Mark Gregson:

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?


I do not recall living in a state where you had to declare a party 
preference in order to register to vote.

In the state where I now live, if you vote in a primary election, 
you vote only in the primary election of one particular party.  You 
automatically become a member of that party and you cannot vote 
or participate in the other party's election.

After the primary election (and any runoffs, as needed), anyone 
registered may vote in the general election in November (including 
those who did not vote in the primary election).

This primary election law has some unusual consequences.  A judge 
who had served well for 20 years as a Democrat was unopposed.  He 
decided to vote for his friend, a Republican in their primary.  
Because he did this, he was ruled ineligible to be on the Democratic 
ballot, was removed, and another Democrat was appointed to take his 

In the meantime, the Republicans had not put up a Republican 
challenger, but now a different Democrat was going to walk into 
office unopposed.  Because the law does not allow a Republican 
on the ballot this election, since a Republican primary election 
was not held, there will be an independent write-in candidate 
for whom folks may vote in November.  It will be interesting.

The state supreme court has upheld all of this as lawful and 
constitutional under state law.

Larry Jackson

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