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Author: RonBass Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 748844  
Subject: Thoughts on elections, US style. Date: 11/7/2000 1:24 PM
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When i returned from voting, I received this from a freind, and thought I'd share it:

For quite a long time now I have been deeply cynical of this whole presidential campaign -- a campaign that has come down to the evil of two lessors, as I have heard it described. Here in Wyoming, a state with 3 electoral college votes, my individual vote for president (regardless of my choice) has been meaningless for nearly a year -- it is foregone that the Wyoming electoral college votes are Republican. Most of those friends and colleagues I know who listened to the debates were mostly doing so just to have their decision, long before made, ratified. And regardless of which side they were on, or what they heard in the debates, the campaign rhetoric, the political ads -- all served simply to confirm for each their position -- a position arrived at almost automatically and much earlier. So why bother?

But at this moment, well before any results can be reported, I am deeply moved and profoundly proud to be a resident of the United States of America. At 7:00 AM I was 33rd in line at my local polling place, and the line grew steadily behind me. I stood in line with strangers, neighbors and friends -- Independents, Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians and "others." We didn't speak of politics, nor of candidates, nor of positions. We made small talk. We honored one another by respecting each other's views, acknowledging them
as equal to our own. There were no guards at the doors, no uniformed "keepers of the peace" watching over the process. The process, rather, was being conducted by volunteers -- friends, neighbors and strangers. And not a one of us in line even gave a thought about the honesty of the poll workers or the integrity of the process. We didn't have to. We know it. We expect it. We can't imagine it any other way.

As I left the booth and walked back past the line of citizens quietly awaiting their turn to exercise their fundamental right in this democracy of ours; as I turned up my collar to the icy wind inevitably whipping across the parking lot; as I watched the stream of cars and pickups coming into that lot and driving away, I confess, I choked up.

In a couple of months we will have a new government. And when it changes, we will have a party -- no violence, no jailing of the vanquished, no turmoil -- a party! We will grouse about the ineptitude of those we just elected; we will let them know in no uncertain terms of our dislikes and our demands; we will judge them publicly and privately; and we will ultimately trust them to manage the affairs that keep us working more or less together.

I voted for a new president, even though I knew my vote didn't really matter.

I voted for judges and local officials, and constitutional propositions and optional tax issues where I knew my vote would matter. And I did that side by side with friends, neighbors and strangers, in suits and blue jeans and uniforms and sweatpants, in rusty pickups and shiny imported autos. Together we just changed our government. We took a pen in our hands and shook every governmental institution in this, the most powerful country in the world -- and then we all went to work and got on with our day.

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Author: Kauai67 One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24134 of 748844
Subject: Re: Thoughts on elections, US style. Date: 11/7/2000 1:42 PM
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Hi, I'm new here and hope to be posting more about ER related topics in the near future. But I did want to say that was really a touching post. I feel the same way, I'm not sure that my vote counts for a whole lot, but considering the how dearly makind has fought for the right to vote and have a voice in the governing of our lives throughout all of our history, it would be a kick in the teeth to our ancestors to not exercise the privilege they fought so hard for.

Kauai67

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Author: Helter Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24135 of 748844
Subject: Re: Thoughts on elections, US style. Date: 11/7/2000 1:56 PM
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I'm not voting today - and I'm ashamed. I'm travelling for business and never got around to doing that nuisance absentee ballot thing.

I look forward to a day when you can vote on the web.

I have contemplated spending 8 hours driving today to go home, vote and return for work tomorrow - but I just can't bring myself to do it.

Anyone who's close to their polling place better vote this year - its so close!

Helter

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Author: dfrank11 Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24137 of 748844
Subject: Re: Thoughts on elections, US style. Date: 11/7/2000 2:04 PM
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great post RonBass.

all americans, and especially those running for office should remeber how lucky are that we get to vote in the first place.

we should all remeber that people in other countries (and this one)have died for this right and would continue to do so.

and lastly, since we have the ability to vote, the motto that should apply to all americans ...

"If you don't vote, don't complain!"

DFrank11


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Author: dthibaul Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24138 of 748844
Subject: Re: Thoughts on elections, US style. Date: 11/7/2000 2:05 PM
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I've started doing the absentee ballot for the last couple of elections. This way I vote at my convence. Web based voting would be even better but until then just popping it into the mail a week before the election is a no-brainer.

