Below is the full text from an email letter sent out recently from NEGOP Chairman Eric Underwood. The bolding, underlining, and italics are mine, and I have used them to point out the parts of this letter with which many whom I know would take issue.
Am I reading this wrong, or did the Chairman of the NEGOP just say that people who don't trust those who support the use of machines are "conspiracy theorists?" Yep, I'm pretty sure that's what it says. What the hell?? And the entire section which I have marked in bold type seems to be rather ominous. It sure as hell sounds like Underwood is using a scare tactic of trying to convince people that their write-in votes might somehow corrupt their ballot and make their votes not count. I'd say that such communications coming from the NEGOP should be reported to party leadership, for I think this kind of manipulation of voters is wrong. But who is going to keep the NEGOP in check if this kind of garbage comes directly from the new party chairman himself??
Is it appropriate for the NEGOP chairman to be discouraging write-ins using such fear-based tactics? And he not only labeled a large part of the Republican Party membership as "conspiracy theorists," but he included another scare tactic of suggesting that if you opt to write-in a candidate you "just identified yourself." (As what? A "conspiracy theorist?")
This is beyond the pale.
In a typical election cycle the question is asked…Who are you going to vote for?
Seems like a simple question. It is more of a loaded question, but it is simple.
Sometimes, the question is asked “Who should I vote for?” Maybe…the question is asked this way, so an unsure voter can justify or find confidence in their own decision. Or maybe it's asked this way BECAUSE a person has no confidence in their own decision.
Or, maybe sometimes people, voters, are just lazy and apathetic, “just give me the answers” mentality. Maybe, they are in a vindictive, vengeful mindset so they say “stick it to” society and simply… don't vote. I wouldn’t recommend that. This mindset is “if they are not a part of voting, they've proven their defiance and disdain for politics in general”. Never mind that the day after the election, they return to being a Keyboard Warrior, the armchair quarterback to the failures of City Hall.
Who are you going to vote for?
I believe that is NOT the question for this year. With so much at stake and the potential for historic voter engagement in 2023. The real question to answer for yourself is…
WHY do you vote?
I've asked that very question to 200 Omaha Liberty Ladies. I've asked that question to 40+ Anne Batchelder Republican Women. I asked that question to 25 prominent Republican leaders in Madison County on October 26th.
Why do you vote?
I asked this question on my Chairman Zoom meetings on Monday nights.
The overwhelming responses come back to Patriotic themes – gratitude, service, and honor. As Republicans, the responses are resoundling filled with liberty and resonate the mentality of “It's our civic duty to vote!” especially for those who have fought to keep this American freedom. The veterans will humbly mention, when and how they served this country, but they adamantly declare that they will continue to serve this country even in the simplest of ways by voting and encouraging others to vote. Then the responses turn towards the future. References to “my kids or my grandchildren”, usually bringing about a pause… and reflection. Sometimes they tell a story or describe an inward struggle of “How could we let it get THIS bad in our country?” Usually another pause…but then a firm statement, “I'll be damned if I don't make a stand now for my kids and grandkids”.
So I ask all of you to answer this question. Why do you vote? But…don't answer it to me. Answer for yourselves. Answer to your family, answer to your friends and neighbors and co-workers and fellow churchgoers. Tell people why YOU vote, not who you vote for, but WHY. Tell your story and get as many conservative-minded, Constitution following, believers of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…get them to VOTE on November 8th.
This year has been filled with a fog of veiled truth and unknowns when it comes to Nebraska Republican politics. As I've said in the past, we are modest Republicans just trying to live our lives devoid of politics. However this year, of all the years, has brought more doubt and division to our party as we tried to disseminate the truth and the true character or integrity of the leaders in this party. The Patriot Republicans are divided. Establishment Republicans are divided. Elected officials are divided. All of us share the blame at some level to this division. And the reason is…we've all reached the breaking point. At some level or another we see the liberal agenda squeezing in from the coast, swelling up from the border, and infiltrating our towns and communities. And we want it stopped…YESTERDAY. We are at the extreme state of activism coupled with formal party structure, trying desperately to shield our ‘Good Life’ and our kids from tyranny and a destroyed Nebraska and Country.
