Monday, October 27, 2008

Huh, that's odd.

Like a great many Texas counties, this one has historically had a great many people who vote a straight party ticket.

The party chosen has usually been passed down from generation to generation ("My granpappy voted for X party, my pappy voted for them, and what was good enough fer them is good enough fer me!")

When Early Voting started on the 20th, I did what has become my usual practice of voting for the Republican POTUS candidate, and Libertarian for the rest of the ticket.

It's not that I
like the Libertarian candidates (the Libertarian Party suits me about as well as either of the two main parties ... which is to say "Not at all") but I figure that the Libertarians can't screw this country over any worse than the two top dog parties already have.

Anyhoo.

When I got done, I drove Chris out to the polling place on his lunch break to cast his vote, and on the way back home, he announced -- apropos of nothing, "When I recognized a name, I voted Republican. The rest of the time, I voted for Libertarian candidates."

Now, this really isn't odd, considering that Chris and I are alike in a great many ways.

No, the odd thing came over the next week or so -- I kept hearing the same thing from some staunchly long-time straight ticket voters.

Assuming that most folks are on the up-and-up -- never a good thing where elections are concerned -- seems that some of the old straight-ticket, die-hard party-line voters may be somewhat dissatisfied and taking a new look at third party candidates for public office.

Odd -- and a little gladdening, truth be told.

LawDog

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

We here in Illinois ( where graft was invented) cannot vote straight ticket anymore. We have to go thru the whole ballot and punch each name. Which leads to actually reading the ballot. Hmmm

KBCraig said...

I've used the same strategy for years. Most of the time, there are more L candidates than either D or R, because strong incumbents often have no competition from the other major party.

Except, I usually vote for the Libertarian candidate for president, too. Texas is a "safe" state for the GOP candidate, so no use wasting a vote on the Republican.

Anonymous said...

A good friend is a City Councilwoman in my little bit of heaven here in the Great Pacific Northwet, and a Democrat. I was talking to her this AM and said I was sorry but what the National Democrat Party has done this year has made it impossible for me to vote for her in her next run for office 2 years away. She said not to feel all that bad about it 'cause she's changed parties to Republican just for that reason. She is ashamed of her party for it's constant illegal ballot box stuffing, registering inelligible voters, cheating and lying. I don't expect "The One" to fall off the Earth around here, but my friend says support for him is waning quickly. He will most likely take Wash. State, but not with anything like the majority he expects.

Gerry N.

MauserMedic said...

While some think a vote for a libertarian candidate is wasted, I tend to think of it as a message that indicates there's a lot of people who aren't happy with both candidates "moving to the middle". If I have to endure four years of Communism Lite to weed out people who aren't really conservatives so I can vote for someone is later, I can live with that.

MiniKat said...

The two party system is antiquated and needs to get turned on its ear by as many voters as possible. But to do this people must actually read the ballots and exercise the grey stuff in between their ears.

Anonymous said...

I voted all Libertarian. I will no longer settle for the lesser of two evils "logic". I vote for who I wish to win, the bi-factional ruling party be damned. Bonus is that I no longer feel like a whore after I vote.

I probably should have voted for Obama though. The faster the country tears itself apart and destroys itself the sooner it can be rebuilt and wrongs righted and problems dealt with. The Republic as it was and as it was intended to be is dead and has been for a long time. We're just witnessing the death spasms of the corpse.

Regolith said...

We only had one Libertarian on the ballot this year. I'd have voted for him, but I couldn't find a damn thing about him. He had no website, no legislative or public service history, no campaign literature that I could find. Hell, for all I knew, he was a convicted pedophile who was running on the NAMBLA platform.

I don't vote for people I know nothing about, so I ended up voting for the Republican guy instead. The devil you know and all of that...

Anonymous said...

In my neck of the woods, I'm finding the same thing.

With the exception of a very few issues, anymore it seems the (D)&(R)'s are two sides of a coin. One party just moves faster on some issues than the other.

Voted for my first Libertarian candidate this year and your post gives me some hope.

LL said...

I've done that ever since I started voting....the mixture thing. I even used to vote for one Democrat, Russ Feingold, until he lost his frakkin' mind these last 7 years and now he gets it no more.

Tim Covington said...

Well, I voted slightly different than most of the rest here.
I voted McCain for President, because I don't like Barr.
I voted for Cornyn in the hopes of preventing a Democratic super-majority in the Senate.
I voted Sam Johnson for the U.S. House since he voted against the bailout (like his constituents wanted him to).
I voted for for Carona in the Texas State Senate because his office was very responsive when the DPS was dragging their heels on issuing my CHL.
Then, I voted Libertarian for the rest.

Anonymous said...

I used to be a card-carrying Libertarian Party member, but left them after they refused to go after the terrorists who want to kill us all. I also won't vote for Libertarians now for that same reason.

