I have just returned from the Madison County Kentucky Courthouse disappointed and disenfranchised. For the first time in my life, Kentucky's vote will actually matter in a Presidential Primary, but I will not be allowed to participate.
For the first time in my life, there is a candidate who I truly support, but I will not be allowed to vote for that candidate. This is because I am registered as an Independent and did not change my party registration before Dec. 31. I can understand the logic behind a closed Primary; Democrats and Republicans have every right to limit voter participation in their parties' nominations processes. What I cannot understand is not allowing people to become Republicans or Democrats during the five months leading up to the Primary.
I almost registered as a Democrat anyway; that is, until I learned that I would not be allowed to vote for my city commissioners, or anything else, on May 20 if I did. At this point, over a month and a half before the Primary, I would have to give up my right to vote in order to become a Democrat.
I refuse to give up any part of that right. I feel that the right to vote is an essential American right, and that it is the duty of the state to facilitate voting; not to prevent voting through acts of the state Legislature.
At the courthouse, I asked who I could talk to about this problem. I was told that the Kentucky Legislature had voted to limit people's ability to vote because "people kept on switching parties." So, rather than encouraging Kentuckians to vote for the candidate of their choice, the Legislature decided to make it extremely difficult to participate.
I guess the Kentucky Legislature is so partisan that they only see Democrats and Republicans as the people that they represent. The rest of us, the Independent Kentuckians, simply do not matter to them.