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We can rant and rave all we want about the election, but read this...it will make you cry.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A25603-2002Nov7.html

Here is a snip.

A total of 78.7 million votes were cast on Tuesday, a turnout of 39.3 percent of all voting age citizens, according to Curtis Gans, director of the Committee for the Study of the American Electorate, an independent elections expert. That was a slight increase from the 37.6 percent turnout in the previous midterm elections, in 1998, and interrupted a steady decline in voter participation, he said.

Goodness, why don't 60% of the voters care?

Daniel
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I know of one couple that does not vote because they just vote opposite anyway (one is repub/one is demo). They believe that this just makes both votes as void as if they didn't show at all. So they don't go. Perhaps some of that 60% are similar thinkers. Although, I do agree that 30% showing is a sorry stat indeed.
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Goodness, why don't 60% of the voters care?

Depends on how they get the registration numbers and figures. Seems more like maybe about 5 to 10% are either dead, moved, or are registered in multiple places (just moved for example).

Still that leaves about 50%.

Isn't it the traditional "oh my vote won't make THAT much difference...".


Duck!
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Some don't believe in voting...
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We can rant and rave all we want about the election, but read this...it will make you cry.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A25603-2002Nov7.html
Here is a snip.
A total of 78.7 million votes were cast on Tuesday, a turnout of 39.3 percent of all voting age citizens, according to Curtis Gans, director of the Committee for the Study of the American Electorate, an independent elections expert. That was a slight increase from the 37.6 percent turnout in the previous midterm elections, in 1998, and interrupted a steady decline in voter participation, he said.
Goodness, why don't 60% of the voters care?


A lot of places had uncontested elections or elections where the challenger had no chance to win, so why bother? Others don't see a lot of difference between Republicans and Democrats, they don't think it matters to them which one is elected, this year you could see why with Democrats campaigning on their support of Bush and Republicans campaigning on prescription drugs. With the gerrymandering that went on to create safe districts and the other advantages to incumbency even this election had almost no turnout of incumbents. Although, Minnesota which had a hotly contested race had the second highest turn out for a midterm election in their history. Relatively though we did better than the last midterm so I see no reason for tears.
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Goodness, why don't 60% of the voters care?

Because most of the races were not competitive. Ever hear of gerrymandering?

We had 60-70% in Dallas, where they were.
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Although, Minnesota which had a hotly contested race had the second highest turn out for a midterm election in their history. Relatively though we did better than the last midterm so I see no reason for tears.

Yep, there was an uptick and I read that Minnesota had a 60%+ turnout. Still, not quite a mandate, eh?

Daniel
so hard to agree with Mark.
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Because most of the races were not competitive. Ever hear of gerrymandering?

We had 60-70% in Dallas, where they were.


Gerrymandered?

Daniel
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Goodness, why don't 60% of the voters care?

Daniel

______________

Of the 60.7% who didn't vote, how many:

A) Didn't know there was an election.
B) Didn't think their vote mattered, in spite of or because of Florida 2000
C) Didn't like any of the choices offered.
D) Didn't care enough to know the issues.
E) Were turned off by all of the negative campaign ads.
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Goodness, why don't 60% of the voters care?

Because most of the races were not competitive. Ever hear of gerrymandering?


Even without gerrymandering, we should expect many districts to be uncompetitive in a two party system because of the geographic variability of political opinion.

-Bruce (for IRV)
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Of the 60.7% who didn't vote, how many:

A) Didn't know there was an election.
B) Didn't think their vote mattered, in spite of or because of Florida 2000
C) Didn't like any of the choices offered.
D) Didn't care enough to know the issues.
E) Were turned off by all of the negative campaign ads.


good points. You should run this as a poll.

Daniel
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Goodness, why don't 60% of the voters care?

Personally, I don't have a problem with low voter turnout. I know it sounds great to rant about it, but i just don't see it as an issue.

Out of the over 400 House seats, only a dozen or so were competitive. The Senate is much the same. So that accounts for a lot of voter apathy.

But in general, much of the American public is just not educated about the issues. If they want to stay home, I am not going to argue with them. Someone who is too lazy to vote is too lazy to educate themselves about the issues.

MM
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Goodness, why don't 60% of the voters care?



Look around and you will see the answer is pretty obvious.
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"Goodness, why don't 60% of the voters care?"

Because they tuned-out long ago. They do not believe their vote matters at all. They just hope those of us who do care will do the right things for them.

We cannot let them down, they have faith in us!
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They just hope those of us who do care will do the right things for them.

We cannot let them down, they have faith in us!


You are kidding right?


