Barger for US Senate

Official campaign website of Al Barger, 2004 Indiana Libertarian Party candidate for US Senate

"It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man who knows that the law is today, can guess what it will be tomorrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known, and less fixed?" - James Madison, Federalist #62

Friday, July 23, 2004

Disenfranchised: Please count my vote

I filed the following letter with the Franklin County, Indiana clerk for delivery to the county Board of Elections.

July 22, 2004

My name is Albert Barger. I am a resident and voter in Posey Township in Franklin County Indiana.

On the day of the May 2004 primary elections, I went to the polling place in Andersonville and took a Democrat primary ballot. I carefully marked the envelope in the prescribed manner to cast a write-in ballot for Rev. Al Sharpton as the Democrat nominee for president of the United States.

My vote was not counted. I am told by people at both the county and state level of government that in the state of Indiana, we simply do not accept ANY write-in votes during primaries.

This is unacceptable. If we are to say that we have a democracy and elections, then I have a right to vote for whomever I want - not just whatever two or three choices the state picks out for me.

Note that I didn't write in "Mickey Mouse" or "Cartman" or some other fictional character. Rev Sharpton was in fact a well-known national figure pursuing the office.

I voted for him. My vote didn't count. I was disenfranchised.

I am requesting that whatever entity has the authority to do so [circuit court, county election board, state election board] please in fact order that my vote for Rev Sharpton be duly counted and that the primary election results be changed to reflect that vote.

I will be more than willing to fill out any kind of affidavit or paperwork required to officially ascertain that I cast this vote.

In addition, there is another voter from Posey Township in exactly the same position, having cast a write-in vote for Rev Sharpton that was not counted. If necessary, he also would be willing to sign an affidavit regarding his vote.

Again, I am requesting that the county election returns be changed to accurately reflect my vote in the May 2004 Democrat presidential primary.

I look forward to a prompt and just resolution to this matter.

Al Barger
14205 Barger Rd
Laurel, IN 47024

A couple of extra notes that were not deemed relevant to include in the official letter to the election board:

A lot of people complained about being "disenfranchised" in Florida during the 2000 election. Most of that appears to have been simply fictitious - people were not being turned away from the polls.

Mostly, the problems that did arise were from people not smart enough to use a simple ballot. If you punch out the wrong hole on the ballot, as perhaps one fourth or half of one percent did, that's nobody's fault but yours. There were also some small number of mechanical or technical problems - all of which were amplified in importance because of the freakishly close vote totals.

By contrast, in my case documented above, I carefully and correctly marked the box for a write-in vote, and carefully spelled out the name. Not counting this vote was not from voter error. Nor was it from an accidental technical glitch.

They simply did not INTEND to count my vote - unless I voted for one of those few and highly unappealing names they already had picked out for me.

Vote for whoever you want to - as long as it's one of these two. This would be somewhat like the poor child asked to choose his dinner from amongst nasty jars of strained green beans or strained spinach. Your choice. This may be appropriate for a toddler, but is not right for adults in a democracy.

By the way, some may wonder why a libertarian would wish to vote for a socialist, racialist demagogue such as the Rev Sharpton. My reasoning would not be any of the election board's business, but my basic idea there was to embarrass the Democrat Party for fostering such a character. With all the wicked race baiting fomented by the Democrats and their operatives, they richly deserve to have a guy like Sharpton prominent in their field, and making them all look foolish.

I note also that the staff at the Franklin County clerk's office were all particularly patient and courteous with me through the phone calls and office visits involved in checking the records and figuring out how best to make this appeal. I acknowledge that I'm coloring somewhat outside the lines here, as it were, and I appreciate their efforts to work with me. Thank you.

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