“Partisan Mischief”: N. Carolina Dems Vote to Block Third-Party Candidates from Ballots

“Partisan Mischief”: N. Carolina Dems Vote to Block Third-Party Candidates from Ballots

By Jonathan Turley

Months ago, I wrote a column about how Democrats have continued to try to block voters from being able to vote for candidates while claiming the mantle of the defenders of Democracy. This effort not only included Democratic Secretaries of State attempting to remove former president Donald Trump from the ballots, but efforts in the primary from the ballot. Many of these Democrats now calling for a “blitz primary” previously said nothing as voters were barred from having a choice in the primary. Now, in North Carolina, Democrats are seeking to bar third-party candidates from the general election . . . all in the name of perfecting democracy.

The Democratically controlled North Carolina’s Board of Elections voted against giving ballot access to new parties supporting presidential candidates Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Cornel West. All three Democrats (Alan Hirsch, Jefferson Carmon, and Siobhan Millen) voted to prevent voters from being able to vote for Kennedy and West, though the decision will have to be reconsidered. Yet, even if reversed, they are preserving uncertainty as to whether they will be viable candidates in the minds of voters.

The excuses for this action are superficial and manufactured.

Chairman Alan Hirsch insisted that their organizations were “problematic” in how they gathered signatures and how Republicans may be supporting their efforts to allegedly “take away votes from Joe Biden.”

They also said that they were concerned that the third-party candidates were using the new party rules to gain an easier path to ballots. That is a bizarre objection. They are opting for the best approach under the existing rules. It seems openly partisan for these three Democrats to suddenly raise concerns over the existing rules when it could harm Joe Biden or the Democratic Party.

Yet, Democratic commissioner Siobhan Millen worked hard to rationalize what is a raw political muscle play to prevent voters from having a choice:

“If this board keeps rubber-stamping thinly veiled so-called parties, national operatives are going to continue to come in and keep manipulating our system. Allowing unaffiliated candidates to follow the more lenient new-party rules is allowing a blind eye to partisan mischief, potentially.”

If Millen wants to see partisan mischief, she does not have to look far. She and her colleagues are engaging in precisely such mischief to deny voters choices this election to try to bolster the chances of Biden in a swing state.

Democrats continue to claim to defend Democracy while resisting democratic choice and abusing the legal process. This glaring disconnect was evident when President Joe Biden spoke on the top of the Point-du-Hoc in Normandy on the 80th anniversary of D-Day. Biden again used the event to suggest that democracy was in danger in the United States with the upcoming election.

Yet, Biden has overseen widespread government censorship with federal agencies targeting those with opposing views on everything from elections and climate change to COVID-19 and transgender policies.

As Democratic secretaries of state sought to bar Trump from ballots, Biden refused to oppose the efforts. When liberal law professors and members demanded to pack the Supreme Court to guarantee a liberal majority, Biden refused to denounce it during the last campaign.

This is why some in the country may view Biden and the Democrats as existential threats not just to Democracy, but to themselves. They see a party that is engaged in efforts to cleanse ballots (of Republicans), censor dissenting voices and prosecute political opponents.

The effort in North Carolina continues this hypocritical and cynical narrative. These three Democratic board members just voted to prevent their fellow citizens from being able to cast votes for third-party candidates who are attracting increasing support among disgruntled voters.


(TLB) published  this article from Jonathan Turley with our appreciation for this perspective

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Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

Header featured image (edited) credit: Vote/open public file

Emphasis added by (TLB)



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