Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Obama Drama or Blame Game McSame? A Lesson in South Carolina's History

A write-in candidate is a candidate in an election whose name does not appear on the ballot, but for whom voters may vote nonetheless by writing in the person's name.

The 1954 South Carolina United States Senate election was held on November 2, 1954 to select the next U.S. Senator from the state of South Carolina. Senator Burnet R. Maybank did not face a primary challenge in the summer and was therefore renominated as the Democratic Party's nominee for the election in the fall. However, his death on September 1 left the Democratic Party without a nominee and the executive committee decided to nominate state Senator Edgar A. Brown as their candidate for the election. Many South Carolinians were outraged by the party's decision to forego a primary election and former Governor Strom Thurmond entered the race as a write-in candidate. He easily won the election and to this date, has been the only U.S. Senator elected by a write-in vote.

The News and Courier devoted its front page on November 2 to show voters a sample ballot and it also provided detailed instructions on how to cast a write-in vote. Not only that, but the newspaper also printed an editorial on the front page giving precise reasons why voters should vote for Thurmond instead of Brown.

So, South Carolina, it could be that you may not have to vote for "the lesser of two evils," after all in the next election. We admit, it's really been impossible to understand the two evils explanation, anyway, since you voted for evil twice (because like it's ever ok to vote for evil?).

Regardless of what Strom stood for in South Carolina's colorful history - right or wrong, good or bad, racist or rational - the fact that the man organized a write-in vote reveals a glimpse of true democracy. It's a flash of what this country could be should we endeavor to celebrate the tidbits, the tiny parcels that were, and still are, of an honest democratic fabric. Now, let us run along and see what else we can dig up.

In the meantime, if you'd like a break from the current spectacle that is called an election process, you can ponder voting for Mickey Mouse in 2008, here: Mickeyforpresident.com

1 comment:

WileyCoyote said...

Sadly, the State of South Carolina eliminated the ability of voters to write in a candidate. If a candidate desires to be written in, s/he must submit notification to the State Election Board of that intent, long prior to the election date, so that the Board can approve that candidate and include that name on the electronic ballot - or disapprove that candidate and leave no room on the ballot for her/him. Just another way SC has denied its own history, never mind the rights of the citizenry.