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Old 11-02-2010, 06:27 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Voting - if you didn't vote today, why not?

Did you vote? If you didn't, why not? Not a political question of who you voted for. Don't go there. If this thread turns into that, I'll ask the mods to take it down.

This off year election is as significant as any in history. No matter where your support lies, there are compelling reasons to vote.

Did you? If you didn't, why not?


I did, a week ago Sat. Went to the courthouse and voted early because my wife knew she'd be pressed today to find time. Since she was voting early, I did also.
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Old 11-02-2010, 06:37 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Too lazy to absentee. I'm a horrible human being.
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Old 11-02-2010, 06:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I did, and I should have done early voting. I missed my train and had to take a cab.
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Old 11-02-2010, 06:57 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I'll hang my head in shame here and say I'm not voting.

They've annoyed me beyond caring about their views. I should have had the stuff to be able to hear past all the crap but it wore me out trying and so I tuned it out.

One day I'm sure I'll care enough about it again. I just wonder if it will matter then.
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Old 11-02-2010, 06:59 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I will be voting as soon as I get home, the booth is in my building and in the mornings there is always a huge line. But early evening no line.
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Old 11-02-2010, 07:14 AM   #6 (permalink)
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voted.
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Old 11-02-2010, 07:16 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I voted last Sunday. Oregon has vote-by-mail, so I got to vote in the comfort of my own home, at my leisure, with a cup of coffee. I like that it gives me time to look at the ballot and think. When I'm done, I either put a stamp on it and stick it in the mail, or drop it off at one of many dropsites around town.
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Old 11-02-2010, 08:08 AM   #8 (permalink)
Good to the last drop.
 
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I did vote...in a new state. Don't know if I like the system. I like physically going to the polls, not mailing in a ballot. I do like the handy dandy ballot booklet Oregon sends out that appears to be unbiased. I think every state/county in the US could do that.

I'm not a fan of voting just to vote. It's an important right that should be taken seriously. You should have some baseline knowledge of what's on the ballot to make a well informed decision.
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Old 11-02-2010, 08:53 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I voted by mail - first time in Illinois that anyone could do it this year. We also have early voting. Add to that the fact our polls open earlier than most other states, and there's pretty much no excuse not to vote in IL.

I understand that a lot of people are frustrated with the candidates and the political discourse right now. Almost everyone I voted for in the primary lost, so these are not the candidates I would have picked. The thing is, some of the people that are up for election right now are going to be in office whether we like it or not. Government is going to continue, and it's going to continue affecting our lives whether we like it or not. It's in our best interest to vote, even if it is only for the candidate that we dislike the least.

I'll let you in on a secret: no one cares if you don't vote. The candidates that win today don't think about the fact their 55% victory only represents 37% of the population. When politicians govern, non-voters might as well not exist. Sure, you matter before the election, because maybe they can get you to turn into a voter. After the election, if you didn't vote you're a nobody. You may think that not voting is a way of showing your displeasure, but I'm telling you: if you don't vote, no one cares.

If you really don't want to vote for either major party candidate, pick a third party candidate. Those votes matter much more than non-votes. They represent people who came out to vote and explicitly chose not to vote for either option. I voted for quite a few third party candidates this year.

I'd encourage you not to vote for ALL third party candidates though. The fact is, there are some races where your vote matters much more than others. In a perfect world we wouldn't have the spoiler effect, but here in the real world the United States uses one of the worst election methods there is (called plurality voting), and the spoiler effect is very real. If a race is close - for example, the governor's race in Illinois - then voting for a third party candidate may not be in your best interest. It certainly wasn't in the best interest of Florida voters who clearly would have preferred Al Gore over George Bush in 2000.*

Here in Illinois, we have an incumbent governor who is a genuinely good person with good ideas but a terrible leader and politician, a extremist challenger who believes he can fix one of the worst state economies in the country through budget cuts alone - but won't go into any specifics about how he'd do it until after the election, an independent who doesn't pay child support, used steroids, and beat up his hooker girlfriend, and a Green party candidate who isn't that bad but has no chance of winning. Our choices this year suck. In 2006, I voted for the Green party candidate (same one, this is his second time running) because I didn't want to vote for Blagojevich or Judy Baar Topinka. Blagojevich was certain to win, so I didn't even need to think about what consequences my third party vote might have. This year, however, the election is looking to be extremely close, and my vote is statistically more important in this governor's race than most others. With such a close race, it's important to look at the candidates that have a shot at winning and assess which one you'd prefer. Even if you dislike them both, I guarantee you there's one you like more than the other. In close races, it's important to vote for that candidate because, again, one of them is going to win whether you like it or not. It's in your best interest to make sure it's the better person of the two.

