Friday, April 14, 2006
Latest Press Release of Kole for Secretary of State
April 3, 2006 Contact
For Immediate Release
Mike Kole 709-3874
Primary Elections Are Also Open To Libertarians and Independent Voters
All voters, regardless of party, can vote on important school board seats
Fishers, IN- Turnout at Primary Elections are routinely low throughout Indiana. One reason is that Primaries are dominated by the party business of the Republicans and Democrats, marginalizing voters who aren’t true believers of those parties.
That’s too bad, because important non-partisan races for school board are a significant part of the primary ballot in many Hoosier counties, and everybody can vote for these candidates.
Libertarians and independent voters often feel marginalized by the Primary Election process. While they wish to fulfill their civic duty by voting on Primary Election Day, because they have no interest in taking a partisan Republican or Democrat ballot, these voters too often stay home. Even with the big combined Presidential-Gubernatorial, an embarrassing 21% of registered Indiana voters turned out at the 2004 Indiana Primaries.1
Moreover, the law is such that primary voters who select either a Republican or Democratic ballot are making the statement, under the penalty of perjury, that they intend to vote for that party's candidates as the majority of their votes in the general election. This is clearly something partisan Libertarians and most independents are not interested in, so we have a system that discourages participation.
It could, and should be better than this. The Libertarian Party provides the model.
Because the selection of partisan candidates is private, political party business, all parties should nominate all of their candidates at local conventions, sparing the taxpayers the expense of the process. Certainly the Republicans and Democrats can afford to stage their own events, without doubly burdening the taxpayers- with publicly funded primaries, and with paid vacation days for government employees on Primary Election Day each year.
The Libertarian Party of Indiana does exactly this. Libertarians spare the taxpayers the expense by hosting their own county and state conventions, where candidates are selected to fill the ballot. It is our hope that the Republicans and Democrats will eventually follow suit, and conduct their party business in conventions rather than at taxpayer expense.
It’s curious that the two parties don’t use conventions more broadly to slate candidates. They will nominate some of their candidates at a statewide convention this summer, so they know how to do it.
Non-partisan school board candidates could be voted on in the General Election, eliminating the Primary Election entirely. The taxpayers would be relieved of the cost of the spring election and the free day for government employees.
Interestingly, The Libertarian Party may very well find itself with a dilemma. Should the Libertarian candidate for Secretary of State earn 10% statewide, the Libertarian Party of Indiana will have earned major party status, and will automatically be made a part of the Primary Election process, by law.
This is the kind of problem many Libertarians look forward to having, for the purpose of bringing the nature of the process to light. While the law compels major parties to accept a place in the primaries, many Libertarians, myself included, would like to change the system. Better for the parties to host, and pay for, their own business. I urge state legislators to examine the primary election process, and put the costs back on the parties, where they belong.
The Republicans and Democrats may have to work a little harder to slate their candidates, but that’s more appropriate than making taxpayers work harder for them.
In the meantime, I urge Libertarians and independent voters to go to the polls on Tuesday, May 2. Ask for the “School Board Ballot” and cast your votes for your local school board candidates. If your county is not considering school board seats at this election, to fulfill your civic duty, you will do little more than sign the book and go on your way. At least the lines won’t be very long.
A high-resolution headshot photo of Mike Kole is available upon request.
Mike Kole is available for comment. Call cell phone 317-709-3874 to contact Mike directly, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mike Kole’s media presence includes his campaign website: www.mikekole.com, and his blog, “Kole Hard Facts: www.kolehardfacts.blogspot.com.
1 2004 Indiana Primary turnout info available on the Indiana Secretary of State website:
Libertarians Deserve To Win Elections!
Libertarians Deserve Major Party Status !
Paid for and authorized by the Committee to Elect Mike Kole. Ame Langmack, Treasurer.