Libertarian Wins Elections Board Seat in WI

ballot box genericCongratulations to Jacob Burns for and the Wisconsin Libertarian Party — his representation of Libertarians concerns on voting should make the elections safe through paper records on electronic voting, make sure voting secure and perhaps influence to have petitioning be as fair as possible for all potential candidates:

Two years after challenging authority over what he calls a “bogus” ticket, Jacob Burns is now an authority of sorts on state elections issues.

The 21-year-old Oshkosh man, a staunch Libertarian is Wisconsin’s newest and youngest-ever State Elections Board member.

Burns, a University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh economics student, first earned headlines and buzz in August 2004 when he dared to hoist a flimsy, homemade sign criticizing the Democrat and Republican candidates for U.S. President.

The sign stated “No Bush, No Kerry, Vote Badnarik,” favoring 2004 Libertarian presidential hopeful Michael Badnarik.

He’s already been in at least one meeting with the rest of the board where they made a half-step decision towards repealing a rule they had made in violation of federal law (WI allowed voters to show up to the poll with their SSN if they forgot their ID). This notions is actually a good idea if implemented well: your vote is tied to your SSN (purged right after the elections close), an if you show up with an ID that find someone has already voted with your SSN, then you can claim back your vote (all with a paper trail that hashes the SSN). But that’s probably not the case unless they adopted some open source voting code.

Anyways, it’s also cool to see some young libertarians representing the party, it’s good to have us 20-somethings represented in the political world. Hope he’ll be able to bring some common sense and intelligent options into the election board debates.

Stephen VanDyke

I've published HoT along with about 300+ friends since 2002. We're all Americans who are snarky and love our country. I'm a libertarian that registered Republican because I like to win elections. That's pretty much it.

  1. A semantic quibble: Burns was “designated by the chairperson of the Libertarian Party of Wisconsin” and then appointed by the Governor to the Elections Board. The LP of Wisconsin earned an automatic seat on the Elections Board due to its result in the last election for Governor. So, he didn’t exactly “win” the seat. Anyhow, since the threshold is 10%, the party won’t have a seat after the next election anyway.

  2. Tying a vote to a SSN is just another way of implementing the National ID. While doing away with SSN’s and the system it represents is the ideal, the sooner people return to “This card not to be used for purposes of identification” the better.

  3. Your accusation is untrue and I think it is also a violation of forum rules. You should know better than that Rolf.

  4. Nigel — Druid’s first link was to a white supremacy website. I can’t access the second one.

    That being aside — I’m just *WAITING* for somebody to try and call this one a “dogcatcher” position.

  5. Druid — a large number of people (my personal emphasis: “mainly anarchists”) claim that nobody will ever get elected to anything statistically more signifant than “dogcatcher” on a purely LP ticket because “we haven’t educated society enough.”

    They continuously use the BS line — at least, round here-parts — that LP members will never get elected until we’ve changed societal viewpoints sufficiently that libertarianism is the dominant philosophy… and that once that happens we won’t *need* to be elected.

    They STILL make the argument that the LP — a *POLITICAL PARTY* — ought not to be making any effort to get people elected into positions with influence/power at all, and instead be acting as an outreach organization.

    It’s enough to make one want to smack people upside the head. Repeatedly. This being why I don’t attend my local LP meetings. Anarchists are the dominant numerical representation present. And they’re not particularly *bright* anarchists either.

  6. The Moral Rearmament types are not automatically identical with the anarchists, though they overlap closely with the supporters of some parts of the Ayn Rand group. Mercifully, people who want to argue philosophy are in minimal supply locally. For more on Moral Rearmament, as opposed to LPUS Membership Recruitment via Project Archimedes and as opposed to Local Organization, see my book Stand Up for Liberty! .

    The strong disagrement, in my opinion, having been convinced by others, is not between purists and pragmatists. It is between (1) people who want to do politics, (2) people who want to argue philosophy, and (3) people who see an opportunity to make money for themselves. Anyone who was at the LPMA convention a few years ago, and saw good friends Carla Howell and Michael Cloud come down on opposite sides of salami slice (MC) vs in your face (CH) paths, to reach exactly the same goal, has seen this.

    Many people have a foot in more than one camp.