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Kevin Woster

Kevin Woster

As you might recall, I recently changed my voter registration back to Republican. And I’m happy to report that I haven’t yet been evicted from my home.

My wife if a devout-but-patient Democrat, willing to ignore my serial infidelities in party registration over the years in hopes that one day I will become the man she hopes I can be: An equally faithful Democrat and, more importantly, one who can fix a broken toilet and repair the deranged wheel on the lawn mower.

In my defense there, I duct taped the lawn mower wheel tightly enough to finish cutting the backyard. Now I’ll call some guy who can actually fix the thing, maybe without duct tape.

I also fixed the broken toilet — or, OK, actually, I called some guy to come fix it. And he did, in about three minutes with a $3 part, before handing me a bill for $95.

The faithful Democrat in charge of our home finances showed a hint of Republican budget hawk over that, especially since she figured — with some basis, since the only tool box in the house is hers — that she could have fixed it herself if she hadn’t been occupied by that full-time-job thing.

But enough of the negatives. I’m feeling positive about the June 5 primary election now that I’ve switched parties. I actually have some choices to make in the primary races for governor and the state’s only U.S. House seat.

And as re-activated member of the Republic Party, I’m happy to report that I’m not alone in my primary season unfaithfulness. As usual, elections workers in the Pennington County Auditor’s Office are assisting seasonal switch-hitters in changing their party registration before the May 21 deadline.

“People do it all the time for primaries,” says county Elections Supervisor Lori Severson. “They have someone on another party ballot they want to vote for. So as long as they get it in before deadline, they can make the change, vote the ballot they want and after the election change back.”

I’ll probably do that, voting Republican in the primary then changing my party affiliation back where it should be for any self-respecting member of the mainstream media: the Party of the People’s Republic of Secular Humanist Liberalism.

Wait, don’t tweet that. I’m kidding. But I’m not kidding about changing my registration, something you might want to consider if you’re a Democrat or independent — who can vote in Democratic primaries — with a hankering to vote but no actual primary opponents from which to choose.

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I want to choose between Marty Jackley and Kristi Noem in the governor’s race and between Dusty Johnson, Shantel Krebs and Neal Tapio in the U.S. House election. As I consider who who should go on to the general election, I’m going to lean toward the candidate who has used the term “fake news” the least.

That means waiting for Election Day, just to be sure. And that’s fine. I’m not an early voter. I’m usually trying to decide on one candidate or issue or another right up to the end. But others like to make their choices early, especially, it seems, this spring.

With 1,700 votes cast by last Wednesday, early voting in the county was 700 ahead of the 2016 primary and about 1,000 ahead of 2014. It’s partly the high-profile candidate races. But Severson said it’s mostly the vote on whether to build a new civic center arena.

Which, of course, has nothing to do with politics. Wait, don’t tweet that. I’m really kidding there.

Kevin Woster writes a blog and offers radio commentary for South Dakota Public Broadcasting. He can be reached by emailing

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