Do you ever talk to any groups of young people. Trust me they have no faith in you whatsoever. Ever observe pop culture and wonder why even sheltered suburbanites listen to violent and degrading garbage?

There is a huge portion of the population that has no hope or faith that things will be well. The suffering is global and horrid.

You need to check your ego and idea of the savior at the door.
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"Goodness, why don't 60% of the voters care?"

Because they tuned-out long ago. They do not believe their vote matters at all. They just hope those of us who do care will do the right things for them.

We cannot let them down, they have faith in us!


LOL!

Daniel
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Some thoughts on why I haven't voted in every election:

I remember that I didn't vote in the '96 election because it was such a hassle to register.
I went to our local library and post offices to register, and none of them had forms. A nearby pizza place advertised that you could register there, but they didn't have any forms. I even tried that MTV number, 1-800-rock-vote, which forwarded me to a local voter registration number. That number was disconnected.

Plus, I'd had to stand in line for 3 hours to vote in the '92 election, only to see all the electoral votes go to the other candidate. I feel that the electoral system really makes the popular vote get wasted in many cases. And I'd already spent an hour or two just trying to register and was getting tired of the hassle. So I said to hell with it. In 2000, it was obvious that all of Arizona's electoral votes were going to Bush, so there was no point in voting. Neither candidate had even visited AZ for 9 or 10 months. Plus, I think I threw out my registration form with newspaper or something.

This time around, my wife put a registration form and pen into my hands, and we received an application for a mail-in ballot. If the mail-in ballots weren't available, I probably wouldn't have vote this time around, either. I don't really agree with the majority of either party's platform.

So in many cases, it's just a matter of picking the lesser of two evils. That thought really fires me up.

Now that one party has control, do I think things will get better? Nope. If the Democrats had retained power, would things get better? I doubt it.

Lots of people don't vote in the midterm elections because they don't care about anything but the presidential elections. I know lots of people who vote for president only, and then cast the ballot.

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Personally, I don't have a problem with low voter turnout. I know it sounds great to rant about it, but i just don't see it as an issue...

...But in general, much of the American public is just not educated about the issues. If they want to stay home, I am not going to argue with them.


Spoken like a true elitist Republican. You're a real credit to your party.

LakersFan
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...But in general, much of the American public is just not educated about the issues. If they want to stay home, I am not going to argue with them.

Spoken like a true elitist Republican. You're a real credit to your party.


You can't possibly believe that it is preferable for people that are uneducated about the issues to vote. Elitism has nothing to do with it, it's just pure common sense.
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Spoken like a true elitist Republican. You're a real credit to your party.

You can't possibly believe that it is preferable for people that are uneducated about the issues to vote. Elitism has nothing to do with it, it's just pure common sense.

He's just protecting his constituency.
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He's just protecting his constituency.

As long as he doesnt get any on me.....
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You can't possibly believe that it is preferable for people that are uneducated about the issues to vote. Elitism has nothing to do with it, it's just pure common sense.

I believe we live in a democracy and it is preferable that all people vote.

LakersFan
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...But in general, much of the American public is just not educated about the issues. If they want to stay home, I am not going to argue with them.

Spoken like a true elitist Republican. You're a real credit to your party.


A tacit admission that the uneducated vote Democrat?



MM
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Spoken like a true elitist Republican. You're a real credit to your party.

So you're saying the Dems want the ignorant to vote? How telling.

-Bruce
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I believe we live in a democracy and it is preferable that all people vote.

We do live in a democracy, and so it is important that everyone have the RIGHT and the OPPORTUNITY to vote.

Actually casting a vote for or against a candidate with no knowledge of what that candidate supports or opposes is tantamount to a crap shoot.

MM
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I know of one couple that does not vote because they just vote opposite anyway (one is repub/one is demo)

He could argue, "Your vote doesn't cancel mine, it cancels Harry's, across the street. And mine doesn't cancel yours, it cancels Mrs Jones' in Lidville".

I don't suppose these people care about all the other things on the ballot, like school officials, bond measures, and so on.

Did any of you out there in PA-land have a ballot with nothing on it but candidates for Gov (&c), Assembly, Senator? In California, we have to run the whole state by ballot.
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Some don't believe in voting...

Libertarians, mostly. They say, "It just encourages them." I say, fine, the rest of us get to decide your lives.
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We cannot let them down, they have faith in us!

Good point! You and I will take care of things.
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Actually casting a vote for or against a candidate with no knowledge of what that candidate supports or opposes is tantamount to a crap shoot.

Absolutely correct.

