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Old 31st January 2019, 08:36 AM   #1
Segnosaur
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Mandatory Voting

The Turtle says: Its wrong to actually let people vote because it harms republicans.

From: https://www.vox.com/2019/1/30/182039...ederal-holiday
McConnell took to the Senate floor Wednesday to rail against HR 1, the sweeping anti-corruption proposal House Democrats have put forward as their first bill in the majority. Among many other measures, it proposes making Election Day a federal holiday and encourages private sector businesses to do the same. McConnell, who calls the bill the “Democratic Politician Protection Act,” sees that as a “power grab.”

The democrats want to make election day a holiday because many non-voters claim they can't vote because other responsibilities (work, family care) get in the way. This can have a slightly bigger impact on minorities because they often have less flexibility with their work hours, and lack a vehicle for transportation to the polling stations.

The republicans fear that if they make election day a holiday it will undo some of their voter suppression efforts.
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Old 31st January 2019, 08:37 AM   #2
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McConnell says bill that would make Election Day a federal holiday is a ‘power grab’ by Democrats


Quote:
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday that a Democratic bill that would make Election Day a federal holiday is a “power grab,” sparking a fierce backlash online.

The far-reaching legislation would also prohibit the purging of voter rolls, require presidential and vice-presidential candidates to release their tax returns, compel states to adopt independent redistricting commissions and create a matching system for small-dollar donations to congressional campaigns, among other changes.

In his Wednesday remarks, as well as in a Washington Post op-ed earlier this month, McConnell mocked the legislation as the “Democrat Politician Protection Act.”

His remarks prompted a wave of criticism by Democrats, some of whom argued that McConnell was acknowledging that Republicans want to make it more difficult for Americans to vote.

“Voting is a power grab. By citizens,” Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) said in a tweet Wednesday afternoon.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) shared a link to a story about McConnell’s comments and tweeted, “Why are Republicans always afraid of making it easier for Americans to vote?”

At least he's willing to openly admit that Republicans don't want to make it easier for people to vote, because people won't vote for them.
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Old 31st January 2019, 08:37 AM   #3
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Making election day a holiday is kind of dumb. Let everyone vote by mail.
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Old 31st January 2019, 08:40 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by slyjoe View Post
Making election day a holiday is kind of dumb. Let everyone vote by mail.
The US Post Office isn't exactly at the pinnacle of its powers lately.
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Old 31st January 2019, 08:45 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
The US Post Office isn't exactly at the pinnacle of its powers lately.
You don't have to return the ballot by mail by the way. You can drop it off. The USPS is involved in delivering the ballots (and to be fair, in delivering most of the returns to the state).
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Old 31st January 2019, 08:54 AM   #6
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1. I am all for any measure to make voting easier.
2. I also think it will make, at best, a negligible difference in our voting numbers.
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Old 31st January 2019, 09:05 AM   #7
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What? More people will be able to vote? That's not fair!
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Old 31st January 2019, 09:05 AM   #8
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Yes, it's been the source of much amusement online that McConnell has basically gone on record as saying "if we make it easier for people to vote, then that makes it harder for Republicans to get elected".
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Old 31st January 2019, 09:06 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
1. I am all for any measure to make voting easier.
2. I also think it will make, at best, a negligible difference in our voting numbers.
I dunno, if McConnell is terrified by the idea (and he clearly is), then there's at least some chance it'll make a significant difference.

And he's right - it would help the democrats, which is why the GOP has worked hard to suppress votes, especially among minorities. The GOP could always try, you know, not being the party of rich people and white supremacists, but I guess they'd rather not.
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Old 31st January 2019, 09:22 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
The Turtle says: Its wrong to actually let people vote because it harms republicans.

From: https://www.vox.com/2019/1/30/182039...ederal-holiday
McConnell took to the Senate floor Wednesday to rail against HR 1, the sweeping anti-corruption proposal House Democrats have put forward as their first bill in the majority. Among many other measures, it proposes making Election Day a federal holiday and encourages private sector businesses to do the same. McConnell, who calls the bill the “Democratic Politician Protection Act,” sees that as a “power grab.”

The democrats want to make election day a holiday because many non-voters claim they can't vote because other responsibilities (work, family care) get in the way. This can have a slightly bigger impact on minorities because they often have less flexibility with their work hours, and lack a vehicle for transportation to the polling stations.

The republicans fear that if they make election day a holiday it will undo some of their voter suppression efforts.
I can scarsely imagine McConnell stating any more clearly that the GOP is now anti-democratic, and thus anti-American.

Traitors.
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Old 31st January 2019, 09:32 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Mumbles View Post
I dunno, if McConnell is terrified by the idea (and he clearly is), then there's at least some chance it'll make a significant difference.