While I still have libertarian principles at heart, I have to vote for Republicans to try to keep the Democrats out of office. While the Libertarians may not want to fight the jihadis, the Dems are actively assisting the jihadis.

-- chicopanther

Simeron Steelhammer said...

Never have been much of a "punch one button for all my votes" kinda guy even though my mother was. Dad always said,

"An informed voter takes the time to be informed AND uses that information to pick from the choices given. Don't forget you can write in your name too son."

That has always stuck with me. That it is not only my right to be able to cast a vote, but it is my DUTY and RESPONSIBILITY to make that vote an informed one.

Guess that is a bit odd these days but, I've never seen it as odd, quite the opposite really...that just voting without being informed or these days even caring who is running was odd.

The fact that people are actually sitting up and perking thier ears is a good thing indeed.

Hope it has started a trend that will last too. I might not like who gets elected but, as long as they get in by people that actually got informed, I can at least say "You bought this load of fertilizer, not don't complain about the smell..I wanted elephant not bull."

heh

Crucis said...

Lawdog, any other election, I'd agree with you. But, I can't agree for this election.

There are two situations we have to fight this year. We must make BO lose, and we just prevent the libs from getting a supermajority in Congress. Voting Libertarian for congressional seats won't accomplish the second.

It's not so much as voting for a party, but to keep another party out of power or diminished as much as possible. It does little good for McCain/Palin to win if the libs have a veto proff majority and can override McCain's veto.

If we lose either of these two issues, we can lose it all. Then it's bend over time for everyone.

Anonymous said...

I see no one is mentioning the Constitutionalist party. While I like Barr up to a point, and WAR a little past that, I like the Constitutional Party platform better, so that's where my national vote went.

Susan

Anonymous said...

I usually vote my conscience according to the information I've been able to glean-and not from the media; in fact, I almost won't vote for a media-backed candidate for anything, including dog catcher. However, although I have often voted for Libertarian candidates (and very occasionally Constitutionalist just as a gesture) since Libertarian candidates aren't really in the competition, I felt like I'd be throwing a vote away to follow my usual pattern this year.
This year, no one can afford to throw a vote away. I don't fancy living in an Obamanation, so was very careful to vote Republican where it counts.
LawMom

Mattexian said...

I wonder about Chris, since I recognized one name on the ballot, that hasn't been there in a while. Sam Houston is running for some Justice position in Texas, but he's got a D next to his name (don't know if he's kin to the Original).

Sabra said...

I did the same thing you did, Law Dog. I left Democrat-only races blank, with one exception. Sad how no one even bothers to challenge the incumbents in many races. I would have loved to have voted to kick my local Representative out of office!

toadold said...

Sigh, voting for third parties is emotionally satifying but by taking votes away from the pro gun conservative republicans you make it more likely that Democrats will retain or get into office at the Federal level. I used to do the same thing back in the late seventies but the Libertarians just couldn't get organized enough or make enough of the required politcal compromises to get traction at the national level. Discusted conservatives and libertarians threw away votes on Ross Perot and we all know what happened with that.

LawDog said...

but by taking votes away from the pro gun conservative republicans you make it more likely that Democrats will retain or get into office at the Federal level

That's assuming that your Republican candidates are either a)pro-gun -- and considering that every piece of anti-gun legislation ever passed at the Federal level had Republicans voting for it; or
b)conservative -- see above, only with liberal legislation.

The days of knee-jerk voting Republican (they're conservative! And pro-gun!) are exactly what has gotten us into the current Leftist mess.

Mr. Fixit said...

You know what 'Dog? I haven't old anybody, but I did the same thing for the first time this year. Some of the races I wanted to vote for an individual, and did so. Otherwise, I voted Libertarian all the way.

It used to be (for me) as you said, "when in doubt, vote Repub." This time, it was to vote Libertarian unless I had a damn good reason not to.

Mr Fixit

Matt said...

When I did my Texas early voting, in spite of any desire to vote straight, I went and voted against any and all Republican school board members. There just seem to be so many lately who are outspoken or closeted Creationists.

phlegmfatale said...

It's nice to know that just when you think you've seen everything, life may still have a pleasant surprise up its sleeve.

TBeck said...

This was my first Texas election. Once I figured out how to use the little video game controller it went smoothly.

I voted Repub for the executive and legislative races and voted Libertarian for every judicial race that had one on the ballot.

My theory is that Libertarians will be more effective on the bench than in the legislature. Here's hoping.

wv: atumbon

As in nookyoolar?

TBeck said...

I seriously considering getting a T-Shirt printed:

"Randall Flagg for President!"
"Don't settle for less!"
or "Take a stand with the Walkin' Man!"

The Cthulhu for Pres T-shirt have become too mainstream.

raven said...

There are certain forms of government, duly voted in, that stay forever- till overthrown with force- Hitler is a good example, most communist party's are another.
"Communism lite" is a dangerous strategy.
As Adams said, " A Constitution of Government, once changed from freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever."
And Reagan, "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction."

shortbus said...