How many people decide at the last minute, based on sleazy 30-second radio and TV spots, or on 4-color glossy leaflets stuffed in their mailbox the day before the election? I would rather those people not vote. If it were up to me, you'd have to take a test that showed that you understood the propositions and what the tax consequenses were(that may only be applicable here in CA), and that you knew who your state assemblyman and senator, and US Senator were, who your mayor is, and who's on the city council. Can anybody give me a good reason why this is a bad idea?

I doubt that the Founding Geezers ever intende the vote to be a lottery ("Hey, Bob, did you get the right answers on the ballot the other day?")
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But in general, much of the American public is just not educated about the issues. If they want to stay home, I am not going to argue with them. Someone who is too lazy to vote is too lazy to educate themselves about the issues.

MM,

As always, you're right on the mark. I would go one step further, and say that if someone is too lazy to educate themselves on the issues, then they SHOULD stay home. If all someone can do is check a box or punch a hole (or, in Florida, punch the wrong hole), then they might as well stay home and watch Jerry Springer or The Price is Right, and leave the voting to the grown-ups. I'm sure that there are a bunch on the left that'll get their undies in a bunch over that, but as in most other cases, conservatives believe in equal opportunity (to vote), not equal result (as in, getting the 'I Voted' sticker).

Dean
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Daniel58: Goodness, why don't 60% of the voters care?

Hint: only 20 of 435 House races were competitive.

Peter

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I believe we live in a democracy ...
**********


No. We have a constitutional republic. It never was a democracy (thank God!), and hopefully it never will be. Ever hear of the "tyranny of the majority"? The Republic, including the Electoral College system, is designed to avoid that. Be grateful.


. . . it is preferable that all people vote.
**********


No. Only those who are mature bona-fide citizens, who are rational, who are not criminal, and who bother to educate themselves on the issues should vote. One could carry this farther and present a fair, reasonable, and cogent argument that only those who have property at risk should be allowed to vote, particularly on such issues as property taxation. One may legitimately argue about precisely where the dividing line should be placed that separates the eligible voters from the non-voters. In general, though, it is very clear that there are many things that legitimately bar certain potential voters from exercising the franchise, and great harm would be done if those barriers were removed.

What justice would you achieve with compulsory voting?

A person who gives up his franchise through apathy, or for whatever other reason(s) may be motivating him not to vote, deserves what he gets. Leave the non-voters alone.

As always,

Tom
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So you're saying the Dems want the ignorant to vote? How telling.

So you're sayng that the Republicans only want some elite class of educated people voting? How very telling.

LakersFan
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Actually casting a vote for or against a candidate with no knowledge of what that candidate supports or opposes is tantamount to a crap shoot.

And since we are living in a democracy, if citizens want it to be a crap shoot, then that is exactly what it should be.

Our government should reflect the sum total of all of us. And like it or not, we are a nation of diversity -- of smart and stupid, rich and poor, educated and ignorant. Our elections should reflect the opinions of everyone, not just the people who think they know what's best for everyone.

LakersFan
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A tacit admission that the uneducated vote Democrat?

Not at all. I want to see more people vote. I don't care what party they vote. And you are a credit to your party -- it's well known that Republicans discourage high voter turnout.

LakersFan
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If it were up to me, you'd have to take a test that showed that you understood the propositions and what the tax consequenses were(that may only be applicable here in CA), and that you knew who your state assemblyman and senator, and US Senator were, who your mayor is, and who's on the city council. Can anybody give me a good reason why this is a bad idea?

It's called The U.S. Constitution.

LakersFan
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Our government should reflect the sum total of all of us. And like it or not, we are a nation of diversity -- of smart and stupid, rich and poor, educated and ignorant. Our elections should reflect the opinions of everyone, not just the people who think they know what's best for everyone.

Then why not let children vote?

MM
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Then why not let children vote?

OK. Fine with me. I'm not the one trying to exclude any voters. I believe the logic in excluding children from voting is because people under 18 aren't legally responsible for their own actions. But I know that when I was under 18, I very much felt that I was subject to "taxation without representation".


LakersFan
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Not at all. I want to see more people vote. I don't care what party they vote. And you are a credit to your party -- it's well known that Republicans discourage high voter turnout.

I would like to see more people involved in the political process. And that means everything from reading and watching the news, coming to informed opinions about what is going on, and voting. And contrary to what you apparently think, I don't just mean Republicans or Conservatives. The country as a whole is served better when its populace is educated. By educated, I don't mean having some fancy degree. I meant having at least a basic understand of the issues, where ever you stand on them. Perhaps informed would have been a better word.

Perhaps in the past the GOP fared better when turnout was low. But turnout was near 60% in Minnesota and I think we did allright.

