Indiana’s ballot access/primary election laws are unconstitutional and corrupt

We’ve been so systematically and trans-generationally deceived about the recent, unconstitutional, corrupt, self-appointed “Two Party System” that it’s understandably hard to believe the truth.  I’ve laid out my case several times in the past, but it’s worth trying again.  This time I’ll just lay out the facts and try (try…I really will try) to avoid pontificating.

Please read the following and come to your own conclusions.  If they’re different from mine, let me know what you think I’ve got wrong.  But if you agree with me…won’t you consider rising to action?

 

Facts:

Candidate caste system:

Indiana Code has in the past forty years created seven separate classes of candidates respecting ballot access, as well as for other increasingly divergent privileges, powers, immunities and liabilities under “law.”[i]

  1. The “Major Political Parties” defined by IC § 3-5-2-30, and by which there can only be two, is by far the most empowered class. Only MPPs can have poll clerks, election sheriffs and other election officers, and have members on election-related commissions.  MPPs have the easiest, and in most cases, automatic ballot access in at least one election per cycle.  Few races require ballot signatures.  Only MPPs have actual ruling power granted to them (for example, appointment to the Indiana Election Commission IC § 3-6-4.1-2, Recount Commission, etc.).   At present and for the foreseeable future (see #2 below), only MPPs get the extra public exposure, debates, taxpayer paid promotion and primary elections to put the imprimatur of legitimacy and favorable odds on their candidates.  To be crystal clear – the MPPS are exactly and only the Democratic and Republican parties – which are, in Indiana, only recently incorporated (Indiana GOP incorporated in 2005) quasi-chapters of the national, private 527 corporations.
  2. The second class defined by IC § 3-10-1-2 is hypothetical, since it would be any non-MPP political parties whose candidate for Secretary of State received at least ten percent of the votes cast in the previous election. That’s not just a difficult thing to achieve for a “third party;” it’s an odd, artificial goal for a political party where other offices would be considered much more important and ideologically relevant.  While no such parties exist in Indiana, second-class parties could have precinct committeemen, and participate in publicly funded primary elections.
  3. Members of the Indiana Libertarian Party are the only people to have made the third class of citizens.  They have automatic ballot access by having maintained at least 2% of the General Election vote in the Secretary of State Race.  In some ways, third-class people have the easiest path to getting on the General Election ballot.  But they cannot participate in primary elections, or have the officers/organizational advantages and governing powers of the MPPs or 2nd-class parties.
  4. In 1993, IC § 3-5-2-5.5 created the class, “Bona fide political party.” This includes the first-through-third classes, but also grants another class that allows a party its own poll watchers, and provides it certain election/voter-related information.  It is very difficult for them to get on the General Election ballot even in local races, as their hurdles are very greatly higher than the 3rd-class citizens’.  Their ability to participate in elections (debates, media, any public exposure), either General or Primary, is extremely limited.
  5. All other political parties fall in the 5th-ranked citizen class. There are many of these, but entirely out of the public view except in local races or as write-in candidates.
  6. Independent candidates cannot possibly participate in primary elections, even if they can overcome the obstacles both put in their way, and doubled in severity through the past thirty years (double the ballot signature requirements for example). Independent candidates face more hurdles than even 5th-ranked citizens, in some ways.
  7. Write-in candidates are those who failed to meet the requirements for ballot access in any of the previous classes, though there is overlap with the 5th and 6th-ranked classes. Though it’s not supposed to happen, votes for such candidates have often been thrown out in my experience (my own write-in votes, for example).  It’s very unlikely that these candidates would ever be listed in any candidate information guides, let alone be able to participate in candidate debates and media interviews.

 

Primary Elections:

The primary election system in the USA was promoted by the “Progressive” movement (they were NOT Democrats then!).  The first statewide primary election was in Florida, in 1899; but not all states have them for all elections even today.  Most states didn’t until the 1970’s, when their importance and power to the Democratic and Republican parties increased dramatically.  The point here being that primary elections are recent inventions…not at all part of the constitutional design, or even universal today.

