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Monday, October 25, 2010

Is Providing a list of write-in cadidates illegal?

The big political news to kick off this week in Alaska politics is that both the Democrat and Republican parties will be sueing the state division of elections to try and block election workers from providing a list of write in cadidates if requested to do so by a voter. The director of the division of elections has determined that this service falls under providing voter assistance and is something that is only provided if it is requested. The two main parties feel its evidence of the government trying to influence the election. What a joke.

Although it is rare when democrats and republicans agree on issues of policy, its simple for me to see why they are in this case. Both parties are afraid of Lisa Murkowski. Even as a write in she is still perhaps the most electable candidate running. Believe it or not she IS the middle ground. More conservative than McAdams and more liberal than Miller. The democrats are afraid because she polls better than McAdams and the republicans are afraid because she polled most recently neck and neck with Miller.

So are we are the threshold of another election being effectively decided by the courts as it was in 2000? I hope not. Why should it be illegal to provide a list of candidates and instructions on write-in voting if so asked by a voter? We know from experience that the two parties will use even the slightest mistake to get someones vote thrown out thus robbing them of their right (hanging chad anyone?). In fact the parties have already requested lists of votes who may have been made with this assistance provided during early voting last week, I wonder if they are planning legal action to invalidate those votes as well. Election workers provide instrutions on how to fill out ballots all the time, when the integrity of someones vote can so easily be questioned and the vote discarded is it any wonder the responsible voter would request information on doing something most of us have never done? Perhaps even a list of candidates so that spelling will be correct?

I see this whole event as a desperate effort by the parties to disenfranchise as many voters as possible (as long as they aren't their voters). Frankly I find it disgusting and can't wait for the courts to strike it down. If they don't I plan on taking tuesday off and standing outside my polling place (at least 200ft) handing out write-in instructions with a list of write-in cadidates. My way of flipping the bird to the establishment.

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