By always doing the absentee ballot. I don't have to worry about what my travel plans are. Sometimes I could be travelling with 1 days notice.

Dave

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Author: RonBass Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24143 of 748844
Subject: Re: Thoughts on elections, US style. Date: 11/7/2000 2:42 PM
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dthibaul wrote:
I've started doing the absentee ballot for the last couple of elections. This way I vote at my convence.

Bravo! It's been easy to vote early here in Colorado for at least 10 years.

Web based voting would be even better but until then just popping it into the mail a week before the election is a no-brainer.

I'll need to see better security before I'm ready for web based voting. "Siulicon Spin" just carried a story about one political party's web site being down because of the attentions of hackers.

-Ron

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Author: EditorialWe Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24148 of 748844
Subject: Re: Thoughts on elections, US style. Date: 11/7/2000 3:06 PM
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Thanks for the post, Ron.

I remember listening to NPR back when South African blacks were finally given the vote - listening to the descriptions of people walking for days and waiting patiently in line, sometimes also for days, for the privilege of voting, made me swear that I'd always vote.

EditorialWe

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Author: kstr Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24149 of 748844
Subject: Re: Thoughts on elections, US style. Date: 11/7/2000 3:10 PM
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You should live in Texas. I voted a couple of weeks ago in the grocery store when I stopped by for some milk. They make it so very easy here, I can't believe we don't get 100% turnout.

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Author: vwhittem Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24151 of 748844
Subject: Re: Thoughts on elections, US style. Date: 11/7/2000 3:19 PM
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I should have done the absentee ballot thing. Thought I'd swing by & vote this morning on my way to work.

Walked in & half the people there were either old enough to be retirees & moms w/kids. I REALLY am glad that they're voting. But couldn't they vote after about 8:30AM? Let us working stiffs with no time during the work day to vote, do our thing between 7 & 8? Sigh.

These are the same folks who (before I got direct deposit) would go to the bank between noon & 1, want to refinance their mortgage at the teller window & wonder why there were such long lines.

I just wanted to yell -- anyone who does not have to be at work by 8 -- leave the building for an hour. Go have breakfast. Read the paper.

Oh, well. Enough kvetching. Will do my voting after I get home tonight (following my commute).

Vanessa

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Author: 1960TR3 Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24153 of 748844
Subject: Re: Thoughts on elections, US style. Date: 11/7/2000 3:22 PM
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RonBass Said: my individual vote for president (regardless of my choice) has been meaningless for nearly a year

Kauai67 Said: I'm not sure that my vote counts for a whole lot

Ron....a beautiful post....thank you!

It's heartwarming to know that millions of people know that although their *individual* votes may not "count much", they vote anyway knowing that collectively, our votes count for much.

Unfortunately, 52% (projected turnout + 48%) of voters do not see or appreciate the big picture and thinking their individual vote doesn't count, don't bother.

I wonder how many elections would turn out differently if all those votes that "don't count" were cast?

Just a thought.

Bob

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Author: jtmitch Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24159 of 748844
Subject: Re: Thoughts on elections, US style. Date: 11/7/2000 3:49 PM
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A slightly off-topic voting anecdote...

When I finished filling out my ballot this morning I got in line to feed it into the machine/scanner they use here. There was a nun ahead of me -- not one of the new wave nuns with the non-habit habits, but a real old fashioned one with the old style habit. The machine wouldn't take her ballot. Turned out she hadn't used the proper pencil provided in the booth but had used her own with brown ink. The attendant kindly showed her how to go back and get another ballot so she could use the right pen. I was really tempted to say "Read the directions carefully and follow them, Sister!!! , having been told many times to do likewise by her predecessors.

jtmitch

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Author: duggg Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24160 of 748844
Subject: Re: Thoughts on elections, US style. Date: 11/7/2000 3:57 PM
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I arrived at my polling place around 10:30am, figuring the morning crowd had finally voted and wanting to beat the lunch crowd.

Sure enough, there were only two people ahead of me in line.

Two things I really liked:

One, there was coffee, juice, and pastries for the voters waiting in line.

Two, although there were about a dozen voting booths set up, the volunteers had set up another dozen school music stands as well, so that if you valued your time more so than your privacy, you could quickly fill out your ballot.

