Thursday, April 24, 2008

Indiana Primary Dilemma

OK, so it's no dilemma for those who refrain from participating in Primary Elections on the basis of these elections essentially being the private business of the political parties, and not a genuine public function. The basis for this position in some areas?

All Indiana primaries are closed primaries. This means you have to choose either a Democratic or Republican ballot. For instance, there is no Libertarian ballot. There is no independent or non-partisan ballot. The "offices" being voted on include Precinct Committeeman and Delegate to the Party Convention. Primary info from the Secretary of State's office.

But, some areas will have non-partisan school board races, and fewer still will have local issues. If you object to our Primaries on the basis of it being publicly funded private function, be certain that these two items are not on your ballot before resolutely staying home. If these are on your ballot, and you don't care to vote in the D or R Primary, ask for "a school board ballot".

Normally, my primary voting goes like this: I walk into the polling place. I find my precinct station. I ask the volunteer if there is a Libertarian ballot knowing full well that there isn't. When the volunteer advises me that there is only a Democratic or Republican ballot, I say 'thank you,' I sign the book, and I leave. The volunteer says, 'Don't you want to vote?' and I reply, 'I just did in the only way I can that represents my views'.

Some Libertarians will face a different dilemma this year, because they want to cast a vote for Ron Paul- the only Primary candidate remotely close to representing our views. A problem arises for those who take the letter of the law seriously. The law reads:
IC 3-10-1-6Eligible voters
Sec. 6. A voter may vote at a primary election:
(1) if the voter, at the last general election, voted for a majority of the regular nominees of the political party holding the primary election; or
(2) if the voter did not vote at the last general election, but intends to vote at the next general election for a majority of the regular nominees of the political party holding the primary election;as long as the voter was registered as a voter at the last general election or has registered since then.
As added by P.L.5-1986, SEC.6.

There is great temptation for many Libertarians to vote in the Republican Primary. It isn't because they are eager to cast votes for a slate of Republicans in the November General Election. It is so they can cast a vote for Ron Paul- the only Primary candidate remotely close to our views.

Chances are great that the partisan Libertarians don't qualify to take a partisan D or R Primary Ballot, for either or both of the clauses found in the law above.

Come November, most Libertarians are going to want to cast votes for as many Libertarians as are on the ballot, perhaps one or two Democrats, one or two Republicans, and more likely, have a whole bunch of blanks because you can't vote None Of The Above.

As for me, I will not cross over and take a Republican ballot. I did support Ron Paul's campaign and wish him well, but the coronation of McCain is complete, and my one vote in favor of Paul has no meaning. In fact, it would be worse. It would signal a willingness to vote Republican, which I am utterly unwilling to do. With the marginalization of Paul, the Republican Party has further reinforced its disinterest in general liberty and limited government, so I'm not going to give them my vote, only because I think Democrats are slightly worse. I'll vote as I always have- go in, sign the book, leave.

Side note: Did you know that Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney are still on the Indiana Primary Ballot? It's true. Link.

8 comments:

Brooke said...

I'm surprised you're leaving Mike Gravel out here.

Michael said...

Why shouldn't he leave Gravel out? Gravel's not a Libertarian (big or little L) and he is certainly not going to get the nomination. There are vastly better candidates out there who are actually libertarians.

Endiana.com said...

(Not related to post.)

Your blog has been included on the agregate web reader for Indiana Libertarian blogs at:

http://www.lpinfeed.blogspot.com/

Wainstead said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike Kole said...

Well, Mike Gravel is not, to my knowledge, on the Indiana ballot. I'll have to see if he has since been added.

I'll say this for Gravel, though. Based upon what he had to say at the Indiana Libertarian convention, he at least knows enough about Libertarian ideals to promote them credibly. I was not expecting much of him, based on a long life as a Democratic Senator, but he clearly has done his homework. He is clear about his position on military adventurism, and I liked it.

Mike Kole said...

Kenn- thanks for the add!

Fr. Fozy Bear said...

Hey Mike,

Again as I said previously on my personal blog it was a pleasure to meet and talk with you during the convention last weekend.

Your perspective on and practice concerning the primary issues is very admirable. I also made a post on the LPAC blog about this issue with a slightly different, local view point: http://allencountylp.blogspot.com/2008/05/local-politics-part-one-your-questions.html.

BTW, a promise is a promise. Even though I am running behind - I am a man of my word! Here is the link to Dr. Thomas Keister's (LP Floyd County) BlogTalk Radio Show Probably Uncalled For http://www.blogtalkradio.com/probablyuncalledfor

Blessings and Peace,
+Kenneth

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