revealed that 85 percent of Americans, including 89 percent of Democrats and 82 percent of Republicans, are disappointed in the job Congress is doing. About 80 percent of those who disapprove say members of Congress are listening to the wrong people.

The study – conducted in 2015 and 2017 – showed that only about 20 percent of those involved believe Congress represents the interests of constituents. Instead, people tend to believe that special interests, campaign donors, lobbyists and the wealthy have too much influence in Congress. The American people also believe that is exactly the opposite of the way Congress should function, according to the study.

While a large majority of Americans disapprove of Congress as a whole, people are far more likely to approve of their own senator or congressman. Such may be the case here in Eastern Ohio, where Republican U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson won re-election with 70 percent of the vote in 2016. This year he faces a challenge from Republican Robert Blazek in the primary. The winner of that contest will face the victor in the Democratic primary, a race between Werner Lange and Shawna Roberts.

In November, voters will cast ballots for every House seat and for 34 member of the Senate. That general election and the May primary leading up to it give Americans the opportunity to make a change in Congress. But, in order to do so, people must participate in the process.

The primary election is slated for May 8. Polls will be open from 6:30 a.m. that day until 7:30 p.m. In order to cast a ballot in the primary, you must be registered to vote. For anyone who is not already registered, the deadline to do so is April 9. If you do not know if you are registered, go to the Ohio secretary of state’s website at and follow the instructions there.

We urge all eligible adults to get registered and to vote. That is the American way to make a difference.