I was in and out in less than 10 minutes. Still, I think I will give the absentee ballot a try next year.

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Author: daoffer Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24161 of 748844
Subject: Re: Thoughts on elections, US style. Date: 11/7/2000 4:44 PM
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vwhittem >>Walked in & half the people there were either old enough to be retirees & moms w/kids.

I've been one of those moms w/kids. I was on my way to school with them and thought they ought to see Mom voting since we were early. I've also taken them after work on our way home (but not on the same day :-) ). Kids of working parents need to see their parents vote, too.

Debora
- I rather be doing anything but deal with cranky code -


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Author: sykeMOL Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24162 of 748844
Subject: Re: Thoughts on elections, US style. Date: 11/7/2000 4:52 PM
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I'm pretty cynical and jaded most of the time, but I got a little choked up too, today when I voted. And for the same reasons so eloquently expressed in the article. Thanks for sharing.

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Author: wwjw Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24169 of 748844
Subject: Re: Thoughts on elections, US style. Date: 11/7/2000 7:49 PM
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Ron,

thank you for sharing that with your virtual friends and neighbors...

it's so easy to take our freedoms and blessings for granted

will

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Author: msmoola1 Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24172 of 748844
Subject: Re: Thoughts on elections, US style. Date: 11/7/2000 8:13 PM
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Please let me add my thanks as well.

I got a little choked up myself today as I stood in a very long line and noticed all around me, people of all walks of life, people of all races and ages, all united by the same patriotic act.
Just ahead of me stood a very small, quite elderly woman hunched over a cane, in obvious pain. As I offered to get her a seat and hold her place in line, a lady in a Den Mother uniform rushed toward her with a chair on wheels. The lady wheeled her to the front of the line. Nobody complained -everybody stepped aside to let her move ahead.

On the wall next to the line were the crayon drawings of elementary school children - lots of flags and sketches of past presidents.

We live in cynical times. Today I am very proud to be an American.

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Author: vickifool Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24176 of 748844
Subject: Re: Thoughts on elections, US style. Date: 11/7/2000 11:02 PM
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EditorialWe wrote: Thanks for the post, Ron.


I used to have dinner with 6 people who were all immigrants to the U.S. They were all naturalized citizens, I was the only native-born American in the bunch.

One evening we got to discussing what was so great about being a U. S. citizen. "You get to vote!" they enthused. I hadn't realized what a privilege it was until then.

Other evenings they regaled me with tales of how they sneaked out of their native countries during the cold war.

Vickifool

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Author: pagewrite Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24179 of 748844
Subject: Re: Thoughts on elections, US style. Date: 11/7/2000 11:36 PM
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Thank you for that wonderful post. Being a political junkie and being forever grateful for being born in and living in this country where opportunity exists, where education is available for a poor kid like me, and where our vote really counts, (a local school board election was decided by one vote) and having a son who spent 7 years in the Congo as a Peace Corps volunteer and staff member, my family really appreciates the opportunity that you so vividly describes.

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Author: DogLovingFool Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24182 of 748844
Subject: Re: Thoughts on elections, US style. Date: 11/8/2000 2:39 AM
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Well I hope your friend realized presidentially speaking, this time it may really HAVE mattered.

DLF

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Author: ClarkePitts One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24183 of 748844
Subject: Re: Thoughts on elections, US style. Date: 11/8/2000 4:44 AM
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What a marvellous thing democracy is, all you need is over 100,000,000 USD and you too can be president.

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Author: KentuckyLiz Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24187 of 748844
Subject: Re: Thoughts on elections, US style. Date: 11/8/2000 7:12 AM
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Brown ink? She must have been a Carmelite.

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Author: hwkncat Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24190 of 748844
Subject: Re: Thoughts on elections, US style. Date: 11/8/2000 9:44 AM
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**Walked in & half the people there were either old enough to be retirees & moms w/kids. I REALLY am glad that they're voting. But couldn't they vote after about 8:30AM? Let us working stiffs with no time during the work day to vote, do our thing between 7 & 8? Sigh.

These are the same folks who (before I got direct deposit) would go to the bank between noon & 1, want to refinance their mortgage at the teller window & wonder why there were such long lines.**

Did it ever occur to you that maybe those old people and moms with kids might be working people too? As a working mother and myself the daughter of a 75 year old still practicing doctor, your statement struck me as rather self centered. Don't judge others unless you know their whole situation.