  1. IC § 3-5-1-2 defines the purpose of primary elections to choose the following:
    1. The candidates who will be the nominees of a political party for elected offices in a general or municipal election.
    2. The precinct committeemen of a political party.
    3. The delegates to a political party’s state convention.
  2. IC § 3-5-3-7 (and others) require that taxpayers bear the full cost of primary elections.
  3. Primary elections provide benefits (debates, public exposure/advertising, listing in election reference sources half a year before other candidates) to only participant candidates and parties, which creates both relative and absolute disadvantages to all other candidates and parties.
  4. “Blanket primaries,” which offer the most options/choice to voters in selecting candidates, have not existed since 2003, when the SCOTUS decided that primary elections are for parties allowed to participate in primaries, and not for voters.
  5. Many candidates have no primary challenger. In these cases primary elections serve only the purpose of promoting candidates; not selecting them.
  6. The whole purpose of a political campaign is to gain public exposure and the imprimatur of legitimacy offered in debates, public media and recent expectations of a “Two Party System.” The extended campaign cycles resulting from taxpayer-funded primary elections are worth more promotion money than most candidates can ever raise.

Issue: Indiana’s Constitution plainly forbids the separate classes of citizens under law.  The violation of Article I Section 23 by Indiana’s election/ballot laws provides benefits to only the politically favored class, and at the expense of everyone else.  The unconstitutional Indiana Code that created and maintains the anti-competitive entrenchment allows only Democrats and Republicans to write the rules, enforce the rules, and count the votes…all at taxpayer expense.

Rule: The Indiana Constitution’s Article I Section 23: “The General Assembly shall not grant to any citizen, or class of citizens, privileges or immunities, which, upon the same terms, shall not equally belong to all citizens.”liberty

Summary: Article I Section 23 was enacted largely to prevent corruption, anti-competitive favoritism, and government-entrenched monopolies.   Indiana’s recent election-related codes reward corruption through institutionalized favoritism and government-entrenched monopolies.

So, we need a court case.  Maybe an amicus brief.  Maybe ask for summary judgment.  If we had enough people to make it happen, a big honking jury trial with plaintiffs and damages and media and a movie starring only liberty-leaning stars from Hollywood to Bollywood.  But more likely, a multi-step legal challenge in Indiana (where we’ve got just about the worst ballot access rules, but one of the very best state constitutions) where we’d almost certainly lose the first round, but end up in the state Supreme Court with a more publicly visible, and maybe even winning case against what plagues us all.

But that’s up to you.  Whatever we do, we need more people than just me fighting this.

 

[i]Article I Section 25 nullifies any Indiana law depending upon any authority but the Indiana Constitution: “No law shall be passed, the taking effect of which shall be made to depend upon any authority, except as provided in this Constitution.”  If there can be no such law, there can be no judgment or executive action favoring laws that cannot legally exist.  Article I Section 25 is an absolute ban on any government action exceeding the limits prescribed by the state’s constitution.

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27 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Thank you Andy!! Keep up the “good fight” its not falling on deaf ears!! Just wish more “citizens” cared or actually read more and stood up and weren’t afraid.

  2. Thanks! Yeah, I wish that too… But I don’t think it’s so much fear as it is helplessness, and what some call “rational ignorance.”

  3. What is the constitutional definiftion of unconstitutional?

    Article VI, Clause 2, (This (1788) Constitution and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof under the Authority of the United States shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and any Thing in the State’s Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.)) — State Constitutions and State Laws cannot amend the 1788 Constitution; reference Article V.

    Careful to not confuse citizen’s Rights and citizen’s Powers:

    Citizen’s Rights have no Power to force government compliance. Citizen’s Powers have some sort of force in government.

    Article 1, Section 2, Clause 1, “The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States,” — is a Ciitizen Power and voids the necessity of political parties and campaign money from outside the District. Citizens must be educated on the 1788 Constitution.

  4. We’ve already beaten this argument to death…you know I disagree with you on citizen powerlessness outside of the ballot box. Most of the changes in USA society were the result of lawsuits, protests, movements that preceded and transcended any electoral change. Votes and politicians changed as a result of the other pressures…not the other way around.
    Incumbents know how to play this game. They change their rhetoric to change the public mood…so they get reelected until they die.
    To say we’re powerless outside our votes is a copout.

  5. Are you claiming Article 1, Section 2, Clause 1, “The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States,” is no longer valid?

