Sunday, June 29, 2008

North Carolina ballot access and party registration = Demopublican facism

I'm sure that Ryan McTeague Beckwith of the Raleigh News and Observer thought this was funny:

The number of registered Libertarians has more than doubled.

But don't get too excited — it's only gone from 5 to 11.

As recently as Monday, the State Board of Elections reported only a handful of people registered to the political party, which was only re-recognized in late May.

Deputy elections director Johnnie Mclean said that the state board only recently got the forms together to allow people to re-register, so it will take a while before the party bounces back.

No word yet on whether Mike Munger is one of the 11.

And I'm positive that Dr Michael Munger, the Libertarian candidate for North Carolina governor is pissed:

1. Even though we spent $200,000, plus all those volunteer hours, the state does not yet have the forms to register. I just downloaded the forms the Wake County BoE, and even their ELECTRONIC forms are not yet changed. How long does it take to upload a new form? It is just a few BLOCKS from the SBOE to the Wake County BoE. They are just not trying. Why isn’t that the news, Ryan? Why don’t you have a post that says, “State drags feet, prevents Libertarians from being able to register.”?

2. There were 13,000 registered Libertarians in the state of NC in 2005. They were stripped of their registration by the state. The state is supposed to restore those registrations. But they are not going to do that, because they say that too much time has passed. Why do some people (Ls) have to register multiple times, and others (Rs and Ds) only once? How many Rs and Ds would have reregistered, do you think, within a week of learning that they had been stripped, and had to start over? Why isn’t that the news, Ryan? 13,000 registered Libertarians are denied a basic right, even after their party has done everything the state says they must do, to qualify?

3. The League of Women’s voters claims that they want to make sure candidates are legitimate before allowing them in the debate. But:

a. I had to spend $200,000 to get the signatures. Same signatures we already got 7 times previously!

b. We have to pay filing fees, but the state will not allow us to have a primary. So, no publicity and no chance to campaign. The Rs and Ds get millions of free dollars of ads.

c. I tried to put up some road signs. State highway workers took them down as soon as I put them up. I asked one guy. He said, “We only leave those up near an election.”

Why isn’t that the news, Ryan? How can I campaign? I poured all my money down a rathole, and the state won’t honor its commitment to reinstate previous registrations. And when I do put up road signs the state takes them down. I don’t even know what the rules are. As soon as we pass one hurdle, the state makes up another one.

Why isn’t THAT the news?

This is outrageous, to the point of being anti-American.

I'm working on what can be done about it from a distance. Obviously, here in Delaware, where Delmarva Power owns half of our legislators and the Governor feels free to veto an eminent domain bill, we're not doing a hell of a lot better than the Tarheel State. I don't expect the North Carolina authorities to give a damn about people outside the State, when they really don't care about democracy for their own citizens.

But this is not an issue that should just concern Libertarians: doesn't the diminishing of democracy for those we don't agree with diminish us all?

At the very least, for my non-Libertarian friends in the Delaware blogosphere (who have all always supported open government), I hope some of you will stop by Mike Munger's website and let him know you're as outraged as he is.

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