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Noah Leininger is a member of the Party for Socialism and Liberation and a founding member of the Indianapolis branch. This article was originally published on Leininger for District 90.
The Indianapolis branch of the Party for Socialism and Liberation would like to thank those that showed their support Tuesday and declared that a better world is possible. It is time for the people of this country to unite and build a working-class movement that is truly by and for the people—and we hope you will continue that fight with us.
While Mike Speedy has claimed victory in the election for House District 90 for now, make no mistake: This was a sham election.
The election wasn’t stolen through voter fraud or ballot stuffing, or myths like dead people voting. These baseless conspiracy theories are rattled off by right-wing election denialists because their true desire is to deny the validity of votes cast by people of color, women, and students. We say this was a sham election because we can cast ballots, but on a limited basis. Candidates are decided through intensely corrupt and manipulated backroom deals, in corporate boardrooms, and among ruling-class elites. Socialists stand for people’s democracy. We have a facade of democracy in the US.
The system worked as intended: the Republicans ran Speedy; the Democrats put up no one to oppose him. HD 90 was not an aberration. It was one of 33% of House and Senate districts without a Democratic challenger. For a party portraying itself as the only opposition to the far-right to order people condescendingly to “vote!” for them, without putting up anyone to vote for in so much of Indiana, is tantamount to criminal negligence. Voters who rightly oppose the unpopular GOP rule of Indiana deserve to have options at the ballot to vote them out.
This right was denied to the Party for Socialism and Liberation, to Noah Leininger as our candidate for State Representative, and to the public who deserved a ballot-line opponent to someone who voted for the deeply unpopular and nation’s first post-Dobbs abortion ban in the summer special session.
Under Indiana law, only two parties are considered “major” parties: the Republican and Democratic Parties. These two parties receive automatic ballot access and, as a duopoly, control the electoral process from voter registration to poll staffing in Indiana. Other parties desiring ballot access must run a candidate for Secretary of State that receives at least 2% of the vote. Reaching this arbitrary goalpost makes a Party eligible for automatic ballot access, without collecting signatures for a petition. Since the PSL does not meet the state’s arbitrary definition, we initiated this campaign seeking ballot access through signatures. But this process was stymied by the Republican–Democrat duopoly that has an interest in keeping other parties off the ballot. They sat on voter rolls, public records in Indiana, for weeks longer than allowed under state law. This inevitably delayed our independent verification of signatures, for which they have been sued by other parties in the past.
And so the system worked as it was designed to. Yet another racist, misogynist, property-owning white man has been sent to an American legislative body and socialism was kept off the ballot.
Despite their success in keeping the words “Socialism and Liberation” off the ballot, hundreds of people cast their vote for our comrade anyway. Hundreds of people stood for abortion rights, strong schools under public control, and a socialist future for our society. Hundreds of people rejected the far-right’s onslaught against basic democratic rights and stood on the side of socialism. This is an incredibly heartening and welcome result that shows the incessant anticommunist propaganda is ringing hollow in the ears of the people. Hope is not lost, and as Hoosier Socialist Eugene Debs said before going to prison: “I can see the dawn of a better day for humanity. The people are awakening. In due time, they will and must come to their own.”
The Party for Socialism and Liberation continues to fight for socialism in the United States, including here in the Hoosier heartland. We invite you to stand alongside us and fight until liberation is won for all.