Write on Voter; Right ON!
August 1, 2018 | View PDF
The primary runoff is in the record books with over 87% percent of registered voters not participating in party elections they funded, some saying in fear of making an error for actual or accused ‘crossover voting.’ This may be the duopoly’s desired result fueling the irony of claiming to want increased voter participation at the same enacting more impediments toward this end. The obvious answer is to prohibit taxpayers from paying for these party politics. If a party wants to use our public apparatus for determining their candidates on general election ballots (taxpayers ARE obliged to provide) then pay the user fee. Otherwise, since taxpayers pay for BOTH primaries (which have become party fundraisers) voters have a 1st Amendment right to participate in both. Sadly, no one expects just outcomes of this sort when jurists like Myron Thompson consistently fail to defend our civil rights in Alabama.
June 5th primary results were similarly dismal with 74% not participating even with a more complete slate of candidates to determine. While many are mesmerised by recent news reports and DC hearings to address foreign tampering in our elections (as we’ve done to other nations) slowly more good folks understand our system is indeed rigged and it is an ‘inside job.’ To be listed on the primary ballot one must fundraise for the duopoly parties - e.g., a Congressional seat currently requires $3,480 to place a name on the ballot. Note this $3,480 is NOT submitted to the Alabama State Treasury to offset expenses to make these partisan determinations. The low turnout, low information conveyed, hyper-gerrymandered election results are easier for extremists to manipulate and rig. So Trump ‘clears the field’ to use his words for candidate Clinton or he wins; heads he wins/tails he doesn’t lose. Either way the oligarchs (of the same deleterious spirit as oligarchs across the globe) carry the day! Entertaining to watch Republican sycophants fall into line trying to be the Trumpiest for this long time NY Democrat - esp. here in the Heart of Dixie. The ‘Pavlov Trump’ ads are as predictable as the fear mongering Clinton/Obama ads of old.
Some found challengers (I’ve cited Thomas Casson’s experience as a Republican candidate) don’t get a ‘fair shake’ from the party and its operatives in the process. Casson said, “I fell for the trick in 2014. In 2018 I attempted taking on the system again experiencing some of the most restrictive ballot access laws in the country. I spent numerous hours away from my family trying collect the nearly 5,000 signatures to gain ballot access. People told me it would be easy. Little do they know how much folks are turned off from the whole political process. I collected 2500 signatures and submitted many to the Secretary of State’s office just to have them disqualify a minimum of 20% of those collected.” Even with only 2,000 perfectly verified signatures, it would be enough to get on the ballot in most States. As long time readers may recall, I’ve advocated EVERY candidate (regardless of party status or independent) paying their marginal cost to be on the general election ballot - i.e., statewide races will be more than a small local race -- instead of candidates wasting effort, money and time gathering signatures our Sec. of State then must waste effort, taxpayer money and time verifying.
Candidate Casson further noted, “Only 8-15% of people approve of Congress yet they’re reelected at a 90% rate. So what now? In the 3rd Congressional District 16 year GOP incumbent and Swamp creature darling Mike Rogers is seeking another term. I remember when GOP talked the talk about outsiders and term limits. On the democratic side former Miss America Mallory Hagan is nominee. People have already dubbed the race ‘Beauty and the Beast.’ I know voters can’t wait for Rogers to get as close as possible to President Trump and the counter attacks from Hagan. Voters will also be treated to Rogers morphing Ms. Hagan into Nancy Pelosi. Rogers has refused any debates so there will be plenty of slick TV commercials on both sides.” I’m guessing most of my readers are similarly weary of the extremists’ campaign playbook feeding the bipolar result destroying our State and nation.
Pragmatists understand things will not change until voters rise up and force at least one of the duopoly parties to change. Voting for the lesser of two evils is what has ‘progressed’ us into the current mess. Casson asserted, “Politicos, pollsters, and the media all like things the way they are. No hard work on their part. If there is going to be a Swamp draining that people want, the angry and apathetic 75% are going to have to put forth some effort. I’m not talking about major work though. It’s time to ‘Make the Pen Great Again.’ We the People can hack this broken system by writing someone for races where there are no good choices. We don’t have to rely on super wealthy people and PACs to get involved and buy the system. I legally changed my name to Thomas Sick of DC Casson. Extreme maybe but it reflects what desperate times we are in. And by the way a name change is cheap! Here’s the strategy but please don’t tell everyone, we don’t want to tip off the establishment. Pens are cheap to buy but they need to say “Write in or Vote SickofDC.” The pens won’t be provided by any Campaign or PAC. It’s up to regular people that are fed up to take on the system. Citizens purchase pens and hand them out. Trust that the newly hacked system will get folks back engaged and that change can happen. The people of Alabama are much better than the two choices we are usually given. Let the games begin and let’s have fun making the changes that are desperately needed.”