I myself was at the polls yesterday at 8 AM after I got off work and was happy to wait in line with all the other Americans exercising their civic rights. Be happy you live in a country where the citizens have the right and ability to do this.

End of Rant..

hwkncat



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Author: Madness Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24194 of 748844
Subject: Re: Thoughts on elections, US style. Date: 11/8/2000 10:02 AM
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Walked in & half the people there were either old enough to be retirees. . . .

So they were the age of intercst and 4aapl? That's, what, 42 and 20-something? :^) This is the Retire Early Home Page, after all.

--Madness

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Author: cbb5004 Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24197 of 748844
Subject: Re: Thoughts on elections, US style. Date: 11/8/2000 10:10 AM
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HOORAY for your friend! But, he is wrong on one point - HIS/HER VOTE DOES MATTER!

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Author: markr33 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24198 of 748844
Subject: Re: Thoughts on elections, US style. Date: 11/8/2000 10:13 AM
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What a marvellous thing democracy is, all you need is over 100,000,000 USD and you too can be president.

This is silly. If all it takes is money, why didn't Bill Gates run and spend 500,000,000 USD, win the race, and end his legal difficulties :-)

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Author: vwhittem Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24213 of 748844
Subject: Re: Thoughts on elections, US style. Date: 11/8/2000 12:14 PM
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--"Kids of working parents need to see their parents vote, too."--

I totally agree. However, if these were working moms, their workplace has to have the MOST casual dress code of any place I've ever seen. And several had those enormous strollers with them. Hardly workplace accessories. This lead me to believe they were SAHM. And it was not a question of getting the kids to school on time after voting because the schools were given the day off.

Sorry if I offended any working moms.

Vanessa


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Author: vwhittem Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24221 of 748844
Subject: Re: Thoughts on elections, US style. Date: 11/8/2000 12:41 PM
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--"So they were the age of intercst and 4aapl? That's, what, 42 and 20-something? :^) This is the Retire Early Home Page, after all."--

Yup, uh huh -- knew that. Speaking personally, I love to sleep in, especially on mornings when it's foggy & snowing. And it was.

It quit snowing later in the morning & the sun came out & it was a lovely day. As much as I do love doing my civic duty (& I really do -- it annoys the politicians so), I see no need to freeze my ovaries off while doing it.

Apologies to all the working moms, older non-retirees & retirees offended by my earlier/earliest post.

Vanessa
voting since 1902



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Author: Kauai67 One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24228 of 748844
Subject: Re: Thoughts on elections, US style. Date: 11/8/2000 1:28 PM
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I posted earlier that I didn't think my vote counted for a whole lot, but that I cherished my right to vote.

This election shows that EACH of our votes does count......I think it is a very positive thing for us all to see that we do matter.


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Author: daoffer Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24230 of 748844
Subject: Re: Thoughts on elections, US style. Date: 11/8/2000 2:10 PM
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vwhittem>>And it was not a question of getting the kids to school on time after voting because the schools were given the day off.

Where is this? My kids seem to get off at least one day a month (sometimes it's one a day a week!) but they didn't get off for election day.

Debora


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Author: vwhittem Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24238 of 748844
Subject: Re: Thoughts on elections, US style. Date: 11/8/2000 3:30 PM
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Outside of Albuquerque (Rio Rancho to be precise)

Seems like they always give the kids the day off just because they tend to use the schools as polling places. Guess they don't want the kids to come into contact with us "radical" types who actually vote on a regular basis. You never know what sorts of ideas we might put into the kids' heads! (More likely, there's not enough space in the parking lot for teachers, parents & voters. Heaven forbid we should get some exercise & have to walk the length of the parking lot!)

Actually, it was kinda funny -- not this election, but a local one several months ago, I got to the school & noticed that all the hand-printed signs directing us to the gym had "precinct" misspelled (lacking the 2nd "c"). I pointed this out to the poll workers & they corrected the signs. Kinda glad the kids weren't "exposed" to this.

Vanessa

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Author: brl101 One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24241 of 748844
Subject: Re: Thoughts on elections, US style. Date: 11/8/2000 3:47 PM
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Elections, US style, do seem strange to those of us living in other countries.

