Following The RulesWhen I was a young man, I did not belong to any political party. I wanted to vote for the best candidate, regardless of their political affiliation … I wanted to be “independent.”
However, I soon realized that I invariably liked and voted for the Democratic candidates. I wanted to be able to vote in the Democratic primaries, and so I registered as a member of the Democratic Party to enable me to legally cast my vote in the primaries.
Similarly, there are laws and regulations that stipulate that you must be a registered member of the political party of “the line” that a candidate is seeking in order to be able to sign a petition on their behalf.
So, as a registered Democrat, I am legally entitled to sign a petition to get Bridget Fleming on the ballot for the Democratic line for Suffolk County legislator. Conversely, I am legally prohibited from signing a petition to get her on the ballot on the Independence Party line, as I am not a member of the Independence Party.
It is not bullying nor is it thuggish to abide by and to enforce election laws and regulations. Rather, it is thuggish to assert that it is acceptable to break the rules if it suits your purposes [“Court Blocks Linda Kabot’s Write-In Campaign For Independence Party Votes For County Legislator,” 27east.com, May 3].
Under Trump, following rules has become a quaint relic of the past. However, many Democrats and others are still trying to protect the rule of law.
The 2020 elections will be a critical test of the relevance of facts, rules, laws and the future of our democracy.
Dick SheehanWesthampton Beach
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