Get out and vote

The Primaries are today.

Go vote.

In the meantime, I’d like to complain. Wisconsin used to be one of the only true open primaries in the country. Come primary time, anyone could go and vote for anyone. You didn’t have to declare a party. You didn’t have to be a member of a party, or a union, or anything.

While other states had their caucuses or closed elections, we as residents of Wisconsin could go in and vote for a Republican in one race and a Democrat in another race and a Communist in a third race.

No more. I’m not sure when the change came, it snuck through quietly, but now the once proud voters of Wisconsin are forced to vote under the near totalitarian rules of a “Partisan Primary.”

Oh, sure, we still don’t have to publicly declare our party, and in essence, we’re still free to vote for who we want, but there’s a catch.

A sneaky, underhanded, unAmerican and anti-Wisconsin catch.

On your ballot you have to first choose a party, then when you vote, you can only vote for persons of that party. If you choose say, Democrats and you accidently vote for a Republican, your ballot becomes invalid.

Reminds me of the old joke, forgive me if I tell it wrong, it’s been years: The old Soviet Union was holding elections. A long line of villagers waited to cast their vote. It’s finally the turn of one old man. The armed KGB man hands him a sealed envelop. The old man moves with the line to the ballot box. He started to open the envelop when the KGB man stops him.

“Wait, comrad. What do you think you’re doing?”

“I am looking to see who I am voting for.”

“Nyet! It is forbidden. This is a secret ballot.”

OK, it’s not that funny, but the point is, we here in Wisconsin have lost a great progressive voting tradition. For those of us who are true Independents and vote for the “Best Candidate” not a controlling party, this Primary is an affront to our freedom. I don’t know if the change was caused by the Republicans or the Democrats, but I do know it was done to prevent the supposed *gasp!* “crossover vote!” Yes. That horrible deed some tricksters do to try to get a “weaker candidate” for the opposite party to win.

C’mon. Really? You think we did that in significant enough numbers to throw whole elections?


I really don’t care which party did it, I just care that it needs to be undone. It is restrictive and has no place in Wisconsin politics.

I want our true and free Open Primary back and I’m writing my state representatives today to voice my ire.

It has been a while since I voiced ire.

Anyway, go vote today. Make your limited freedoms count, before they try to rescind that right, too.



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