Saturday, October 31, 2009

Bullet voting

In a previous post I reported that supporters of Judicial candidate Dick Hughes have been urging people to vote for just for him even though you can cast 2 ballots for Common Pleas Judge in Luzerne County. Today I got an email from county GOP chairman Terry Casey asking people to vote for Hughes and skip the other 2.


We’re in the final stretch of what has turned into a real horse race for two seats on the Luzerne County bench.
We’re fortunate because clearly the best candidate in the field of three is our very own Richard Hughes, the only Republican in the running.
Dick is running an upbeat, positive, bipartisan campaign.
Not only is Dick battling a lopsided registration edge but he has become victim of the same old dirty Democratic political machine that is fueled by sneaky and dishonest backroom tactics.
In case you haven’t heard, the two Democratic county commissioners decided to push that antiquated, mindless method of voting – straight-party ballot -- by adding some confusing language to the ballot.
They did this in September, a month after deciding in a public meeting that the language was not necessary.
They did not do this at a public meeting as required by law. The two Democratic commissioners approved the language in typical Luzerne County Democratic fashion – a backroom deal without advertising the meeting. Again, an illegal move.
And they didn’t tell anyone about it until they voted on it at a public meeting in October – a month after it was a done deal. By then the absentee ballots were printed and ready to go.
They tried to deceive you and me and all of the voters of Luzerne County and attempted to make an already uneven playing field even more crooked.
This was done at the urging of the attorney of one of the Democratic candidates who has everything to gain by this senseless system called straight-party voting.
They have wielded this political power for too long.
But we have the power now because we’re not going to take it anymore.
We have the power to show Maryanne Petrilla and Greg Skrepenak that we’re smarter than they think we are.
We can tell them we will no longer fall victim to their dirty political tricks.
But there’s only one way we can do this.
We have to cast a bullet vote for Dick Hughes. We have to vote for one and only one candidate for county judge: Republican Richard Hughes.
PLEASE tell your family and friends to vote for ONE and only ONE candidate for Luzerne county judge!!!!
That’s the only way our party will gain traction in Luzerne County.
That’s the only chance we have at getting a Republican on the bench.
That’s the only way the Democratic machine will stop trampling on our rights and our sensibilities ...
If we stand together we can put up a roadblock and stop that Democratic machine that uses unfair tactics to control our county.
We have the power to do that – in a single vote.
A single vote for Richard Hughes for Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas.

Bill O'Boyle in the TL explains the tactic. Bullet voting is a tactic that is employed in races in which there are more candidates than open slots. By not casting the allowable number of votes a voter helps his or her preferred candidate by not adding votes to his or her rivals.

The county GOP is still fuming about instructions being included on the ballot about straight party voting . Executive Director Renita Fennick said “We think the county election board’s decision to add language regarding straight party voting encourages the antiquated, mindless practice of one party voting,” she said. “They took an uneven playing field and made it even more lopsided.”

The usual suspects of political analysis, Tom Baldino, Terry Madonna and Ed Mitchell, had a mixed reaction to the tactic.

I've been bullet voting for years and I think it works. In the Wilkes-Barre Area School Board race the only person I will be voting for is Harry Haas. There are 5 candidates for 4 slots.


Anonymous said...

This life-long Democrat seriously considered voting for Dick Hughes, until he stood by silently as Repubs tried to smear Tina Gartley. Hughes talks proudly about his "positive" campaign but did nothing to stop the rumors of Florida vacations or guilt-by-association allegations that Gartley was "hand-picked" to maintain Dem corruption. Even a direct appeal by Hughes' wife to women voters will not make up for his "good cop/bad cop" collusion with state and local Repubs. So much for the new party of integrity in Luzerne County....

Anonymous said...

Sorry but the Republican candidates had a chance to do what was right and Hughes said nothing abut the voter's Bureau putting instructions on the ballot that voting for individaul offices was a bad thing adn other than the chairman it was Mr Good Government himself, Walter Griffith who did NOT want voter instructions on the ballot. Asking for a straight vote is OK by me so I plan to bullet vote Amsbury and no republicans. I'm sick of the phonies.

Anonymous said...

I hadn't given it much thought but two can play the same game so I also will be bullet voting but mine will be for Bill Amesbury. The Republicans would be better off keeping their dirty little games under wrap till its to late to counteract their sneaky little tricks. Thanks for the heads up.

Big Dan said...

So, is Renita Fennick saying to "bullet vote" for whomever you vote for? Or only if you vote for Hughes? Can she clarify this? Her instructions don't tell you this...

Anonymous said...

Dan, the term "bullet vote" means to waste votes that are available. For example, there are 3 people running for judge and you can vote for two. She i saying to vote for just one and waste the othr vote. Thisa can only be done when you have the opportunity to vote for more than one candidate for the same office.