Monday, May 7, 2012

Lugar Asks Voters to Break the Law in Effort to Re-Elect Him

Dick Lugar is desperate to win in Tuesday's primary election.  How desperate?  He's publicly calling for people to break the law to help make it happen.

Indianapolis Business Journal is reporting that Lugar has sent out a call for Independents and Democrats to cross party lines and ask for a Republican ballot in the primary.  He asks they will then use their vote to help him defeat challenger Richard Mourdock.

The problem with that is that it may be illegal for voters to cross the party lines as Lugar is asking them to do.  According to Indiana law, you can only pull a party's ballot in a primary if you cast at least half of your votes for that party in the previous general election, or if you intend to cast at least half your votes for that party in the next general election.

Independents may not be breaking the law very often by pulling a primary ballot that they normally wouldn't.  Democrats and Libertarians who pull a Republican ballot for the sake of the Senate or Presidential race, or some other reason, are clearly in violation and are committing voter fraud.

Is that an enforceable law?  No, not at all.  The only way the law could ever be enforced is if we moved away from a secret ballot.  That, of course, is never going to happen.

But whether it is an enforceable law doesn't change the fact that it is the law, and Dick Lugar is asking people to break it for his own political gain.


  1. The cross-over strategy has never ever worked here in Indiana, and I don't think it will here.

  2. The law is not simply unenforceable, but in conflict with other laws in Indiana. In Indiana a person does not declare membership in a political party. Any person can be challenged at the poll in a primary. If a person always has voted in the Democratic party primary and asks for a Democratic ballot in the primary at hand, that person can be challenged. He or she must then avow either (1) that he or she voted for at least half of the candidates of the party, in whose primary the voter now wishes to vote, in the previous general election---against Indiana Code because one cannot be compelled to reveal one's vote---or (2) promise to vote for at least half that party's candidates in the upcoming general election---against Indiana Code because one cannot receive a benefit (traditionally in this context a bribe, but here the ability to cast a vote) in exchange for one's vote and against common sense because this is a primary election. The full slate of candidates has not yet been set. Since parties have come to control the apparati of the State, voters should be able to vote for either party in the primary. This is an open" state.