Politics: people love them, people hate them, people love to argue about them, people fight about them, but never once have I heard anyone use the term “political discrimination” when it comes to voting.
Until now, until I have been deeply thinking about it lately, and came to the realization that registered Independent voters are not allowed to vote in about half of our states’ primaries.
Years ago when I registered to vote, I registered Independent, because I don’t want to be affiliated with any party, rather, I care to vote about the ISSUUES, and not the delegates behind their parties.
I have been trying to figure out, just WHY exactly, Independent voters are discriminated against from voting in the primaries. Is it even Constitutional to exclude Independent voters from primaries, when all voters were independent when the Constitution was made? When did it come about that it was ok to discriminate against a voter because they are not affiliated with a specific party.
Below is the link to the definition of an Independent voter, according to Wikipedia:
I registered Independent, so that I could vote for whom I best see fit, rather than what the Democrats and Republicans tell me I should vote for. What exactly are they so afraid of that they do not want Independents voting? It actually would be beneficial to either party to get any Independent votes, so the question lies: WHY? When did “we the people” become only “we the Democrats and Republicans”?
It seems that I am not the only one feeling the discrimination. Here are a couple excerpts from the link below:
“One of our core issues is the issue of restructuring the primary process and making it a nonpartisan process so that all candidates and all voters are on a more equal terrain. Right now, we have a very partisan, closed process in New York State and [in] many ways, New York State’s election process is one of the most backward in the country,” said New York County Independence Party Chair and Citywide Coordinator Cathy Stewart.
“The purpose and goal is to really highlight a very deep flaw in our democracy, which is the exclusion of independent voters from the primaries,” Fields said. “We want to be visible on primary day, which is a day when independents are invisible because we cannot participate in the elections. It’s very undemocratic, and we want to let people know that that’s the case.”
Fields said many people don’t know they are excluded on primary day if they are not registered Democrats or Republicans.
“We want to highlight it, dramatize it and also reach out to ordinary people and tell them about the situation, and it’s also part of our efforts to organize reforms of the exclusion of independents,” Fields added.
“Primaries are an important juncture in the democratic process and are often the most competitive. The winner of the race in the 13th Congressional District, for example, will be the presumptive winner of the general election. Excluding 72,000 district residents from that process is unfair and undemocratic,” Hanks said.
Excluding Independent voters is indeed, unfair and undemocratic. According to Wikipedia, I am not the only one that feels this way:
I have had people tell me to change my party affiliation, and I will not do so just to appease people. I will only hope and pray that the one candidate that I want to win the primaries wins, so that I may cast my vote for him in November, when I’m not being discriminated against.
I’m not much for political debate, but what are your thoughts on this? Are you registered Independent, and where? Do you have open primaries in your state, or are they closed? If they closed, what are your feelings on that? Do you think that all states should have open primaries to accommodate ALL voters? What do you think can/should be done about this voting plight? Leave your comments below and let me know (and please keep it civil, I know how edgy some can be about politics!)
In the meantime, I shall be doing more research for further posts on this matter!