Monday, July 21, 2008

Write in candidates

It's been a while since I updated, but I'm finally sort of moved into my new place, so I can share a new editorial cartoon with my audience on the world wide web.

I drew today's cartoon for the Tampa Tribune, about the horrendous practice of party hacks disenfranchising independents and members of the opposing political party from voting for for their elected officials.

Here is how the scam works. Everybody knows that there are certain elections that are really determined in the primary. For instance, in a particularly republican district, say in rural Utah, whoever wins the republican party primary will eventually win the election since there is no way in hell the electorate would choose a Democrat.

Apparently there are a ton of districts like this in Florida. Also Florida generally has closed primaries meaning that independents and members of the opposing political party are forbidden to vote in a party's primary.

Florida changed their laws recently to allow open primaries in cases where the opposing political failed to field a candidate. For those who like democracy, there was much rejoicing. Then somebody found a loophole.

Republican party hacks have been closing otherwise open primaries, by registering as official democrat write-in candidates. Write in candidates don't have the gather the signatures that legitimate candidates need to gather, and the candidates don't even appear on the ballot.

But since they are registered as candidates, these GOP hacks can keep independents and democrats from voting for the only legitimate candidates for office in their district.

I guess the GOP is worried that independents and Democrats might opt to elect a moderate republican as opposed a nut who toes the party line.

(By the way, I'm sure the Democrats are just as capable of pulling off these devious tricks but there have been fewer cases of democrats pulling this kind of stunt).

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