Election editorial prompts letter

Contributed by Shell Suber

A few weeks back, The State printed an editorial in the wake of the election while public discussion of voting was still on everyone’s minds. It was their position Alvin Greene’s vote total was evidence South Carolina needed to do away with the straight ticket option on voting machines.

The full editorial: “Stop encouraging voters to abdicate decisions” – Nov. 23, 2010.

As with most editorials, there was one part that set me off:

“At this rate, Republicans will easily surpass Democrats in handing over their brains to party bosses by the next election…”

And:

“The state should never encourage voters to abdicate their responsibilities to a political party.”

I usually manage to disagree with an editorial without feeling compelled to run to my computer and dash off a retort, but not this time. When I didn’t hear back from The State for a couple weeks – they usually make a verification call before the run a Letter to the Editor – I figured they were not going to print my letter. But, to my surprise, it ran on Dec. 23, a full month later. Here it is:

Parties don’t control voters

I take exception to an assertion made in the Nov. 23 editorial, “Stop encouraging voters to abdicate decisions.” While making your case for the elimination of the straight-ticket option from voting machines, you wrote that those who employ this option are “handing over their brains to party bosses.” To whom are you referring to when you say “party bosses?”

Nominees of both parties are selected by voters in very open, very public primaries, not by some shadowy group of power-brokers. We stopped selecting nominees that way decades ago.

And, if you paid attention to the outcome of this year’s primary races, you would know that officials of both parties have virtually no control over who voters select as their parties’ nominees. If they did, neither Alvin Greene nor Nikki Haley would have advanced to the general election ballot in the first place. There may be a case to be made for the elimination of the straight-ticket option, but by ignoring the fact that voters selected the nominees, you failed to make it.

Shell Suber, Columbia, SC

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One Comment to “Election editorial prompts letter”

  1. Nice retort, sport.

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