In Australia, voting is compulsory. The penalty is a relatively small fine but it does guarantee almost a 100% turnout. It makes sense to me because I suspect that voluntary voting is open to corruption - although sometimes dead people are found to have voted here also.

But the strangest thing to me is that you folks vote on a Tuesday. That must be awfully inconvenient for most people. Ours are on Saturdays. Usually the ballot boxes are at schools where the school conducts a few fund-raising cake stalls and raffles on the day. Pretty popular things too.

And as for the US primaries where candidates from the same political party publically slag each other - hmmm - very strange.

Still, I suppose that it seems to work somehow for you.

BRL101

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Author: yekim1 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24243 of 748844
Subject: Re: Thoughts on elections, US style. Date: 11/8/2000 4:03 PM
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And as for the US primaries where candidates from the same political party publically slag each other - hmmm - very strange.

Still, I suppose that it seems to work somehow for you.


The rest of the world also is no doubt intrigued by the fact that we spend an amount greater than the GDP of, say, Albania or Honduras, during campaigns to convince voters which is the better man. And immediately afterwards we pat ourselves on the back for the example we have set.

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Author: vwhittem Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24247 of 748844
Subject: Re: Thoughts on elections, US style. Date: 11/8/2000 4:47 PM
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--"Elections, US style, do seem strange..."--

I can see where they would to people elsewhere. We've just gotten used to them. And the very messiness of the elections does seem to add a weird kind of charm to them. Having lived in east Texas years ago, I'm still rather partial to the outrageous things that go on in Louisiana. (Political columnist Mollie Ivins likes to claim that Texas politics are the weirdest in the country. But she lives in Austin so is biased.) I still remember the Louisiana governor's race that pitted an admitted crook against a "former" (wink, wink) Klansman. And, of course, they did give us Huey Long & Earl Long.

--"In Australia, voting is compulsory"--

Heck, we can't get all the people to buckle their seatbelts. I'd hate to think of the stink that would be raised if we made voting compulsory. Women would swoon. Strong men would faint. Politicians would rant & rave & make interminable speeches (redundant?) about our "God given" right not to vote. And those right-wing nutcases in Texas would have another reason to secede.

--"you folks vote on a Tuesday. That must be awfully inconvenient for most people..."--

You actually make voting convenient & fun??? What a concept! Except there are folks here who would say voting on Saturday would interfere with their golf/tennis/(sport of choice) games. There's just no pleasing some people. I'm sure voting on Tuesdays was a good idea when it was first implemented for whatever reasons. Now we've just gotten used to it -- "that's the way we've ALWAYS done it."

Vanessa

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Author: VMSoui Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24249 of 748844
Subject: Re: Thoughts on elections, US style. Date: 11/8/2000 4:52 PM
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You actually make voting convenient & fun??? What a concept! Except there are folks here who would say voting on Saturday would interfere with their golf/tennis/(sport of choice) games. There's just no pleasing some people. I'm sure voting on Tuesdays was a good idea when it was first implemented for whatever reasons. Now we've just gotten used to it -- "that's the way we've ALWAYS done it."

I don't know - I think making voting a little inconvenient so that only those who are (hopefully) better informed and more motivated have a higher impact on the outcome is not necessarily a bad thing (IMHO).

--Soui

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Author: sydsydsyd Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24256 of 748844
Subject: Re: Thoughts on elections, US style. Date: 11/8/2000 5:37 PM
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In Australia, voting is compulsory. The penalty is a relatively small fine but it does guarantee almost a 100% turnout.

In many Latin American countries, voting is compulsory. By no means does this ensure fair, or even meaningful, elections.

Most states do not provide "none of the above" entries on their ballots, so requiring people to show up and vote even if they don't support any of the candidates is not going to result in an accurate measure of people's actual wishes. With an election as close as this year's U.S. presidential race, it could actually change the outcome.

Are you required to vote on every issue and ballot entry? Should I be forced to choose among candidates for obscure offices, even if I have not done my homework and know nothing about any of them?

Or, as a hypothetical example, suppose I were strongly against capital punishment, but all the candidates for a given office were in favor of it. Should I be forced to vote for one of them? (Same question applies for abortion, etc.)

But the strangest thing to me is that you folks vote on a Tuesday. That must be awfully inconvenient for most people.

This is changing in some states. Here in California, it was possible to vote electronically as early as October 16th.

