At some point in the past, Mark (and Marc) wrote:

> > In the U.S. every voter registers for a party (or as an independent --
as I recall the rules vary considerably from

> What?  You mean to say that you cannot vote in the US unless you register
your "preference"?  Is that true?  And if it is, what's the point of it?
Since your vote is secret, why register a preference?

Cousin Bill tries to explain:
Different states have different rules for registering to vote.  No state
(that I am aware of) requires you to register a party in order to vote in
general elections, such as those that are coming up in a couple of weeks.
Party registration is required by some states in order to vote in primary
elections (when choosing the nominees for each party for each office).
Georgia, where I am registered to vote, does not require prior registration
of party.  On the date of the primary elections (or in my case, when
requesting an absentee ballot) you state which party's primary you wish to
vote in and you are given a ballot for that party.  In Presidential election
years, Georgia holds two primaries.  One for the presidency and one for
other offices.  In Georgia you can opt to vote in the Democratic primary for
president, and then a few months later vote in the Republican primary
without any trouble. (Or vice versa)  But then when the general election
roles around, no one asks party preferences and one is allowed to vote
however one chooses.

> As to voting or supporting a party: I'm not sure that I follow what Elder
Jensen was saying.  What's the point of voting for a party if you don't
accept their policies?  The Brethren have always told us to study the issues
and then support the candidate that best represents our interests or who
supports the issues we believe in.  If a candidate supports things that we
are opposed to, then why would we vote for him or her?  Okay, granted,
probably every candidate supports some things that we are opposed to, but if
a candidate supports many things we strongly oppose, why would we vote for
him or her?

Cousin Bill:
I think there is a problem with definitions here.  Someone (John?) wrote
that he thought it was impossible to be a good Mormon and a good Democrat.
Someone else (Marc?) wrote that Elder Jensen said differently.  This is
where the definitions come in.  My definition of a good Democrat is someone
who agrees with and supports the party platform, party leaders and office
holders.  By using this definition, I believe it is impossible to be a good
Mormon and a good Democrat, because the party platform, leaders and office
holders hold to many planks that are against what is taught by the church.
But maybe there is a different definition of being a good Democrat that
others use.  If one defines a good Democrat as being someone who works
within the party to bring about a better platform, select better leaders and
elect better office holders (those that would agree with church teachings),
then it would be possible to be a good Mormon and a good Democrat.

Clear as mud?

Bill Lewis AKA
Cousin Bill

Guess what!  I'm published!  Check out this link:

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