Thursday, October 09, 2008

Ballot Access in our democracy

The Libertarian Party went before the Supreme Court of Texas to challenge the ballot access of both the Democrat and Republican parties for missing the filing deadline in that state. Only the Libertarian Party met the deadline that was established in Texas law. The Texas Supreme court dismissed the case.

In neighboring Louisiana, Libertarians missed the deadline for filing in that state due to hurricane Gustav. Filing by that date was impossible as the Louisiana Secretary of State's office was closed. A US District judge ruled that the Libertarian Party should appear on the ballot due to extreme circumstances brought on by the hurricane and the forced evacuation of the area. The state did not want to reprint any ballots so an appeal was made to the 5th Circuit of Appeals where they ruled that reprinting the ballots would cause confusion and delay.

Because of the office being closed due to the hurricane, Bob Barr and Wayne Allyn Root will not appear on the ballot in Louisiana. In Texas even though both Obama and McCain did not meet the filing deadline, they will remain on the ballot.

The Libertarian Party has spent millions of dollars and collected nearly one million signatures to get on what looks to be roughly 46 states ballots. (more than any other third party) Republicans and Democrats are not subject to these restrictions and have their primaries and conventions paid for by tax payers.

When you fill out your ballot and see someone with an (L) by their name you should now have some appreciation of what had to happen for their name to even be there. Something to consider while you sheepishly throw your vote away for McBama and...

...more debt
...more intervention abroad
...more intervention at home
...less freedom in your life


Don said...

Having spent my voting life in Massachusetts, Texas and New York, my vote has always been kind of a throw away, one way or another. I usually try to vote for the smaller parties, since the state's vote was always going to be a landslide.

As for your last points, I take comfort in thinking of it not as Me having less freedom in My life, but as You having less freedom in yours.
"First they came for the Communists, and I did not speak up....because it was great television!"

Tracy said...

Washington State has a bit of a multiple personality when it comes to politics. It went with Reagan twice and then voted for Dukakis. In recent years it has been mostly Democrat but has been known to elect many statewide Republicans. The Puget Sound area is very liberal but it also has a prominent evangelical Christian community. I still wouldn't call it diverse yet...we have graduated to such a distinction.

The swing vote here represents about 20% of the voters.

Your last comment is the most true for many people. I trust myself with so many freedoms, but it's that other guy that needs to be watched. Finally, I'm the other guy.