I did the same thing. Voted for Palin and Cornyn and my state repub rep (because seems to be doing his job) and Libertarian for the rest. Here is hoping the RNC gets reminded that less is more on the 4th. And also maybe a reminder that conservative and evangelical aren't one in the same.

Charles said...

Being in California, I held my nose and voted for McCain, even though I still carry a grudge over the McCain-Feingold Incumbent Protection Act, and even though it's a forlorn hope. My wife, kept faith with her D family by not voting for McCain. She voted for None of the Above, with the notation that no matter who wins, it's still a wasted 4 years.

About the best I can hope for is that we don't lose TOO many rights this time 'round. Given how restricted we already are, I just don't see anything better coming out.

Cybrludite said...

Only slot here that had Libertarians or other third party options in my district was the one for the Big Chair. Much as it pains me (given how much I despise McCain) I had to vote the straight party ticket. I voted early to make sure some snot-nosed Obama-bot didn't cast my vote for me.

Karla (ThreadBndr) said...

I've never voted a straight ticket and I've been registered as Independent (1973-1980), Rep (1980-1996), and Demo (1997-2008) Rep again (current). I'm not happy with ANY of the parties now. I really want a centerist party to emerge, but I don't think the Ls are it.

I can't stomach the creationists or the socialists. And I don't want either Presidential candidate as my son's boss....

D R Zinn said...

"Except, I usually vote for the Libertarian candidate for president, too. Texas is a "safe" state for the GOP candidate, so no use wasting a vote on the Republican."

I wish more people would think like this. If you live in a swing state then sure, vote lesser of two evils. But in California, a vote for McCain is wasted, so I vote Libertarian.

Oldfart said...

Here in Oregon many of us have already mailed our ballots in already. I followed my usual pattern: voting either for a particular candidate or gainst another and then voting against all incumbents.

TBeck said...

I've heard about the Oregon voting method. I would love to see it adopted over the entire country.

For those who aren't familiar with it, all ballots are cast by mail. The state department of elections (or its equivalent) certifies that each ballot has been cast by a registered voter and that the signature on the ballot matches the signature sample of the registered voter.

No mess, fuss, hanging chads, or multiple offenders. That's the way to run an election.

Anonymous said...

I spent so long hoping that Hillary would win on the DNC side so I could vote Constitution Party, again... instead, this is the first race where I have ever had to vote for a Republican for President, but Obama is simply too closely tied to radicals for me to do anything else, he MUST be stopped before he can be sworn in.

I feel sick and used, since I essentially voted for a Democrat with an R next to his name.

Here's hoping... otherwise, I hate voting, the Constitution party has so few people running, and Libertarians are too into preventing our country from protecting itself in any way shape or form, even when it comes to the borders. They seem to be like Ron Paul on national matters (not too bad, just too bad he has never done anything but give good speaches and push for hemp farming legislation) and Dennis Kucinich on defense and international matters. Just... I have to ask, but WHAT SENSE DOES THAT MAKE???

Anonymous said...

Looks like you hit a chord on this one, Geek. I decided to vote for Chuck Baldwin of the constitution party for Pres. He's a write-in candidate. Instructions for voting for write-in's is supposed to be posted by each voting machine. They are not at my early voting place. Sigh. I sent them a letter. The sweet old ladies running the voting booths were just volunteers and didn't know anything about it. I won't vote for McCain. I think he hijacked the republican party. I'm thankful that Texas will go his way no matter what I do. I would feel much guiltier boycotting him if I was in a swing state. But I would still do it.

Mark said...

This is the first year I shall not be voting Libertarian for the Presidency. I'll vote for Baldwin. Arizona is a very safe McCain state anyway.

Where voting Libertarian can help is when there is a tight race. We've had races here where the Dem and Rep were 0.5 points appart, and the Lib was polling 3-4%. it makes the Republican start acting a lot more libertarian (or at least fiscally conservative)

I actually voted for a single Democrat last time, and may do so again. That's because our Republican sherrif is an embarasment, and a financial disaster.

Amanda B said...

I'll be doing the same this year. We have the interesting option of being able to vote for a convicted felon - here in Alaska. I can't vote for Uncle Ted Stevens this year - I just can't bring myself to do it. The GOP is pushing hard. Way too hard.

Anonymous said...

TBeck said

"I've heard about the Oregon voting method."

Oregon is FAR LEFT. I know, I live here. Who do you think runs the elections? Counts the ballots?

A mail in ballot is perfect for the sort of Chicago shenanigans that Obambamessiah is orchestrating.

I gave up on voting about 10 years ago when a local judge threw out my vote. He admitted the vote was fraudulent but the margin wasn't big enough to matter, so no harm no foul.
So don't worry your pretty little head.

I learned a valuable lesson: Screw the system. Because the system will screw you.

-- Smash the State.