    If citizens of a District do not choose, elect, the District’s Representative every two years then how did 435 Representatives get in House in 2016 and 2018?

    Also, what other power do you clam citizens have to correct government?

  6. Rational ignorance-is refraining from acquiring knowledge when the cost of educating oneself on an issue exceeds the potential benefit that the knowledge would provide.

    “exceeds the potential benefit”….Can see any benefit to liberty or freedom.

    If they can’t take a little time to get informed then..
    May the chains of their servitude rest lightly…

    Keep swinging brother!! You do good work!!

  7. Exactly right.
    Thank you sir!

  8. Citizens best get their State to stop State candidates from using national political parties, that would also stop outside the State campaign money. Remember, Congress Members are elected from the State by citizens of the State.

    My city does not allow candidates running for city elected offices to run on a party ticket.

  9. Yes, educate yourself. A very good place to start is Article I, Section 2, Clause 1, “The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States,”

    Is that Article a citizen Right, or is it a citizen Power?

    Well Rights have no power to force government compliance.

    A Power carries some sort of force.

    Article I, Section 2, Clause 1, has the power of force to unseat a seated Representative, and only the “People” have that power.

  10. Yeah OK, so history, constitutions state and federal, and current events are wrong and you’re right. Fine. We’re all as helpless as kittens and we’ve got nothing but an occasional vote. You win. I give up.
    Have a nice day.

  11. Amendment 10, “the (1788 people’s) Constitution” delegated “powers” to the “United States” and “reserved” powers that were not delegated to the United States to the States, “or to the people”.

    One Right is mentioned in the Constitution and that Right applies only to Authors and Inventors, Article I, Section 8, Clause 8. The Court is obligated to defend that Right. Evidently Rights are not powers and have no force in government. However, citizen’s Powers, a limited ——“force” in government, are written in two Articles of the Constitution.

    First sentence of Article I, Section 2, Clause 1, “gives” citizen’s the exclustive power in government limited to “chosen”, or NOT chosen (force out of office) the Incumbent, citizen’s District’s Representative for the House in Congress every two years, and the first sentence of Article III. Section 2, Clause 3, gives citizens the exclusive power, limited to dispensing justice to the criminally accused to protect citizen’s inaleinable Rights.

  12. Allan, you have a fundamental misunderstanding of what the federal constitution is, and what it’s for.
    It’s first of all a one-sided covenant between the states to create a limited umbrella government with only the powers specified. It’s a document of limitation on the federal government’s powers…not ours. It’s a leash on politicians, not on us.
    Second, that contract has been broken and thrown away. Since our politicians have no regard for the laws that protect us from them, there are no longer laws to protect them from us (see Declaration of Independence, and the federal constitution’s Preamble).
    Third, our government never worked the way it was supposed to. Not ever.
    Lobbying, protests, suing the government…it all works better than voting in affecting rapid, fundamental change.
    The fact that we’ve used our citizen powers badly to screw up the government doesn’t change the fact that a foreign teenager with mental/emotional conditions can be more powerful than votes.
    Facts are facts, Allan.
    I know you want to cop out and throw up your hands and say all we can do is vote and we have no other powers…but that ain’t true.
    I’ve seen it first hand, and I’ve played a small part in change myself where my votes have been next to pointless.

  13. Citizens and citizen’s Rights and lobbyist cannot amend the Constitution, nor even legislate: Reference Article V and Article I, Section 1, Clause 1.

    Citizens have two, only two “constitutional”, limited Powers to keep and maintain the Republic, one power to unseat seated corrupt State and Federal “Lawmakers”, the other power to nulify unjust laws, and the President is not a Lawmaker and citizen’s vote does not elect the President.

    Indeed, America has a corrupt unconstitutional government for over one hundred years because a corrupt citizenry elect a majority of the House in Congress every two years.

  14. Please read the ninth amendment. And then read the tenth. Then the ninth again.
    Then read the ninth amendment one more time.

    Click to access annotated-usa-constitution.pdf

    Our enumerated right to petition, and the implied power to sue the government, have been very powerful in social change. Protests have changed policy overnight. Not just here, but everywhere forever.
    You’re looking at this all backwards.
    We The People inherently have vastly more power than the few who think they rule.

