NO FREE RIDES IN 2018 ELECTION: There is one very important reason. Every candidate, particularly incumbents, should be forced to account for their actions and views. There is no better way than through election campaigns with persistent candidates who make their views known, contrast them with their opponents’ and force the opposing candidates to explain for themselves. While some may want to keep interest in elections low to keep voters away from the polls, contested campaigns generate participation and increase turnout. That is a good thing. It is one of the great strengths of American democracy and a virtue of regular and frequent elections. When nearly half the state legislature arrives in office without any accountability to the voters, it inevitably leads to excesses and abuses of power – the kinds that have been clogging our courts for the last seven years. In the United States, the most power is in the hands of each citizen through their vote. Don’t be relinquished to the sidelines. Don’t let others take your say away from you.