LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Why your vote doesn’t count in Champaign County

By Michael Martin

In the tedious process of getting Socialist Equality Party Candidate Joe Parnarauskis on the ballot for State Senate in this 52nd district, it has become clear to me that your vote does not matter. First, there is the enormous issue of ballot access that third parties contend with. Whether you’re a Green, socialist, or libertarian, if you have the petition signatures to be placed on the ballot there is no guarantee the parties of the powerful will strip you and your constituency of your ballot status.

Recent experiences with the Parnarauskis campaign should enlighten all voters that their voice and vote will be belittled and ignored in Illinois. Democratic board-member McGuffage’s comments at a hearing to approve Joe’s ballot status illustrate this point nicely as he tried to uphold objections against ballot status for the SEP because he believed that “people would sign anything placed in front of them” and this constituted a deception on the part of Joe’s campaign. This and other comments made by McGuffage and other members of the board of elections show a contempt for the wishes of registered voters in the 52nd district. The same tone of contempt resonated from Brain Pierce’s Tuesday column when he implied the Parnarauskis campaign is doing the work of the Republican Party and should be left off the ballot.

While Joe’s status remains deadlocked in legal limbo, I remind Mr. Pierce, Mr. McGuffage and the rest of Illinois’ 52nd district that the power of your vote lies with you and you alone – not with a narrow two-party vision of democracy, not with councils and boards, but with the individual.