MM
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I'm not the one trying to exclude any voters.

I am NOT trying to exclude any voters. There are quite a few reasons I would never support any kind of test or knowledge requirement in order to be eligable to vote. Everyone should have the opportunity.

I am simply saying that i don't think it is a tragedy that politically apathetic people don't vote. I do not think it is the crisis that people make it out to be. I don't suport compulsary voting. In general , I think the system works better when people who don;t know what they are talking about stay home.

MM
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I meant having at least a basic understand of the issues, where ever you stand on them. Perhaps informed would have been a better word.

But for many people, their basic understanding of the issues is that they would rather be uninformed.
Some of the uninformed people vote Republican, some of them vote Democrat. I don't want to disenfranchise any of them because I would prefer that our government be more reflective of our citizenry as a whole.

LakersFan
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A tacit admission that the uneducated vote Democrat?

============

Here's something to debunk that theory. My Dad's family grew up in rural (I mean outhouse rural) Mississippi. They are all republicans there. They are loyal to the Republican party, because of Lincoln, and the "pork" money that the Republicans throw in their rural areas.

Some are uneducated and do not vote Democrat.

Nica, Myth breaker.
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If it were up to me, you'd have to take a test that showed that you understood the propositions and what the tax consequenses were(that may only be applicable here in CA), and that you knew who your state assemblyman and senator, and US Senator were, who your mayor is, and who's on the city council. Can anybody give me a good reason why this is a bad idea?
============

Can we say Jim Crow laws?

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Here in northern NV, the conservative part of the state, we had a 60% turnout...
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NV grew enough to get another House Rep. It went Repub. This was a fight because it was believed that the winner would set the seat (for the future) in the party that won. So we now have 2 Repubs and 1 Dem House Rep.
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And since we are living in a democracy, if citizens want it to be a crap shoot, then that is exactly what it should be.

Our government should reflect the sum total of all of us. And like it or not, we are a nation of diversity -- of smart and stupid, rich and poor, educated and ignorant. Our elections should reflect the opinions of everyone, not just the people who think they know what's best for everyone.

LakersFan

Not at all. I want to see more people vote. I don't care what party they vote. And you are a credit to your party -- it's well known that Republicans discourage high voter turnout.

LakersFan


What a bunch of liberal crap.

Essentially what you're saying is, "If I had my way, I would MAKE everyone vote." (This sounds suspiciously like what one of the people 'who think they know what's best for everyone' would say.) I would like to point out to you that a choice not to vote (and/or not become informed on the issues) is still a choice. Republicans support freedom, even when they don't necessarily agree with it. You, on the other hand, would take each voter by the hand, even if they didn't care, and didn't know who or what they were voting for, and put them in the voting booth anyway. What a great system!

Also, Republicans do NOT, repeat NOT, discourage high voter turnout. They simply want people to vote who WANT to vote. The system is about as easy as it can be, although Florida voters seem to prove every so often that you can't make voting completely idiot-proof.

Our elections should reflect the opinion of those WHO CARE ENOUGH TO GET OFF THEIR DEAD BUTTS AND DO IT, not 'everyone'. Lots of countries have everyone vote, but I wouldn't want to live in any of them, because there's usually only one candidate. Freedom of speech in these countries usually doesn't exist, either, at least not how we know it.

By the way, let's see how you like baseless accusations:
"It's well known that Democrats round up people who don't care to vote, pay them to vote Democratic, encourage voter fraud, and file spurious lawsuits."

I don't believe that, but it's probably got as much truth as your accusation.

Dean
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...But in general, much of the American public is just not educated about the issues. If they want to stay home, I am not going to argue with them.

Spoken like a true elitist Republican. You're a real credit to your party.


Actually, I don't think an elitist would say something like that.

He's saying that people are judging their own fitness to vote, and HE ISN'T GOING TO ARGUE WITH THEM.

An elitist would (assuming he considers himself part of the elite) put his own estimation of other people ahead of their own self-evaluation. He might say "You ARE TOO sufficiently informed to vote! Get out there and do your duty!"
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Some of the uninformed people vote Republican, some of them vote Democrat. I don't want to disenfranchise any of them because I would prefer that our government be more reflective of our citizenry as a whole.

You don't want to disenfranchise any of them, we don't want to disenfranchise anyone.

But some of us figure that if individuals voluntarily and temporarily disenfranchise themselves, it is not a tragedy.
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>Can anybody give me a good reason why this is a bad idea?

It's called The U.S. Constitution.


You're right. Why should anybody expect the voters to know anything about what they're voting for?
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