Battling storms, voter intimidation and long lines in some places, most supporters of the Freedom Socialist 2012 Presidential Campaign persevered and managed to write in Durham and López on November 6. Many thanks to all you hearty dissidents for helping to make this such a dynamic campaign—one that reached thousands of people across the U.S. and around the world. Everywhere our candidates went, voters young and old welcomed the positive message of resistance to the millionaires and warmongers and their twin party electoral scam.
And what a scam it was!
On Election Day in Newark, New Jersey, voters who attempted to write in Stephen Durham and Christina López were verbally harassed by poll workers. They were told it was against the rules to use the write in line and were publicly ridiculed for insisting they could—and did! In Cook County, Illinois, election officials told an early voter the same lie. Several hours of arguing and phone calls later, he was finally able to cast his vote. But he, like voters in New York and elsewhere, found that the write-in line on the ballot was barely wide enough to print both candidates’ first and last names! This despite the fact that in these and 22 other states, the Durham/López campaign had formal write-in status. Other widely reported attempts to discourage voters of color, youth and the poor also had a stifling impact on those who wanted to vote for Freedom Socialist or other third party candidates.
And so it went on election day in the “greatest democracy on earth!”
Amidst all the election results being combed over now, one thing is glaringly absent: the write-in tallies for third party presidential candidates. Seven states prohibit write-in candidacies outright. Many others refuse to itemize write-in votes by candidate. Laws in every state and county are different and often contradictory. In Washington State, where write-ins are tallied as a group, the Durham-López campaign is demanding to know why the results are not made public by each candidate’s name. For the minority of states that do report write-in votes, the combined totals won’t be announced until the election is long forgotten—in mid-December—when we’ll let you know what we’ve been able to learn.
Despite the realities of voter suppression, Durham-López voters commented at election night parties in five cities that they were elated at the campaign’s ability to shine the light on issues “the best election money could buy” completely ignored.
They pledged to step up organizing with the Freedom Socialist Party, and its sister organization Radical Women, and to keep on building a movement in defiance of the capitalist austerity measures being leveled globally against workers and the poor.
As the country edges toward the fiscal cliff another equally dangerous threat lurks: The “bipartisan fire sale” of social security, Medicare, public education and other socially owned and operated programs. The election of Barack Obama as president settles nothing. The fight to defend and expand the gains won by previous generations of workers and the oppressed goes on. The Freedom Socialist Party will be in the forefront of these battles. We invite you to join forces with us and promise to work with you in the days and months ahead.
La lucha continua, ¡Viva socialismo!