I agree that a weekend election would be preferable. Also, it would be better if the polls were open for several days rather than just one. Of course, this would require the networks and other media to keep their mouths shut until ALL the polls have closed, which they should be doing anyway but do not.

sydsydsyd

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Author: clio95 One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24259 of 748844
Subject: Re: Thoughts on elections, US style. Date: 11/8/2000 5:49 PM
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--"Elections, US style, do seem strange..."--

I can see where they would to people elsewhere. We've just gotten used to them. And the very messiness of the elections does seem to add a weird kind of charm to them. Having lived in east Texas years ago, I'm still rather partial to the outrageous things that go on in Louisiana. (Political columnist Mollie Ivins likes to claim that Texas politics are the weirdest in the country. But she lives in Austin so is biased.) I still remember the Louisiana governor's race that pitted an admitted crook against a "former" (wink, wink) Klansman. And, of course, they did give us Huey Long & Earl Long.


It goes back even further than the Long brothers. New Orleans is located where it is partially because Bienville, the first governor of the colony, held land grants there.
Louisiana politics have always been interesting :)

Julia

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Author: ClarkePitts One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24266 of 748844
Subject: Re: Thoughts on elections, US style. Date: 11/8/2000 6:53 PM
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why didn't Bill Gates run and spend 500,000,000 USD, win the race, and end his legal difficulties :-)

He is too smart.

Besides I think he imagines he has a day job.

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Author: golfwaymore Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24283 of 748844
Subject: Re: Thoughts on elections, US style. Date: 11/8/2000 8:25 PM
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Most states do not provide "none of the above" entries on their ballots, so requiring people to show up and vote even if they don't support any of the candidates is not going to result in an accurate measure of people's actual wishes.

I've often wondered what % of the vote "none of the above" would have gotten in this election were it/he/she on the ballot.

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Author: hwkncat Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24319 of 748844
Subject: Re: Thoughts on elections, US style. Date: 11/9/2000 12:37 AM
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**This lead me to believe they were SAHM. And it was not a question of getting the kids to school on time after voting because the schools were given the day off.**

What's wrong with SAHM? Also, in my neighborhood schools have always been in session on Election day, and the Vote is a big deal, especially at the elementary school level, with both my 7 and 10 year olds voting in mock elections at school.

My husband voted after taking the kids to school, and before heading off to work himself.

So you see, there are all types of people to make the world go around, all with equal importance AND the right to access public forums along with yuppies of the world. You may understand more when you become a parent yourself.

hwkncat



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Author: daoffer Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24373 of 748844
Subject: Re: Thoughts on elections, US style. Date: 11/9/2000 11:42 AM
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vwhittem >>Seems like they always give the kids the day off just because they tend to use the schools as polling places.

That's the difference then. We typically use a volunteer fire station and churches. It took me three tries Tuesday to find my polling place.

Debora
- who will someday properly delurk and talk retirement -


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Author: golfwaymore Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24379 of 748844
Subject: Re: Thoughts on elections, US style. Date: 11/9/2000 12:00 PM
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We typically use a volunteer fire station and churches.

We do too..with no objection from me.

I cant believe there isnt some fringe group claiming that voting on government in churches is unconstitutional.

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Author: daoffer Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24388 of 748844
Subject: Re: Thoughts on elections, US style. Date: 11/9/2000 12:28 PM
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golfwaymore >> I cant believe there isnt some fringe group claiming that voting on government in churches is unconstitutional.

Shhhh!! Don't give them any ideas! I've had more than my share of brushes with the O'Hare family and I don't want any more!

Debora
- who has two generations of gripes against the O'Hares -


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Author: vwhittem Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24402 of 748844
Subject: Re: Thoughts on elections, US style. Date: 11/9/2000 1:16 PM
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--"I cant believe there isnt some fringe group claiming that voting on government in churches is unconstitutional."--

I'm always a bit amused & surprised that some PC religious group hasn't complained about the state capitol of New Mexico being in Santa Fe. Which means Holy Faith. Talk about not separating church & state!!! Ay caramba!

Vanessa


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Author: markr33 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24406 of 748844
Subject: Re: Thoughts on elections, US style. Date: 11/9/2000 1:43 PM
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<<We typically use a volunteer fire station and churches. >>

We do too..with no objection from me.

