Democracy The God That Fumbled

This past primary was the first primary in New Hampshire in which the Libertarian Party (LP) was a recognized party. The LP has less to do with libertarianism than I would like, but many people’s conversion stories seem to start there, however brief their stay, so if “we” can get the State to draw attention to the fact that libertarianism exists that seems like a good to me. It also seems to diminish the legitimacy of the system, and that’s always a good thing. In the interest of full disclosure I will point out that my conversion story starts with walking into the first election held after I turned 18, seeing more than two presidential candidates, looking up all the parties, and Googling “non-aggression principle’ after reading the LP platform.

The State acted like they just had no idea how to handle having a third party on the ballet. In my opinion, most of this is attributable to incompetence rather than malice, both due to Ochham’s Razor and the fact that the State isn’t exactly an efficient organization. The system wasn’t set up to manage third parties actually achieving ballot access; the system was set up to manage a facade of popular choice while two groups take turns liquidating the value of the general area.

In New Hampshire, you can register and “un-register” with a Party on the day of the election at the polls. Previously, I had to request a form to return to Undeclared after primary elections. No state agent had ever taken the time to go over this process with me. Which is fair enough, just because polling places are located in schools doesn’t mean the poll workers are there to teach civics class. However, when I requested a Libertarian Party ballot in the last primary I was handed a form to return to Undeclared with it and she started explaining how I could return to Undeclared. I don’t have a strong preference for either procedure, but whatever it is should be consistent and should definitely be the same between ballots of different parties. I have received mixed reports for whether people were offered these forms without asking.

Some un-affialated voters reported being asked only if they wanted a “Republican or Democrat” ballot.

Jay Noone of New Hampshire was able to vote after claiming to not be a citizen of the US nor a resident of New Hampshire. Some State agents have decided that it is easier to ignore our responses to questions if we allege enough facts to get them the answer that they are looking for. However, Jay did not allege facts sufficient to determine that he is in fact a US citizen as defined by US law or a New Hampshire resident, he simply stated his opinion on what the word “citizen” means. Perhaps the poll worker decided that only a New Hampshire resident would give such a response.

Though Carla Gericke ran as a Republican candidate for State Senate, she also won as a write-in candidate as the Libertarian candidate for State Senate. After the election results showed a lower number of write-in votes than those in the libertarian community knew occurred, a recount was requested. The recount amount in just Ward 11 was changed from 1 vote to 29 votes. This is concerning for the accuracy of write-in counting in general.

If I believed in democracy I’d be terrified at how the process is treated.

As of the time of this writing, it appears that both constitutional amendments will pass.


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