    What maybe both you and I have a hard time accepting is that this rotten corrupt mess all around us really is what people want. It’s what we, yes, keep reelecting. But it’s also what we sue for, protest for, lobby for, and ask for in every other way every day.

  15. The Right to petition is “asking” and has no force in government. The Ninth Rights are inalienable Rights and belong to citizens, belong not to government. Ninth Rights are protected in court by citizen Jurors. The Ninth Rights have no force in government; study Amendment 10.

    Andy, if you are constitutionally correct then the 1788 Constitution is incorrect. Can you be explicit and state what is incorrect and written in the 1788 Constitution?

    In the meantime; America, the land of Religious freedom, is, God forbid, embroiled in religious wars at home and abroad.

  16. You still don’t get what the constitutions were for and who they restrained.
    As we’ve been doing this for years now, I see no hope in coming to any different outcome than impasse.
    You feel you’ve no power against our own government, but I thank God the founders did not agree with you or we’d have no nation!

  17. The 1788 Says what it is for in Article IV, Section 4, Clause 1, “The United States shall guarantee to every State in the Union a Republican Form of Government , and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.”

    (govern the States, settle squabbles between the States, and protect the States against invasion. …….. then leave free citizens alone, the federal government is delegated no power, by the Constitution, to rule citizens. Free citizens are obligated to rule themselves)

  18. OK, so this part’s correct: “the federal government is delegated no power, by the Constitution, to rule citizens. Free citizens are obligated to rule themselves.”
    Yes, great.
    But we’re also supposed to rule our government. And, sadly, that’s what we’ve done…and we’ve done it really, really badly. And much of it has been through court cases, not votes. A lot by lobbying for terrible laws, not Election Day choices.
    Read the ninth amendment again.

  19. The Constitution rules government Officials and free citizens rule themselves and rule “who” is elected, or not reelected, in the House of Congress every two years. (first sentence of Article I, Section 2, Clause 1)

    State and Federal “Lawmakers” Oath is to support the 1788 Constitution:

    Article VI, Clause 3, “The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this (1788) Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”

    However, good point on “what citizens believe” their vote does, when Article I, Section 1, Clause 1, is clear, “only” Congress is delegated the power to legislate and Article V is clear that only “three fourths” of the “States” have the power to amend the Constitution,

    U.S. citizens have lost their “American” mind and are constitutionally ignorant. “If a nation (people) expects to be (constitutionally) ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” –Thomas Jefferson to Charles Yancey, 1816.

  20. Your last paragraph is correct…though We The People never did the state and federal constitutions right – not even the day they were signed.
    At any rate, we no longer have constitutional rule of law. We’re making stuff up as we go now, and I’m betting that we both agree that’s a sad, self-destructive thing.

  21. Oh, and I do need to correct you on the constitution’s date…it’s actually 1992. The amendments count, whether we like them or not (and I don’t like most of them).

  22. Amendments cannot change or amend citizens constitutional powers in government. Yes, I too don’t like some amendments, particularly those that are unconstitutional. What criteria must be consulted to determine what is constitutional?

  23. “We The People never did the state and federal constitutions right”, Yes, that is correct, so QUIT blaming the Constitution. …………”If a nation (people) expects to be (constitutionally) ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” –Thomas Jefferson to Charles Yancey, 1816.

  24. That’s not true…amendments are a part of the constitution, like it or not. That’s how the amendments work.
    And citizen powers were not what the constitutions were supposed to be about anyway. Only amendments COULD take away our rights/privileges and powers under law. Like the 18th Amendment did until it was repealed.
    You could argue that a few weren’t properly ratified, but that’d be an academic exercise since our governments operate almost entirely outside the constitutions anyway.

  25. This might be of interest from a co-founder of the Libertarian Party.
    https://independentpoliticalreport.com/2017/04/d-frank-robinson-censorship-the-state-monopoly-of-ballot-printing/

  26. This is great. I’m all for it. But we’d still have the unconstitutional powers, privileges and immunities granted to only Ds and Rs, and all the unconstitutional, unfair hurdles, limitations and costs imposed on everybody else.
    We should attack all the above.

  27. Good job…interesting reading …I am always for more choices….more fairness and more freedom to run our own government!


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