Rippy column: Time to decide, unaffiliates

Gregg Rippy

Ballots have landed in mailboxes across the county. If you have not already voted, now is the time to engage; especially if you are an unaffiliated voter.

Registered Republican and Democrat voters are likely to have already cast their ballots or plan to do so by election day, yet neither of the two political parties holds the majority in Garfield County. A whopping 40% of registered voters from Carbondale to Parachute identify as Unaffiliated.

People have the opinion that the unaffiliated voter is disengaged or disaffected. That could not be further from the truth. In fact, they are some of the most involved and informed citizenry. While it is true first-time registrants can as easily check the unaffiliated box as any other, those who want to opt out of their party affiliation must take the initiative with the State of Colorado.

Far from being disengaged, a majority of unaffiliated voters lean toward one party or the other. They choose not to identify with a political party because they do not identify with everything it represents. Those issues can run the gamut from social policies to foreign policy.

A common thread among unaffiliated voters across the political spectrum, however, is the current state of the economy — the worst since the 1970s. Nearly everyone in Garfield County is feeling the effects of inflation — at the grocery store, the gas pump, restaurants, in goods and services, and across a range of industries — everything costs more. Our dollars are buying less.

This year the outcome of elections will be decided by unaffiliated voters. If that is you, the question is: Are you happy with what has happened to the economy in the last two years? If not, vote to turn it around today. Drop off your ballot in a ballot box on or before Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 8.

If you have not received your ballot, check with the Garfield County Clerk & Recorder. To track your ballot, sign up for Ballottrax at

Unaffiliated voters, do not sit this one out. As the majority party in Garfield County, you will have a major impact on Nov. 8.

Gregg Rippy of Glenwood Springs chairs the Garfield County Republicans and is a former state representative for House District 57.

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