Maverick voting

The New York Times just had a piece explaining that the word “maverick” originated from one Samuel Augustus Maverick, who did not brand his cattle. Sam’s name came to stand for anyone who refuses to be branded, metaphorically speaking.

In that vein, today I had to call the Voter Records Correspondence Unit to ask them about reregistering at my new address because I wasn’t sure what party affiliation I had given when I registered here originally and I needed that information to fill out the form. That conversation after the break.

VRCU woman: It says here Green Party

Me: Oh thanks. I’d like to change that to “decline to state” can I do that on the same form and can I still vote in the Democratic Primary if I decline to state?

VRCU: This isn’t a primary.

Me: I know. I’m just checking for the future. The last election was an open primary for the Democrats.

VRCU: That’s right. It’s only the Republicans who didn’t want outsiders…and well…[she chortles]…now I guess they’ll take whoever they can get.

(Werner Willman’s Brandzeichen der Oldenburger photo used through a Creative Common’s license)

9 thoughts on “Maverick voting”

  1. Travis,

    Remember that primaries are subject to invidiual party rules, so in the future the Democratic Party could decide to close their primary. Then you’d have to register as a Democrat to vote in their primary. Alternatively, the Republicans could decide to open their primary, and then you could stay DTS and choose which primary to vote in!

  2. Yes Oren. Thank you for the reminder. I just wanted to make sure that “decline to state” had the same status as a third party registration, which it does.

  3. Travis,

    Not sure if I’m understanding you here, but members of other parties like the Green Party can’t vote in a Democratic open primary. Only Democrats and DTS voters can. That’s why you most likely weren’t allowed to vote in the Democratic primary in February. It’s a strange rule.

  4. Sorry for the confusion. What I mean is in a normal open primary a third party affiliation still allows you to vote on a major party ballot if you choose. I wanted to make sure that “decline to state” affords the same ability in our (California’s) strange “open” primary (which is actually technically called a “modified closed primary.” I lived in Wisconsin before I lived here and I could vote as a Dem in the primary even registered as a Green because they have a true open primary.

  5. My wife is directly related to Sam Maverick so I can directly confirm the family cringing every time he uses that term. They should sue for defamation of the name.

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