Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Primary Elections For Indiana Libertarians

I have documented at some length about my manner of 'voting' in Indiana's primary elections, wherein I would go to my precinct, sign the book, and walk out. This caused some amusing confusion among election workers, as they couldn't fathom how I didn't want either an R or D ticket.

Ok, in my precinct, they really couldn't fathom how I didn't want a Republican ticket.

I would ask for the non-partisan school board ballot. If there was none, I signed the book and left. If there was one, I would vote accordingly.

No more. The non-partisan school board elections have been shifted from the primary to the general election this year. Municipal issues will also be added to the general election ballot. There is no possible non-partisan voting at the primaries. I'm not complaining. I called for this back in 2006, in the hopes that the school board elections would see more voters, and the private partisan business nature of the primaries would be laid bare and eventually lead to their elimination

I found out about the changes when I went to vote early. It dawned on me that I would be out West on primary election day, so I went to my county seat of Noblesville to do my usual 'sign the book and run' voting. There was the usual confusion at my insistence that I was neither an R or D. Couldn't I just sign the book and go? No- the books aren't at the county for the early voting.

In Hamilton County, Kathy Richardson is the Elections Administrator, and also a member of the Indiana House. I went over to her office to confirm that there really was nothing for me this time around. She confirmed it. We discussed the perjury laws associated with the process, and in her opinion, it would be a perjury this year for one to sign the book and walk out, acknowledging that I used to do this in the past, and it was not an act of perjury then.

I looked at the Secretary of State's website, and found a lengthy pdf file with everything anyone wanted to know about the primary elections- except the bit about the non-partisan school board races being moved to the general election. It takes to Pg 20 before you even get to who is being voted upon.

More than ever now, the primary elections are the private business of the Republican and Democratic Parties, being held at public expense. I object to this, and am proud that the Libertarian Party nominates its candidates at conventions that it funds itself, without tax dollars.

I've heard some discussion about the Rs & Ds doing likewise, with the inevitable rejoinder that it would lead to party insiders picking the candidates.

Got news for you. In 2010, primary turnout in Indiana was only 21%. The people going to the primaries to pull a partisan ballot are largely party insiders. Certainly, the parties themselves treat primary voters that way. If you vote for the same party 3 primaries in a row, never wonder why that party and its candidates hit you up with regularity in their fundraising efforts. The primary voter rolls are where they grab those names from.

Still, a worthy debate to be had. In the meantime, no voting for partisan Libertarians to do.

1 comment:

Doug said...

Because the people who benefit from the current process control whether it is changed, I don't see change happening, but. . .

On my drive into work yesterday, I got to wondering whether a non-partisan primary would be workable and good policy; basically just have it be a process whereby the top 2 or 3 or 4 candidates for a given position (assuming there were that many) would move on to the general election.

I suppose this is a little like run-off voting.