Photo by Tony Webster, Wikimedia Commons

SOME folks worry about the gov’t knowing where our guns reside.  Perhaps more importantly,  when the gov’t knows where your ballot — your party affiliation — resides, it’s no longer a SECRET BALLOT; and  it’s easy for parties to gerrymander, resulting in districts designed to be almost solidly R or D, by COLLUSION of both main parties, making it nearly impossible for voters to defeat an incumbent. That’s how the parties control us. The result :  career politicians are rarely removed from office, unless caught with pants down (or maybe not!) — and we suffer dictatorial anointing (by party bosses) of who gets to run for office.

Example:  those voters registered “independent” are in even worse shape in NY: the Independence Party has virtually no voice in nominating or choosing those who run in the main parties in NY. So, “independent” voters have abandoned their ability to nominate a candidate in what is arguably a more important balloting — the primaries — where potential office seekers are blessed-by and beholden-to party bosses.  Upstarts are scorned and obstructed by the parties, unless they are “players”. Would-be candidates must kiss the ring of the bosses.  Our Founders, especially Washington, Hamilton, and Jefferson, were very wary of “party spirit” (factionalism) which might divide the public, as discussed in President Washington’s farewell address.

In New York, voters tolerate this, although there is an effort to lobby for repeal of closed primaries which you could sign. We voters deserved what we got. (“He who snoozes loses.)   The pol’s knew we were asleep, and stole our voting franchise, so they could control the game!  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. Recently, a 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 all Americans deserve open primaries? (Currently only 19 US states have open primaries!) We must work to hide our affiliation. It’s time to take back the electoral process. We, the people want our voting power restored to full clout, by becoming states with Open Primaries. We want a truly independent ability to opt out of party affiliation, becoming undeclared, 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 — 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, or whatever state denies your independence to choose! (We need a revolution in balloting.) And it should include “ranked choice voting” so we are not resigned to “voting against” a candidate for fear of wasting a ballot on a very talented someone who “can’t possibly win”.