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Democracy Denied - Your choice is no choice!

By       Message Christopher Wright       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   No comments

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Democracy Denied – A Guide to Write-In Voting

Very few States in America allow absolute freedom of voting

I am horrified to find out that my years of 'write-in' votes here in Alaska have all been thrown out. I have used write-in voting as a 'freedom of choice' issue since I was first eligible to participate in the system. I rarely expected them to win but I did expect my vote to be counted.

That naïveté blows any belief that a grass roots campaign with little money has any reasonable chance of success – even if a large portion of U.S. voters want them. There is no methodology to truly draft a person for President or loudly express that desire within the State election systems.

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My upset only became worse when I checked at to find that absolute freedom to write in any candidate or person of choice is only available in 8-9 States in the US. All the others have the candidate him/herself declare via various documents to the State in advance. In some states, it is necessary to do this with every jurisdiction within the State separately. Even then, some state official has to approve it.

Those few States that advocate true democracy are Delaware, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wyoming. New Mexico has no legislation defining write-in's; In Iowa a candidate only has to let them know how they want their name written, and several States absolutely forbid write-in votes – especially for President/VP. Those States forbidding write-in voting are Arkansas, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and South Dakota,

To be recognized as a write-in candidate for the 2008 General Election in Alaska, write-in candidates must file with the Division of Elections a Letter of Intent form. Write-in votes will not be counted unless the Letter of Intent has been filed. (AS 15.25.105)

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For the November 4, 2008 General Election, the Write-in Candidates' Letter of Intent must be filed no later than October 30, 2008. [AS 15.25.105 (c)]

A write-in vote is the writing in of the candidate's name with the oval filled in next to the name. A blank space is provided for each race on the General Election ballot for this purpose. To be a valid write-in vote, the voter must write in the name as it appears on the Write-in Candidate's Letter of Intent or write in the last name of the candidate. Either way, the voter must mark the oval next to the candidate's name for the vote to be counted.

[6AAC 25.070 (c )]

Unfortunately, as far as I know, there is no public listing or notification of ‘approved’ write-ins.

So, dreaming of democracy, of getting out of the mess we are in, about getting somebody not presently bought and paid for, well, dream on. It's not likely under the system in which we presently exist.

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It is good to dream a dream and to have strong beliefs – but it is better to know the facts and check them out occasionally to see if they still hold water.




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Christopher is a retired Mayflower family, Navy Vet, flower child, Mensan and a long-time rural Alaskan with a lifetime or two in Social Sciences and cross-cultural endeavors. He has a terminal graduate degree and is heading into his terminal years (more...)

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