Inactive independents

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Ken Neal in today's Whirled, arguing for forcing the parties to allow independents to vote in their primaries:

Although independents make up 11 percent of registered voters, they account for 20 percent of inactive voters, says Gene Pace, Tulsa County election board secretary.

That's probably because they seldom have a candidate who inspires them. In the July 25 primary election fewer than one half of 1 percent of Tulsa County independents bothered to vote. They could vote only in some of the non-partisan judicial races.

No, Ken, to be an inactive voter you have to have not bothered to vote in over four years. Even if you only turn out to vote for president, you will be on the books as an active voter. The reason for all the inactive independents is Bill Clinton's Motor Voter law, which has resulted in a lot of people being registered to vote who have no interest in voting. Unless these apathetic folks indicate a party preference on the registration form, they are automatically registered as independents.

5 Comments

"The parties ought to invite independent voters to the 'party' now. That would make for more interesting politics and a better Oklahoma." - Ken Neal

[sarcasm]I'm sorry Michael, but this time I agree with Ken. However, I say letís take it a step further...to make it really interesting we ought to invite illegals to the party; we ought to let them vote too![/sarcasm]

Twatch said:

Republicans voting for Democrats and Democrats voting for Republicans and Independents voting for both just helps the Elitist Party stay stealthy.

Paul Uttinger said:

I'm registered as "Independent" but I disagree with Ken Neal. Parties should not be forced to allow independents to vote in party primaries. Independent voters are not excluded from general elections. And I seem to recall that I have been allowed (as an independent) to vote in primaries for the Libertarian Party, but I'm not certain of this because those are so rare. If I wanted to vote in party primary elections, then I would register with a party. Ken Neal has written a column about a "problem" that really isn't a problem.

If memory serves, Paul, Libertarians did allow independents to vote in their primaries, during their brief tenure as an officially-recognized party in Oklahoma. I think there was a three-way corporation commissioner race, perhaps in 2002. Every party has the option to allow Independents to vote, but no party is forced by law to pursue it.

astronaut of innerspace said:

For this time Neal is correct. What is incorrect is the talk about " forcing, allowing" etc.
What Neal is broaching is the realization of many is that IT IS INDEPENDENTS RULE. And we are taking our country back. Independents % equals the victory margin in race after race. We can not be bought. We can not be brow-beat into mindless obediance or loyalty. WE VOTE FOR THE BEST CANDIDATE. And this is why BOTH parties NEED us more than any other bloc.
The voting rate is low because of how backward OK. is in not allowing people the Freedom and The Right To Vote. So we wait till the big ones and enjoy the clout we have.
25 years ago,I lived in the state of Iowa. Then and maybe now, anyone could vote in any election. So the majority were "Independent", not allowing either party to relax. And people got down to work, solving problems, instead of wasting time on which party, how conservative, how liberal, right, wrong, yadayadayada. This is why Tulsa is 10 years late on downtown. And you people are continuing to do this.
Don't blame Motor Voter for inactive voters. What MotorVoter has done for me is make me a MORE ACTIVE Independent voter by giving me the ability to quickly and easily stop by in my own neighborhood and change the party affiliation so that I can vote in any election like I did in Iowa. So in this, Mr. Batesline, YOU ARE WRONG.
And also wrong in party preference. Backward Oklahoma lists an Independent as "NO PARTY" preference which is wrong to do.
I am The Astronaut Of Inner Space.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on August 20, 2006 11:13 PM.

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