Friday, July 16, 2010

The Right to be Independent in Colorado (and Elsewhere)

UPDATE: Boulder Weekly is running a poll: Do you think Colorado’s voting laws should be changed so that independent voters have the same rights as Democrats and Republicans?
86% say -- Yes! Our current laws are biased in favor of the two main parties. [SEE BELOW]

The Right to be Independent is at Issue (Jacqueline Salit, Huffington Post) COLORADO: There are a lot of people in this country who are very unhappy with the political parties and their intense partisanship . Some are voters and some are officeholders. But whatever their status, they should have the right to leave a political party and become an independent without being penalized. The parties shouldn't be allowed to run the political process to suit their own purposes. The bottom line here is democracy, and that's what Kathleen, Joelle and I are asking the court to see.

Write-in candidacy of Curry spices up race (By Marianne Goodland, THE COLORADO STATESMAN)
Curry told the Glenwood Post Independent in December that “I just don’t fit into either party. My votes are not consistently Democratic, they’re whatever I think is best for the district, and I know that has sometimes been kind of a disappointment” to party leaders...... In the case of at least four political parties in Colorado, party rules differ substantially from state law. According to a lawsuit filed last fall against the Secretary of State by La Plata County Commissioner Joelle Riddle, political parties can enact party rules that are less restrictive than those imposed on unaffiliated candidates....

As yesterday's Politico notes, independence is seeping into the political class at the state level as well:

Even amid record levels of voter frustration with the major political parties, third-party candidates have an uphill climb. An independent hasn’t been elected governor of a state since 1998, when two, Minnesota’s Jesse Ventura and Maine’s Angus King, won. In the Senate, there are just two independents: Vermont’s Bernie Sanders and Connecticut’s Joe Lieberman. But across the Northeast this year, several strong candidates have emerged as pivotal players.

For background on the Colorado Story, see The Hankster from December 31, 2009: INDEPENDENT VOTER EXTRA: Revolution Breaks Out in Colorado!

UPDATE:
Here's an update on that poll in the Boulder Weekly:
Poll
Do you think Colorado’s voting laws should be changed so that independent voters have the same rights as Democrats and Republicans?
Yes! Our current laws are biased in favor of the two main parties.

86%
No! Our laws exist for a reason, even if I don´t know what it is.

7%
Not sure. I´d have to learn more about it.

0%
Don´t vote. Don´t care.

7%

Discuss



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