And he's right - it would help the democrats, which is why the GOP has worked hard to suppress votes, especially among minorities. The GOP could always try, you know, not being the party of rich people and white supremacists, but I guess they'd rather not.
Okay so I'll admit this is ancedotal level and all that so grain of salt...

Right before the Mid-terms NYMAG interviewed 12 people under the age of 30 about why they weren't voting.

1. Samantha, 22, New Jersey, had voted at least once before in a major election - "disillusioned" with voting. Feels like she didn't know enough about the candidates to vote fairly. Has a valid absentee ballot literally sitting on her table.

2. Reese, 23, Ohio, Never voted - Kinds of just rambles for a few minutes and never actually gives a reason why he's not voting.

3. Tim, 27, Texas, Never voted - "It gives me anxiety." "I have ADHD." "I live in Texas so it doesn't matter."

4. Megan, 29, San Francisco, last voted in 2014 - Moved and never learned her new districts policy on Absentee voting.

5. Drew, 21, Berkeley CA, last voted in 2016 - Isn't voting because "The Democratic Party doesn't stand for anything anymore."

6. Laura, 21, Orlando, Never voted - "I just didn't have the time or energy."

7. Aaron, 25, Atlanta, last voted in 2016 - Volunteered for Bernie Sanders, gave up when he didn't get the nomination. "Plans to" vote in 2020.

8. Anna, 21, NYC but citizen of Austin, TX, Never voted - Unable to understand the absentee voting process.

9. Thomas, 28, NYC, voted in 2018 Democratic Primary but didn't vote in the 2018 mid-term general election - His polling place was literally at the end of his block and by his own admission "would have taken him 5 minutes" but "didn't feel like it mattered."

10. Jocylen, 27, Massachusetts, last voted in 2016 - Couldn't register by mail because she has no ID, couldn't register in person by she has a chronic illness.

11. Maria, 26, Arkansas, last voted in 2012 - "I would have to tell work, “Hey, I’m not coming in until noon today,” and in the end, if it’s not something I’m extremely passionate about, do I want to spend four hours of vacation doing something I don’t quite want to do?"

12. Nathan, 28, San Diego, last voted in 2016 - Basically claims he doesn't know enough about the candidates because he gets all his news online which... doesn't make any sense to me.

So that's... what 1 person who is really claiming they "can't" vote because of some obstruction in the process, and 2 or 3 who just can't be bothered to figure the process out and the rest who just don't because of variations on "I don't feel like it."

Sure maybe that's a bad sample, maybe the article cherry picked their examples but I'm thinking in most cases (things like Florida reinstated felon voting rights and similar cases not withstanding) Non-voters magically A) showing up the next election and B) overwhelming supporting the democrats is always going to be a Deus Ex Machina waiting to happen.
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Old 31st January 2019, 09:38 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
Yes, it's been the source of much amusement online that McConnell has basically gone on record as saying "if we make it easier for people to vote, then that makes it harder for Republicans to get elected".
Maybe he took the Depeche Mode arc of this thread a bit too literally. He's being crucified.
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Old 31st January 2019, 09:40 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Okay so I'll admit this is ancedotal level and all that so grain of salt...

Right before the Mid-terms NYMAG interviewed 12 people under the age of 30 about why they weren't voting.

[snip]

So that's... what 1 person who is really claiming they "can't" vote because of some obstruction in the process, and 2 or 3 who just can't be bothered to figure the process out and the rest who just don't because of variations on "I don't feel like it."

Sure maybe that's a bad sample, maybe the article cherry picked their examples but I'm thinking in most cases (things like Florida reinstated felon voting rights and similar cases not withstanding) Non-voters magically A) showing up the next election and B) overwhelming supporting the democrats is always going to be a Deus Ex Machina waiting to happen.
Then tell McConnell to stop freaking out.
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Old 31st January 2019, 09:45 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Okay so I'll admit this is ancedotal level and all that so grain of salt...

Right before the Mid-terms NYMAG interviewed 12 people under the age of 30 about why they weren't voting.
Sounds like a few of those might vote if they got an afternoon off for just that.
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Old 31st January 2019, 09:54 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
So that's... what 1 person who is really claiming they "can't" vote because of some obstruction in the process, and 2 or 3 who just can't be bothered to figure the process out and the rest who just don't because of variations on "I don't feel like it."
1 out of 12. So if we really do use your sample as being representative, then that 8.33% of non-voters.
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Old 31st January 2019, 10:01 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
1 out of 12. So if we really do use your sample as being representative, then that 8.33% of non-voters.
And again I'm not saying we shouldn't remove obstacles (both intentional vote suppression and just a general streamlining of the process) just that I don't think it's the golden bullet it is sometimes treated as.

