Independents get no help
By Hasso Hering
July 13, 2010
Officers of the Independent Party are holding a primary election to nominate candidates for state and federal offices. The state is not lifting a finger to help them, and that ought to be changed.
For registered Democrats and Republicans, the state Elections Division and the various counties run elections at public expense.
They provide staff time. They handle the filing and collect fees. They have the ballots printed and mailed. They provide a pamphlet for voters to use.
The public even pays for electing party committee members on the county level, a service to the main parties without any public benefit.
In contrast, the state and the counties do exactly zip for recognized minor parties when it comes to their nominating elections. That’s something that minor-party members and taxpayers ought to resent. Read more ...
The Independents tried to finance their nominating election by asking candidates for a fee. The political establishment raised a fuss, and the secretary of state told them to drop this approach.
Funny that nobody objects to the filing fee the state collects for somebody to get on the ballots of the Rs and the Ds.
In any case, the Independents say their officers dug into their own pockets and advanced most of the $16,000 their online primary — the first of its kind — is costing. They merely hope to be reimbursed. Talk about commitment to an idea.
Independents and other members of minor parties have a case if they claim they are getting unequal treatment from the state under the law.
Why should they be denied a state-paid service, such as an election, because they don’t identify with Democrats or Republicans?
The legislature has refused to authorize an open primary where anybody could run and any voter could vote. Now the state has barred minor parties from collecting filing fees big enough to finance their elections.
One of these days, voters who refuse to be called Democrats or Republicans may become the majority of the electorate. When that day comes, the state’s unfair and unjust approach to party elections will end.