|The "Independent" Myth|| By Chris Holbert (District Captain 22)|
|Why being an "Unaffiliated" voter makes one DEPENDENT||July 28th, 2009|
Do you think of yourself as being an “Independent” voter? Do you prefer to vote for the person rather than a party? If so, please take a moment to consider why, in my opinion, “Independent” is a myth in Colorado.
First, there is no such thing as an “Independent” voter registration in our state. While the phrase “independent” is common, “unaffiliated” is the actual label recognized by the State for those registered voters who do not affiliate with a political party. So, how do unaffiliated voters get to express their so-called “independence”? They get to vote for any candidate listed on the November ballot regardless of party affiliation, just like all the registered Democrats and Republicans. That’s right, everyone who is registered to vote has the right to cross party lines and vote for any candidate listed on the November ballot. Being registered as an unaffiliated voter does not provide greater choice!
Next, consider that your Republican and Democrat neighbors have multiple opportunities to help select which candidates are listed on the November ballot. They can vote at their precinct caucus meetings, and if elected as a delegate, can vote at their county assembly, State House and Senate district assemblies, judicial district assembly, Congressional district assembly, state party convention, and national party convention. Affiliated voters also get to vote in the August primary election where races are settled between multiple candidates of the same party. Meanwhile, as an unaffiliated voter, you are permitted to vote once, in the November general election, where all registered voters get to choose between those candidate finalists who have been determined by the political parties.
It’s likely that no one has taken the time to explain how your Republican and Democrat neighbors enjoy more independence than do unaffiliated voters. It's a common assumption and a myth that is perpetuated by the constant reference to "Independent" voters. Both major political parties want your vote, but they also understand that you probably prefer to vote for the person rather than the party. Thus, it is difficult for either party to convince you to affiliate with them – specifically because of your desire for independence.
If you truly want independence, please consider the fact that being an unaffiliated voter actually places you in a position of greater dependence because you get to choose only from those candidates selected by the parties. If you’re ready to affiliate with a party, please know that the Douglas County Republicans would welcome your independent views. You probably wouldn’t feel like an outcast here, more likely you’d fit right in!
If you’d like to check on your party affiliation and – maybe – affiliate with a political party, please contact the Douglas County Clerk & Recorder, Elections Division at (303) 660-7444 or, click the link below to access the Elections Division web site. That way, you can ‘get in the game’ and affect change as you see fit. Now that's independence!