Let's say that 8.33% of people "can't" for our purpose vote. We fix that system. It's rather ludicrous to think given voter turnout in America all those 8.33% turning into "voters" (at least some would just go from "Can't vote" to "won't vote" just based on law of averages) and even then no particular political party is going to get all those non-voters, at least a few are gonna go to the "other side" or (and my gut is telling this is a bigger number then people are thinking) vote 3rd party / independent.

Honest, feet to the fire. If we increase voter turnout by... 20% next election let's say (random number) I see the Republicans getting a tiny jump from it, the Democrats getting a... modest jump and the 3rd Party / Indepndant candidates getting a big jump which in a First Past the Post voting system means nothing.
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Old 31st January 2019, 11:11 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
And again I'm not saying we shouldn't remove obstacles (both intentional vote suppression and just a general streamlining of the process) just that I don't think it's the golden bullet it is sometimes treated as.

Let's say that 8.33% of people "can't" for our purpose vote. We fix that system. It's rather ludicrous to think given voter turnout in America all those 8.33% turning into "voters" (at least some would just go from "Can't vote" to "won't vote" just based on law of averages) and even then no particular political party is going to get all those non-voters, at least a few are gonna go to the "other side" or (and my gut is telling this is a bigger number then people are thinking) vote 3rd party / independent.

Honest, feet to the fire. If we increase voter turnout by... 20% next election let's say (random number) I see the Republicans getting a tiny jump from it, the Democrats getting a... modest jump and the 3rd Party / Indepndant candidates getting a big jump which in a First Past the Post voting system means nothing.
Why not do what Australia does and make it illegal NOT to vote. That will increase turnout.
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Old 31st January 2019, 11:19 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Okay so I'll admit this is ancedotal level and all that so grain of salt...

Right before the Mid-terms NYMAG interviewed 12 people under the age of 30 about why they weren't voting.
...
So that's... what 1 person who is really claiming they "can't" vote because of some obstruction in the process, and 2 or 3 who just can't be bothered to figure the process out and the rest who just don't because of variations on "I don't feel like it."
As others have said, having 1 non-voter out of 12 being more likely to vote if they had the day off would be rather significant. You're talking ~40% of the population, so you could be increasing the number of votes by hundreds of thousands.

And in elections that are often decided by just a few thousands of votes, that could be significant.

Quote:
Sure maybe that's a bad sample, maybe the article cherry picked their examples...
I doubt they cherry picked their examples, but it is a small sample size. And, while I suspect they were trying to get a broad base of responses from different demographics, elections don't work that way... they have clusters of people.
Quote:
And again I'm not saying we shouldn't remove obstacles (both intentional vote suppression and just a general streamlining of the process) just that I don't think it's the golden bullet it is sometimes treated as.
I don't think its a "magic bullet". And it certainly won't remove all barriers to voting. It may help the democrats marginally but it won't guarantee them victory in future elections.

The two questions that need to be asked are: 1) Will making election day a holiday make the system more fairer (I think it will), and 2) if it makes it fairer, then what does that say about The Turtle and the rest of the GOP that they would be opposing it.
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Old 31st January 2019, 11:28 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Why not do what Australia does and make it illegal NOT to vote. That will increase turnout.
I think the argument is that it would increase vote for joke candidates or something.
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Old 31st January 2019, 11:36 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
I think the argument is that it would increase vote for joke candidates or something.
There's also the conflicting nature of passing a mandatory voting law while significant parts of the country are actively making it harder to vote.
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Old 31st January 2019, 11:39 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Why not do what Australia does and make it illegal NOT to vote. That will increase turnout.
Because the GOP would never win the presidency or a house majority again without a major shift in their platform.
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Old 31st January 2019, 12:00 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Why not do what Australia does and make it illegal NOT to vote. That will increase turnout.
Terrible idea.
A.I think if an individual does not want to vote, that is his right.
B. It really a good idea to force people who don't care about politics, and are totally ignorant about the issues vote?
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Old 31st January 2019, 12:01 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
I think the argument is that it would increase vote for joke candidates or something.
I just gave two arguments against this idea.
Coerced voting is NOT a good idea. I am all in favor of removing obstacles to voting,but totally opposed to forcing people to vote.
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Old 31st January 2019, 12:09 PM   #24
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It is another example of the fallacy that Government can somehow force people to be more virtuous in a positive way;it can't.
It can't make people more compassionate, make them take a interest in politics,it just can't. The only way it can make people better is in a negative way:that if you do certain things you will be punished;in fact that is one of the mian jobs of government.
The Force people to vote is utopian thinking, and I think the 20th century shows us what comes of Utopian thinking in power. Most of the great atrocities of the 20th century were commited by Governments in pursuit of Utopia.
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Old 31st January 2019, 12:09 PM   #25
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You don't have to have mandatory voting - but you should have automatic registration to vote.
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Old 31st January 2019, 12:10 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Stacko View Post
There's also the conflicting nature of passing a mandatory voting law while significant parts of the country are actively making it harder to vote.
True, but manadatory voting is a bad idea in and of itself.
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Old 31st January 2019, 12:11 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
You don't have to have mandatory voting - but you should have automatic registration to vote.
I have no opposition to automatic registration,provided there are enough controls to prevent monkey business.
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Old 31st January 2019, 01:24 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Okay so I'll admit this is ancedotal level and all that so grain of salt...
You are.

