Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Indiana: Primary rules exclude independent voters

Vote Today The Issue: Primary election can be discouraging to independents.

Our View: Don't fret party affiliations - choose a key race, and go vote.

Courier PressMay 2, 2006 - Truth told, most potential voters in Indiana consider themselves to be independents. They may lean one way or the other, but most will tell you they vote for the candidate, not the party.
That creates a quandary, because Indiana law requires that to vote in the primary election, Hoosiers must declare either Republican or Democrat, and then they can vote only in that party's races. Many independents do not want to declare a party affiliation, so they stay home. And during those primary elections in which there are no significant races, that's understandable.
But that reason won't cut it today. In Vanderburgh County, for example, Republicans have key races for sheriff, state representative (includes Warrick and Spencer counties), county commissioner and County Council. Democrats have a three-way contest for state senator that extends into Posey and Gibson counties. For the independent voter, what to do? The best advice we can give is, don't let Indiana's primary election law discourage you from exercising your right to vote. Decide which party primary election has the most significant races to you, and then go vote. But just to make your point about being an independent, next year, purposely vote in the other party's primary election. It's not a perfect plan, but it will prevent anyone from labeling you a Republican or a Democrat. ....

UPDATED MAY 6, 2008: NOTE --The rules have been changed independents ARE allowed to vote in the primary today. Congrats!

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