Let’s talk about voter suppression.
No, not voter fraud. While good ol’ fashioned ballot stuffing still does happen from time to time, it’s so rare as to be statistically insignificant. And not the kind of voter suppression that happens by moving or reducing polling places, cutting hours, and so on, although those are awful too and important to fix.
No, I’m talking about the willful suppression of third party candidates. And it is a real and ugly thing this year. I hear constantly about how Jo Jorgensen (or Howie Hawkins) “can’t win”, or how they’re too extreme, or not real candidates, or any number of other cliched major party bullshit. Well…if they’re not real candidates, or just a protest vote, or secretly a vote for the other major party piece of crap, why are the majors trying so hard to rig the game anyway? First, you have the lawsuits. It started in Montana, continued into Ohio, and reached perhaps its most egregious apex in Texas, where the state Republican party tried to kick 44 candidates off the ballot and the Democrats pursued a similar challenge against the Greens.
And before anyone gripes that they didn’t pay filing fees, I would say that they’re a poll tax on third parties. Oh, and the majors don’t have to play by their own rules either.
Second, you have Commission On Presidential Debates, and how they determine eligibility for inclusion in what’s arguably still the most visible part of the campaign, the presidential debates. You may have seen the article going around about how third party support is down this year. But aside from the fact that article didn’t even mention Jorgensen or Stein, the polls used for determining eligibility aren’t even mentioning everyone on the ballot! Look at this graphic compiled by @TrackerDebate. All five of the polls being used to determine debate eligibility only mention half the candidates.
So tell me, major parties: what are you afraid of? Ideas? People that can form complete sentences? Simple loss of power?
If you care about real representation in your democracy, and about hearing new ideas beyond just the statist quo, I urge you to contact the Commission On Presidential Debates at (202) 872-1020, emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org and tweeting them @DebatesIntl. Call and email the venues too-
- Representative for the Vice Presidential Debates at the University of Utah at (801) 581-6261, as well as the university directly at (801) 581-7200, and the ticket office at (801) 581-7100. Email them at email@example.com or the
Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah: firstname.lastname@example.org or call at (801) 581-8501.
Utah Debate Commission: (801) 919-6004 or email@example.com
Case Western Reserve University Media Relations Department at (216) 368-4207, direct line (216) 368-2000, firstname.lastname@example.org
Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts: (305) 949-6722.
Belmont University: (615) 460-6000, email@example.com
And while you’re at it, check out the #BudBoycott.
The duopoly is a cancer on our society. #letherspeak
The following articles and posts not linked above were invaluable in putting this article together-