The time may be ripe for Casson’s MPGA (Make the Pen Great Again) strategy. Some of the runoff results were promising. Jeremy "Mr. EYG" Gray beat the old machine candidate in House Dist. 83 and shows promise to not be as easily captured if/when elected. Will Ainsworth's Lt. Gov. win signaled further hope those few who had the courage early on to make a stand against Felon Hubbard, et al will be further rewarded at the polls. Rick Pate’s Ag Commissioner win also signals the days of old guard/machine candidates (Bright, Dial, Holmes, Knight, et al types) are losing ground. On the other hand, the results left some painfully poor duopoly choices or even worse only ONE/unopposed candidate in the November general election.
A local illustration from Lee County is the District 5 County Commissioner race. The best ‘general welfare’ pic of the four candidates in the primary came in a close third (blocked from the run-off) because the Fuller/Hubbard machine candidate and the big govt. Democrat machine candidate took the top two slots. Does it really matter to the average, productive citizen which special interest
machine candidate won? Unopposed in the November election (doubtful, under these circumstances, Sec. Merrill will eliminate this general election race with only one party candidate as he’s done in the past to install Rep. Lovvorn) the Fuller/Hubbard machine candidate wins. The lone voice against a corrupt county commission is silenced. Will the incumbent, who unsuccessfully ran for another race (very competitive due to the passing of Rep. Bandy) mount a serious write-in campaign? This account will sound familiar at the Statewide level to those who followed the AG election. Will Alice Martin mount a write-in campaign to increase voter participation when both duopoly AG candidates have made it clear they’ll not discipline corruption in our State?
To those concerned about the so-called ‘sore loser’ law, Sec. Merrill sent a press release out driven by great interest in write-ins for the Dec. 2017 US Senate Jones v. Moore special election. Write-ins beat the margin of victory which could have impacted the final result. Many saw Troy King’s numbers plummet when touting the endorsement of Moore, who’d shown non-duopoly voters are not a fan on Dec. 12th. Merrill’s release was intended to “provide much needed information” w.r.t. proper procedures for casting a “write-in” vote. Sec. Merrill asked folks to please share their press release information with the public to eliminate confusion on that Election Day submitted as follows:
“When the candidate you would like to vote for is not listed on the ballot, you may vote for that person by writing his or her name in the blank “write-in” box on the ballot. Each contest on the ballot has a “write-in” box. You must also shade in the circle next to that “write-in” box to ensure your vote is tabulated properly. In the event that the voter selects the “straight-party” option they may still “write-in” a candidate for any race they choose in the blank area designated for “write-ins”. Each vote for a “write-in” candidate will override the “straight-party” vote only for the race with the “write-in” area filled in.
It is important to be familiar with the spelling of the name of the candidate for whom you intend to vote. In the event that the candidate’s name is slightly misspelled, it must be close enough that the voter’s intention can be reasonably determined upon review. The voter must use a full last name, but initials are acceptable for first and middle names.
All votes for “write-in” candidates will be counted in the event that the candidate is qualified to hold the office and not a fictional character. It is also required that the “write-in” vote be hand-written. Additionally, there are no existing stipulations that prohibit a candidate from being elected despite having unsuccessfully run for a party’s nomination, which would normally apply due to Alabama’s sore loser law.”
So there you have it - no sore loser problems if the law is followed. If successful, I forecast the next step by our duopoly in Montgomery will be to further impede our First Amendment Right to the ballot by prohibiting write-in votes, aided and abetted by a jurist like Myron Thompson who’s shown such great disregard for our civil rights these past four decades. I'm hoping Becky Gerritson will show similar effort/wisdom as Candidate Casson to provide an outlet for voters who have foolishly stayed home/fail to participate with poor choices on the general election ballot (fed up with the duopoly in these Congressional races) to be counted at the polls. Start beating the margin victory and the duopoly loser will take notice. Sadly our low turnout (12.7% in this runoff), ballot restricted, hyper-gerrymandered, etc. bipolar results are communicating increasing LESS information - esp. when it offers two poor choices like McCain/Obama, Clinton/Trump, etc. to non-duopoly party voters.
Postscript: much correspondence on all the ineligibles in Alabama State School Board races. I’ve heard nothing from Sec. Merrill nor if efforts in the courts are moving forward to not certify an ineligible winner(s). The most notable is the District 2 results where all three remaining duopoly candidates are ineligible if the ‘5 year window’ law is followed. It appears most of those who did not vote for the ineligibles in June didn’t vote for either of the remaining Republican runoff candidates. Will Candidate Taylor mount a serious write-in campaign? It is yet another race positioned to beat the margin of victory if the thousands of voters angry at the ineligibles decided to actually show and coalesce around a single write-in candidate they voted for in the primary who’s not in violation of the 5 year window and currently eligible to serve.