Wednesday, March 01, 2006

You gotta have a membership card to get inside

After voting at the polls on the 28th of February, I asked how I would go about volunteering to help out. I was given the number to the Niagara County Board of Elections, which I called the next morning. After giving my name I was told since the records showed I was registered as “other” I would not be permitted to work, only Democrats and Republicans are allowed to. I asked (out of curiosity) who made these decision and was told the presidents of the Democrat and Republican parties in Niagara County.

Not only could one question the wisdom in the two major powers controlling the elections (Florida and Ohio), but also the constitutionality of excluding any opposing political parties. Not allowing independents and third party members who are not servants of the ruling parties, to even assist in polls, is not only an insult to them, but to all New Yorkers. When I was in 6th grade a teacher once said that the U.S.S.R. had elections and could be argued to be a democracy, controlled by one party. “The People” who wished to participate in the government where told to become loyal party members, those who refused found themselves completely shut off. This became true even in the private sector where relatives and the well connected where given the contracts, and miles of red tape tracks would be “greased”. But that was the Soviet Union. that couldn’t happen here?

Thomas Jefferson once said “If I could not go to heaven but with a party, I would not go there at all”. It is ironic that the Board of Elections would refuse Thomas Jefferson a seat at the poll.

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