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Surrendered Ballots

September 3rd, 2017
Surrendered Ballots

We’re told by the duopoly that casting a vote for a third party is a wasted vote…that or worse.  In premium fear mongering mode, we’re told it is even “a vote for the other guy”.

CP-Idaho has dealt vigorously with this sort of propaganda coming out of the ensconced duopoly. [Readers can search back into our archive stacks and find commentary thereon.]

Here, we want to talk about a true throw away ballot.  We refer to them as “surrendered ballots”.

A discussion of sorts is taking place over on our facebook page–Constitution Party of Idaho.  This was sparked by the interview of the Acting State Chairman Floyd Whitley by Ms. Sydney Jensen, BYU-Idaho radio journalist student.  Mentioned in the interview were some of the mechanics that ought to be considered in third party operations.

The now blasé question, always asked, regards “throwing away votes”.  Actually, CP-Idaho submits that, due to their hegemony, it is the existing duopoly that has led to far more discarded votes.  These surrendered ballots are too often caused when citizens do not participate at all…or when non-compete gentlemen’s agreements are made.

Citizen participation is key.  Idaho is, for all intents and purposes, a single party state.  Yes, a few set aside “reservations” (mostly in Boise) exist to keep the pet state Democrats contained via redistricting every decade.  But this is a one party state.

We do have some interesting numbers to consider…numbers that assist greatly in keeping Idaho a one party state.  These are the surrendered ballots.

In 2016, 13 State Senate seats were uncontested…fully 37.1% of the state’s upper chamber was “surrendered” to incumbency. Almost as bad, in the State House, 35.7% of the state’s representatives went uncontested.

The fact that seats are uncontested necessarily leads to surrendered ballots; meaning:  some citizens when given no choice in a particular elective race simply opt to not cast a ballot in that particular race.

In terms of trying to quantify lost votes, State Senate races are more difficult to put numbers on.  True, because in each Legislative District, Idaho has only one State Senator.

But because we have two State Representatives in each District, this can lead to direct extrapolation–whenever a specific District had one contested and one uncontested State Representative race.  We can put a handle on the numbers.

Indeed, in 2016, five Districts had “split” contests–District 7 (north central Idaho), District 16 and 20 (Ada County), District 29 (Pocatello) and District 30 (west Bonneville County).

2017_Surrendered Ballots chart

“Surrendered ballots” in each of these districts are obvious.  In total, they amount to 16,678 voters.  On average in each uncontested race, approximately 3,336 District voters simply threw their ballot away, unwilling to feed the uncontested hegemony or incumbency.

The most egregious “throw away” occurred in District 16–over 25% of the ballot by voters at the polls for District 16, Seat B was simply discarded.  16,678 Idahoans surrendered ballots in 2016–when presented with no choice in the State Representative race.  Put another way, that is more than the population of Blackfoot and American Falls combined.  And this shameful surrender is just in the State Legislature.  Many other vital offices had “surrendered” ballots.



County commission races were atrociously uncontested.  These offices hold sway over substantial local community resources and…set local taxes and ordinances.  So, taxation without representation?  Pretty much.

Worse, from the standpoint of liberties and security, are the uncontested county sheriffs and county prosecuting attorneys.  Arguably, these offices hold the most direct control over the citizenry’s freedoms.  It is a prescription for disaster when the prosecutorial power of county government is “surrendered” by the People.



CP-Idaho again calls for our citizenry to stand up and participate.  And we again appeal to the wisdom of not wasting party resources on venting ideology.  Constitutionalists should direct their energies on attracting professionals–such as candidates for county prosecutor, or sheriff, assessors, legislators.

For our part, over the past five years CP-Idaho has done the thankless work to build a strong platform; we reworked the state party’s wiring to focus upon candidate support.  Our vote total in 2016 was the highest in our state party’s history.  We are aiming for more.

But we do need your involvement.  Otherwise, Idahoans will surrender yet more ballots…and yet more liberties.

Donate!  Participate!  Get involved!

piryx1CP-Idaho Literature Fund is restricted for use in printing and publishing educational policy material, public programs   and website activity intended for direct voter education and outreach by the Constitution Party of Idaho


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