I cant believe there isnt some fringe group claiming that voting on government in churches is unconstitutional.


Voting in a church is certainly constitutional.

But, campaigning in a church is NOT constitutional. (even though Jesse Jackson claims that it can be done anyway because of the long historical persecution of African-Americans)

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Author: golfwaymore Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24413 of 748844
Subject: Re: Thoughts on elections, US style. Date: 11/9/2000 2:15 PM
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Voting in a church is certainly constitutional.


Though I agree with your statement, I think it's a grey area that would ultimately be decided by the courts. For all I know, there's already been some court case about it..havent heard.

The reason I think some groups may have a problem with it...

The modern day reality that you cant do the church's business in government...

might imply that you cant do the government's business in a church.

Again, it doesnt bother me at all...I'm in church 40 to 50 Sundays per year. I just cant beleive no one has jumped on it yet....ACLU cant be far behind on that one.



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Author: brl101 One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24423 of 748844
Subject: Re: Thoughts on elections, US style. Date: 11/9/2000 3:21 PM
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SydSydSyd wrote............. "Are you required to vote on every issue and ballot entry? Should I be forced to choose among candidates for obscure offices, even if I have not done my homework and know nothing about any of them?
Or, as a hypothetical example, suppose I were strongly against capital punishment, but all the candidates for a given office were in favor of it. Should I be forced to vote for one of them? (Same question applies for abortion, etc.)"

In Australia, our ballot papers are the old fashioned kind - not computer counted or anything high tech like that.

Accordingly, we do get a certain level of "informal vote". That is, people will scribble any sort of junk on the ballot paper including obscenities if they don't want to make a choice.

The ballot paper for the lower house of parliament is generally pretty short with maybe 2 - 5 names to choose from for the local electorate; the ballot paper for the senate will usualy have something like 30 names on it. Lots of loony candidates and groups will have a go at the senate.

We run a preferential voting system wherein you must number every square beside a the candidates names in the order that you want them. Thus is is possible if you know that the candidate of your preferred party is in a safe seat for you to give your first preference to a real also ran who has no chance of getting in but your second preference to your preferred party candidate just so you can register a bit of a protest vote against the candidate personally. He/she will still get in on your second preferences but might feel some pain on election night whilst the votes are counted.

If you don't want to number all candidates on the senate voting paper, you can just tick the party you want to vote for and their pre-arranged preferences become the default. Party scrutineers play a big role when the votes are counted.

We have no president but the Prime Minister is elected by the party that wins the majority of parliamentary seats. ie the prime minister is not from a direct popular vote by the people.

It all seems to work for us. We are a lot less passionate than politics than Americans seem to be. I once saw a TV documentary on Aussie history on which the closing sentence was, "The reason that we have never had a civil war in Australia, is that we are all too busy having a bloody good time!"

BRL101


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Author: 1960TR3 Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24449 of 748844
Subject: Re: Thoughts on elections, US style. Date: 11/9/2000 6:28 PM
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>>SydSydSyd wrote............. "Are you required to vote on every issue and ballot entry? Should I be forced to choose among candidates for obscure offices, even if I have not done my homework and know nothing about any of them?<<

This is an important question simply because it's so misunderstood. Many people think they have to vote for everything on a ballot or the ballot is invalidated. The correct answer is "NO", you do not have to vote for anything *or* everything. You are free to pick and choose those candidates and/or issues you feel most comfortable voting on. The votes you do place will be valid.

Bob, who is becoming keenly aware that voting seems to be more complicated than he thought! <S>

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Author: EditorialWe Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24451 of 748844
Subject: Re: Thoughts on elections, US style. Date: 11/9/2000 7:06 PM
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But the strangest thing to me is that you folks vote on a Tuesday. That must be awfully inconvenient for most people. Ours are on Saturdays.

I actually heard a historian discussing this on the radio on Election Day. It seems that weekend voting has historically been not allowed because of the need to 'keep the Sabbath day holy.' And while Sunday is the Sabbath for many, Saturday is also the Sabbath for quite a few. (Here in LA there is a sizable Hasidic population who can be seen walking down the street to their temples every Friday and Saturday evening.)

Apart from those odd few who really *do* still consider the Sabbath Day holy, in this day and age I'd be afraid that weekend voting would face competition from theme parks, weekend trips out of town, and other temptations.