Finally, the dissatisfaction so many of us feel with the political system has nothing to do with the candidates themselves. Most of them are actually decent people. Rather, there are two major issues: 1) Our plurality voting system doesn't assure us that voting our conscience won't cause our least favorite candidate to win, and 2) most of us feel like politicians represent lobbyists instead of people. Democracy isn't just something that happens every 2 years in November. If you're dissatisfied with the state of American politics - like so many of us are - then you need to participate MORE, not less. If you want to be able to comfortably vote your conscience, write your representatives and urge them to support instant runoff voting (the easiest improvement we could make to our voting system). If you're annoyed that politicians on both sides seem to represent donors and lobbyists more than their constituents, join the movement to fix congress first. The one thing you can do that is guaranteed NOT to make anything better (and, in fact, will likely contribute to making all these things worse) is not vote.

---

*Please note that while I encourage voters to think about the unintended consequences of their vote, that does not mean I don't believe candidates have the right to run. I don't hold it against Ralph Nader that we got stuck with George Bush, but it's very difficult to argue that George Bush would have won had Ralph Nader not run.
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Old 11-02-2010, 09:08 AM   #10 (permalink)
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#$%^ing driver's license expired a month ago, I had to chase down my passport to vote.

Colorado is a swing state this year. For better or worse, one of our two pitiful excuses for senatorial candidate is going to win and it is likely to affect the majority in the Senate.

If you don't vote, you have no right to bitch. Since I like bitching, I just held my nose and voted.

A lot of poorly written referendums this year. You need a law degree to figure out whether yes or no means you are against changing things.
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Old 11-02-2010, 10:21 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Voted this morning, YAY democracy!!!!
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Old 11-02-2010, 10:28 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I voted today.
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Old 11-02-2010, 12:20 PM   #13 (permalink)
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sent my absentee ballot in on saturday...
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Old 11-02-2010, 12:28 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Yep...voted today. I'm gonna be paying a lot more taxes & soon due to several school levies.

But - even though I don't have kids (by choice) I Always say "Yes" to helping the schools. It seems likely that the next generation is gonna have enough problems to deal with.
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Old 11-02-2010, 01:59 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I have tried voting in the past, thinking I would set a good example for my children. But is it a good example if I don't care who wins? What does that say to my children? I have a hard time figuring out what each person running believes in, I don't understand half of what they are saying, I don't believe anything they say they are going to do, and my taxes will go up no matter who I vote for. So, no. I did not vote. Say what you want about me, it's not going to change. I have tried learning about it, about the different parties and what they believe in, but is so confusing, I just don't get it.
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Old 11-02-2010, 02:07 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I voted today. I was happy to see many people out at the polls.
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Old 11-02-2010, 02:40 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I didn't vote today although I typically do even mid terms. I hadn't followed this election much at all and felt it was irresponsible for me to even cast a vote tbh.

Also, I feel people place WAY WAY WAY to much emphasis on voting as a means to alter the political tide.

Most people's idea of being political means voting then doing nothing the other 364 days of the year. Those are the days that really mater. When people sit around doing while bad pieces of legislation keep getting slammed through then vote and feel like they did there part. It's a joke to be honest.
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Old 11-02-2010, 03:44 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I am not eligible to vote... anywhere.
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Old 11-02-2010, 04:02 PM   #19 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samcol View Post
I didn't vote today although I typically do even mid terms. I hadn't followed this election much at all and felt it was irresponsible for me to even cast a vote tbh.

Also, I feel people place WAY WAY WAY to much emphasis on voting as a means to alter the political tide.

Most people's idea of being political means voting then doing nothing the other 364 days of the year. Those are the days that really mater. When people sit around doing while bad pieces of legislation keep getting slammed through then vote and feel like they did there part. It's a joke to be honest.
I read your post & then looked at your avatar.
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Old 11-02-2010, 04:15 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I didn't vote.

I had good intentions. But when it got down to it, I had originally absolutely no interest on the issues and candidates on the ballot because I honestly thought I'd be out of Chicago by now. It may be silly, but it's true.

This is the first election I've ever skipped since I have been eligible to vote. I don't like casting without doing my research, and I hadn't done any. Its not an excuse, and I KNOW smeth is gonna kick my butt when he looks me up in his computer (AGAIN! ) and sees I'm not lying.

But there it is. I've tried to care this election, but half the time I feel like I don't have any real investment in the outcome. Part of that comes from the fact of how often I've moved across city/state lines in the last 5 years.
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Old 11-02-2010, 04:33 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I didn't vote. Moved relatively recently and thought changing my driver's license automatically transfered my voter registration. Unfortunately not the case - and I wasn't able to get reregistered my new county. I would really liked to have voted in this one. Mostly to vote for Vincent Shaheen over Nikki Haley and Rob Miller over Joe Wilson.
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Old 11-03-2010, 03:38 AM   #22 (permalink)
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I haven't voted since 1983. That's when I left the USA and I'm not a citizen here.
Just a full resident.
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Old 11-03-2010, 10:38 AM   #23 (permalink)
another passenger
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ring View Post
I read your post & then looked at your avatar.
you never fail to crack me up and amaze me at the same time......

I voted, and I am not ashamed to say for entirely non political reasons,
1) my girlfriend says that doing ones civic duty turns her on.......
2) It makes my Mom proud.

Dont trust any of them, red, blue or neon pink (maybe neon pink)

and I got a cool "I voted" sticker and free coffee from starbucks
win, win.
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