11:49 a.m. - May 10, 2007
I was reading an article in the Paper Of Montgomery County about the voter turnout and these paragraphs from the Republican County Chairman caught my eye:
"People should stick with their registered party," Molin said. "The reason we have primary elections is for each party to decide their candidate. I don't think it's fair that basically another party can decide the opposite party's candidate."
Molin added he is attending a seminar soon and will bring that to the attention of other party officials around the state.
You don’t register as a member of the party in Indiana when you register to vote. You simply register.
You only declare a party at the primary election when you ask for a specific ballot.
Because of the way local politics work, many times there are only contested races on one side of the ticket, and in the general election, the primary winner’s victory is a foregone conclusion.
So in order to have a say in the local election, many times people have to ‘cross over’ to vote in the primaries.
And in local elections, very rarely do the national differences between parties come into play. In the localities, it’s all about who will do the best job for the city or the county and not about the hot-button issues. It’s performance, not rhetoric.
At any rate, his statement really burned my fern, so I sent a letter to the editor to the local dailies:
Here it is:
When reading an article regarding voter turnout in the Primary Election, I read that Montgomery County Republican Chairman Scott Molin was upset regarding the Democratic voter turnout in the election.
He claims that people should stick with their registered party, and the reporter also had some statistics regarding party registration in the county that said only 19% of the county were registered Democrats. I vehnemently disagree with Mr. Molin and his thoughts.
He should be reminded that we do not register for a party when we register to vote in Indiana. We register as a voter, period, and declare our party when we vote in the primary. This is what is great about Indiana.
Many times when I have lived both here and in Boone County, I have voted in the GOP Primary as that party had the only contested races for county government, and a win by the Republicans in the fall was a foregone conclusion, for the most part.
In 2006, I voted in the GOP primary in order to cast my ballot for sheriff, and I am sure many Democrats and Independents did the same. In the general election, I voted mainly for Democrats in the state races, but many county races were already sewn up, as usual. So if that is what he is thinking of then I think he is sorely mistaken about the county's true loyalty to the Republican party.
In this election, I was torn between requesting a Democratic ballot to voice my concerns about the mayoral race, or a Republican ballot to vote for a good friend for city council.
Personally, I don't think it's proper for him to act like he is Boss Tweed. This isn't Tammany Hall, Mr. Molin, it's the 21st century and especially in local races, the lines between parties are blurred or non-existent.
Does he not realize that the voters in 2003 elected a Democratic mayor, and elected Democrats in city council?
If he wants to run the County GOP like an old-fashioned ward-heeler demanding loyalty and that all Republican voters in the county should be his faithful apparatchiks, then I think he will be in for a big surprise in 2007, 2008 and beyond.
We should be beyond this pettiness. If Molin wants to have people vote in the Republican primary for mayor he should make sure there are attractive candidates on that ticket. That is his job, not hectoring and denigrating the voters in exercising their rights in Indiana to declare a party on election day.
I could have said more, but I stopped there. What right is it of him to tell ME how and where I cast my vote? Yeesh.
If you look at my election records, you’d probably think I’m a true blue registered Republican. I only voted in Democratic primaries when I lived in Indianapolis. Otherwise, I had to vote in GOP primaries for the most part.
If only they realized….heh….