VOTING: “2nd Amendment” & free elections

Photo by Tony Webster, WikiMedia

Photo by Tony Webster, WikiMedia

 

OPEN PRIMARIES 

Our ability to choose candidates in New York State (and a minority of other states) is restricted by two dominant political parties.  If rules prevent voters from crossing party lines to cast a ballot for a preferred candidate, the nominating process is closed, and it is no longer a free election.  

The politicians in this state have stolen the voting franchise so they can control the electorate, disallowing maverick-upstart candidates. ¬†(The US Constitution makes no mention of political parties, so state politicians designed it in their own favor.) ¬†A majority of states allow voters to choose whichever primary contest offers greater interest. ¬†Why is ours closed?‚Äď ¬†Because two bully parties want to know where you store your ballot [your affiliation]! ¬†Think Second Amendment: ¬†do you want the gov’t to know where your affiliation [your ballot] resides? ¬†It’s more useful than our guns, when things are normal. ¬†(Or have you forgotten the experience in Norway during WW2, of registered small arms being seized by invading forces.) ¬†Like guns, ballots can get “seized” too; and so they have in states with closed primaries.

Justice Felix Frankfurter said “We are in danger of forgetting that the Bill of Rights reflects experience with police excesses. It is not only under Nazi rule that police excesses are inimical to freedom. It is easy to make light of insistence on scrupulous regard for the safeguards of civil liberties when invoked on behalf of the unworthy. It is too easy. History bears testimony that by such disregard are the rights of liberty extinguished, heedlessly at first, then stealthily, and brazenly in the end. ¬†

Adolf Hitler said “The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subjugated races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subjugated races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing. ”¬† ¬†

¬ŅWhether or not you favor gun control, can you defend the politicians in this state who have confiscated your ballot? ¬† When the gov’t knows where your party affiliation resides, it’s easy for parties to gerrymander, resulting in districts designed to be almost solidly R or D, by agreement of both parties, making it nearly impossible to defeat an incumbent. ¬†That’s how the parties control us. ¬†The result: ¬†career politicians are rarely removed from office; and we suffer dictatorial anointing of who gets to run for office. ¬†(Just look at the obstacles put up by DNC to stifle Bernie Sanders!)

Those voters registered “independent” are in even worse shape in NY: ¬†the Independence Party¬†has no voice in nominating or choosing those who run in main parties in NY. ¬†Independent voters have abandoned their ability to nominate a candidate in what is arguably a more important balloting process ‚ÄĒ the primary, where potential office seekers are blessed-by and beholden-to party bosses; upstarts are scorned and obstructed.
    
In New York, voters tolerate this, although there is an effort to lobby for¬†repeal of closed primaries¬† which you could sign. ¬†We voters deserve what we got. ¬†The pol’s knew we were asleep, and stole our voting franchise. ¬†What’s even worse: ¬†voters who want to switch parties to cast a ballot in a more interesting primary have to do so long before a contest becomes exciting. ¬†The cutoff date to switch was October 25, for an April primary! ¬†That’s designed by them to prevent people from exercising their choice in a timely fashion, as a race heats up. ¬†Yep, more control by the pro’s. Not a free election!
Don’t New Yorkers deserve open primaries? ¬†We must hide our affiliation! ¬†It’s time to take back the electoral process. ¬†We, the people¬†of NYS want our voting power restored to full clout, by becoming a state with Open Primaries. We want a truly independent ability to opt out of party affiliation, without surrendering our ability to vote in a primary of our choice. ¬†Our party affiliation must be invisible to government! ¬†That’s why it’s called a Secret Ballot ‚ÄĒ but it’s not secret, if THEY know the address of your affiliation. ¬†And it’s not a free election if you can’t easily change affiliation to vote in the primary of your choice. ¬†Take back the power to choose! ¬†Demand an open primary for NY! (We need a revolution in balloting.)
(I would welcome learning of organized efforts in NY to press this issue.)