The time has come for me to be bold. It is time to look in the mirror, call all things like it is, and tackle the solutions head-on…together.
First, did you know that 20% of all ballots are already hand-counted because of a write-in component? Think about it. Many races require a write-in for down ballot races, such as in my small town of Malcolm…there will be at least 200 write-in ballots for the school board, in a race with approximately 300+ vote totals. Two-thirds of the ballots will be separated and hand-counted just for Malcolm School Board.
How about the arrogant voter that writes their own name for president?
Ever seen the jokesters post on Facebook or Twitter, the write-in name of Mickey Mouse for Mayor?
There's no NEW forced anomaly by having a Governor's race write-in campaign. Now…the conspiracy theorists seemingly don't trust the people who support the machines, and the past administration who manipulates the machines, but you, the write-in VOTER for Governor, just identified yourselves to them. The conspiracy theorist may say “Who cares if the write-in concept has happened in the past, this way I KNOW that MY ballot is pulled out, hand-counted, and the machine's can't cheat. Of course, that MEANS “they” pulled your ballot for write-in Governor AND ALL your other votes…for school board and County Attorney and legislative district get pulled out too.
Personally, I'm not willing to risk my vote for Pat Condon for Lancaster County Attorney, or Mike Foley for State Auditor, or Trevin Preble for Lancaster Public Defender, or Mike Flood for Congress, or Kirk Penner for Board of Education. I wouldn't RISK my Marni Hodgen for Board of Education VOTE, or my Aaron Hanson for Douglas County Sheriff VOTE, or Chris Bruns for LD#42 VOTE, or Kathy Wilmot for Regents.
I'm not willing to RISK all my OTHER votes on ONE race if I think my ballot will be flagged now. I'm not willing to sacrifice the GOALS of #36Strong Legislators at the Unicameral, or the goal of FOUR State Board of Education, or ALL the down ballot school boards like Team SET in Elkhorn, or Norris or Millard or Kearney or Scottsbluff. I'm not willing to risk the cutting in half of the 700+ elected Democrats across the state of Nebraska for one race.
Carol Blood would be a disaster for the State of Nebraska. I’m not willing to risk a Democrat Governor and their liberal agenda destroying Nebraska. I’m not willing to risk the extreme difficulty that would ensue trying to pass Conservative legislation if a Democratic candidate would win the Governor’s seat. We have a Primary process in Nebraska for partisan races and Jim Pillen won the Primary for the Republican Governor nominee. Yes, the State of Nebraska has an option for getting another name ON THE BALLOT by collecting 4000 signatures (including 750 each from the Congressional Districts), but no candidate completed those requirements. There is only ONE Republican name on the Governor’s ballot in 2022 and that’s Jim Pillen and the NEGOP supports his race. Otherwise, every Tom, Dick, Harry, and Mickey Mouse could split the party via attempts of write-in and say the NEGOP should endorse them just because they are Republican.
Here’s my two cents for November 8th & what I believe all Republicans should do. First, GO VOTE. Find your POLLING STATION, make a plan, and find time to vote on Tuesday, November 8th. Tell people WHY you vote. When you get to the polling station…show your ID (even if they don’t ask) and sign your name with pride. Flip your ballot over or go directly to the bottom races. Vote the “down ballots”, FIRST. Build YOUR town, your school boards, your party & your kids future from the GROUND UP. Vote all the way UP your ballot. And then go home, pray for our leaders, grab some popcorn, and watch the #REDWAVE wash over Nebraska. Then on November 9th, the NEGOP will continue to fight for election accountability and voter verification and ALL our Platform Values, utilizing our Legislative Plan and guided by those same Platform values. On November 9th, let’s get to work creating real change in Nebraska and protecting the Good Life.