EditorialWe

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Author: brl101 One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24472 of 748844
Subject: Re: Thoughts on elections, US style. Date: 11/9/2000 9:47 PM
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"I'd be afraid that weekend voting would face competition from theme parks, weekend trips out of town, and other temptations."

Actually, what actually happens is that because voting is compulsory in Australia, everyone has to leave the house to vote on the Saturday and so therefore the shops are crowded.

Business seems to be stimulated because everone has to make the move to get dressed and go out anyway. Not sure if our theme parks do well or not.

brl101


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Author: jgoss1074 One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24475 of 748844
Subject: Re: Thoughts on elections, US style. Date: 11/9/2000 10:05 PM
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But the strangest thing to me is that you folks vote on a Tuesday. That must be awfully inconvenient for most people. Ours are on Saturdays.

According to the Federal Election commission...

http://www.fec.gov/pages/faqs.htm

Q: Why are federal elections held on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November?

A: The Tuesday after the first Monday in November was initially established in 1845 (3 U.S.C. 1) for the appointment of Presidential electors in every fourth year. 2 U.S.C. 7, established this date for electing Representatives in every even numbered year in 1875. Finally, 2 U.S.C. 1 established this date as the time for electing U.S. Senators in 1914.

Why early November? For much of our history, America was a predominantly agrarian society. Law makers therefore took into account that November was perhaps the most convenient month for farmers and rural workers to be able to travel to the polls. The fall harvest was over, (remember that spring was planting time and summer was taken up with working the fields
and tending the crops) but in the majority of the nation the weather was still mild enough to permit travel over unimproved roads.

Why Tuesday? Since most residents of rural America had to travel a significant distance to the county seat in order to vote, Monday was not considered reasonable since many people would need to begin travel on Sunday. This would, of course, have conflicted with Church services and Sunday worship.

Why the first Tuesday after the first Monday? Lawmakers wanted to prevent election day from falling on the first of November for two reasons. First, November 1st is All Saints Day, a Holy Day of Obligation for Roman Catholics. Second, most merchants were in the habit of doing their books from the preceding month on the 1st. Apparently, Congress was worried that the economic success or failure of the previous month might prove an undue influence on the vote!

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24479 of 748844
Subject: Re: Thoughts on elections, US style. Date: 11/9/2000 11:21 PM
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<<golfwaymore >> I cant believe there isnt some fringe group claiming that voting on government in churches is unconstitutional.
>>


Heh, heh! I should check to see if the regional Boy Scout office is serving as a voting precinct!



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: sydsydsyd Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24484 of 748844
Subject: Re: Thoughts on elections, US style. Date: 11/10/2000 12:23 AM
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>>SydSydSyd wrote............. "Are you required to vote on every issue and ballot entry? Should I be forced to choose among candidates for obscure offices, even if I have not done my homework and know nothing about any of them?<<

This is an important question simply because it's so misunderstood. Many people think they have to vote for everything on a ballot or the ballot is invalidated. The correct answer is "NO", you do not have to vote for anything *or* everything. You are free to pick and choose those candidates and/or issues you feel most comfortable voting on. The votes you do place will be valid.


Sorry, I should clarify that I was replying to the remark by an Australian poster that voting is mandatory there. I wanted to know whether mandatory voting meant you had to fill out the whole ballot even if you didn't want to.

I do know that your U.S. ballot won't be discarded if you don't leave some items blank. I'm sorry to say that I'm often guilty of doing this with minor local offices and, very occasionally, with ballot propositions.

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Author: KenKittell Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24539 of 748844
Subject: Re: Thoughts on elections, US style. Date: 11/10/2000 2:16 PM
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Second, most merchants were in the habit of doing their books from the preceding month on the 1st. Apparently, Congress was worried that the economic success or failure of the previous month might prove an undue influence on the vote!

Or maybe the Congress of that day actually cared if the government interfered with people getting their work done.

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Author: RonBass Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 24834 of 748844
Subject: Re: Thoughts on elections, US style. Date: 11/14/2000 1:07 PM
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Since my original post is about to "go off" of the 7 day "best of" list, I want to thank everyone who recommended it.

Although I was moved by my freind's message, I was both surprised and humbled by the degree of response to her email.

For both she and I, I thank you.

-Ron

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