It just wouldn't be a proper election without Althea and Roy

SHOCKING UPDATE: The Secretary of State's office rules Garrison will not be on the Democratic ballot, because she changed parties too late..

The Dorchester Reporter runs down the list of candidates for Carlos Henriquez's now vacant Fifth Suffolk seat. Good news for fans of perpetual candidates: Both Althea Garrison and Roy Owens are among the six to file papers to run.

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So, an otherwise eligible candidate

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is excluded from appearing on a written ballot because they changed their party affiliation too late? In a word - nonsense!

And this is further proof why we need to eliminate this pointless, archane, and discrimatory system of requiring separate primary ballots for each political party, as well as requiring "undeclared" voters to select a party affiliation in order to cast a ballot.

"One primary, one ballot." The only logical way to conduct an election.

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Yes on almost all points

Yes, I agree with you on most of your points.

The deadlines to qualify for a lot of offices are too lengthy and written to exclude competition. Why else would the City require someone to be a resident of a specific district for an entire year before being allowed to run for city councilor from that district? Why isn't it 90 days before, or 1 day before, the election?

Why is it anyone's business if I pull a Democrat or Republican ballot in a primary yet I have to declare when I go to my voting place.

But, it's not as though she didn't know the rules. I assume she switched from unenrolled to Democrat, and the rules (laws) are quite clear on when you have to what in order to qualify. She should have just collected signatures as an unenrolled and gone right to the general election.

Oh, and I don't understand why I as a unenrolled voter (and the majority of Massachusetts residents) have our taxes pay for political party primaries.

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Point taken

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However, we should also be asking why an "unenrolled" candidate is excluded from participating in a primary in the first place. Better to put all eligible candidates, regardless o party afflilation (or lack thereof), on a single primary ballot. Say I want to show support for an "unenrolled" candidate, why do I need to wait unti the final election to do so?

And a "single primary ballot" doesn't prevent a "loyalist" from voting their party line for all elections on the ballot. However, it actually maximizes exposure for ALL candidates running - shouldn't that be the point of an election?

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Why state run primaries?

What I don't get is why the commonwealth is in the business of primaries to begin with. Shouldn't the person who runs with a parties nomination be determined by that party and following whatever rules that party wants to mandate? The general election should be the only one in which the state is involved. (And it should be a instant runoff style too but that's a different topic.)

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basics...

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Unenrolled candidates cannot participate in party primaries because they are not members of any party, therefore they do not need to earn a party nomination in order to be on the ballot in a general election. Quite simply, there is no ballot to put them on.

As an aside, you cannot "show" support by voting for a candidate, since Mass. General Laws prohibit you from showing your completed ballot to anyone. Ways to "show" support include volunteering, wearing buttons/pins, or placing a bumper sticker on your car.

Primary ballots are separated by party to ensure that only democrats are influencing the democratic party primary, and the same for republicans. Otherwise, if I were a democrat, I could take a republican ballot and vote for the weakest candidate, helping to ensure that my democratic candidate would face off against the weakest possible opponent in the general election.

This is pretty basic election stuff.