placement of voting locations, and number of voting stations, is one vital issue here, as is access to early voting - many would-be voters are simply unable to take enough time off of work, either because the voting lines are 5+ hours long, or because they're assigned to work all day that day (and would even if it were a federal holiday). If you provide access to voting booths, they'll vote. Restoring the VRA is especially important, given that the GOP in many states is hellbent on disenfranchising black/Native American voters.

I have no use for the "eehh, they're the same, the dems are useless" Bernie Bro nonsense that a few of the people in the article you're discussing show (I read it when you came out, some sounded like they they had sound reasons not to vote, while others were just pouting). But the problems run far beyond just the under-30 crowd.

Also, about McConnell's blathering - um, is it even legal for federal employees to work on political campaigns? What the hell was he even going on about?
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Old 31st January 2019, 02:05 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Mumbles View Post
You are.

placement of voting locations, and number of voting stations, is one vital issue here, as is access to early voting - many would-be voters are simply unable to take enough time off of work, either because the voting lines are 5+ hours long, or because they're assigned to work all day that day (and would even if it were a federal holiday). If you provide access to voting booths, they'll vote. Restoring the VRA is especially important, given that the GOP in many states is hellbent on disenfranchising black/Native American voters.

I have no use for the "eehh, they're the same, the dems are useless" Bernie Bro nonsense that a few of the people in the article you're discussing show (I read it when you came out, some sounded like they they had sound reasons not to vote, while others were just pouting). But the problems run far beyond just the under-30 crowd.

Also, about McConnell's blathering - um, is it even legal for federal employees to work on political campaigns? What the hell was he even going on about?
Yes, a federal employee can volunteer for a political campaign, like any other US Citizen can. But he cannot do so on Government time, use Goverenment money or equipment, or campaign at the office.
The total prohibition was lifted quite a while ago.
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Old 31st January 2019, 02:19 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
I just gave two arguments against this idea.
Coerced voting is NOT a good idea. I am all in favor of removing obstacles to voting,but totally opposed to forcing people to vote.
It's not like they put a gun to their head. It's a small fine. And one can write anything they want on their ballot. But they must submit a ballot.
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Old 31st January 2019, 02:32 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
It's not like they put a gun to their head. It's a small fine. And one can write anything they want on their ballot. But they must submit a ballot.
It's still coercion in an area where government should not be allowed to use coercion.
It seems to me automatic registration would guarantee that anybody who wanted to vote could but not have the coercion which I find obnoxious.
And what good would it accomplish? Would having a bunch of people totally ignorant of the issues vote benefit anybody?

To me it's a question of individual liberty. And, sadly, at times I think the right has a point when it accuses those on the hard left of not really caring about individual freedom if it gets in the way of their utopian schemes.
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Old 31st January 2019, 02:46 PM   #32
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It's going to get interesting now that here are signs that in the senate, at least, Trump is facing a rebellion in his own party,,and McConell might not have his back any more.
It's a cold political calculation..that supporting Trump is now more dangerous then opposing him on some issues.
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Old 31st January 2019, 03:04 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
It's still coercion in an area where government should not be allowed to use coercion.
It seems to me automatic registration would guarantee that anybody who wanted to vote could but not have the coercion which I find obnoxious.
And what good would it accomplish? Would having a bunch of people totally ignorant of the issues vote benefit anybody?
They already let FoxNews viewers vote...[rimshot]

Here's a question: at what point do we take voting rights away? Imagine a senior citizen who is medium functioning alzheimers. Are they allowed to vote? Yep.

My dad has Parkinson's, and has days where he can't find the bathroom in his house where he's lived for 60 years. But he is allowed to vote.
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Old 31st January 2019, 03:23 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by pgwenthold View Post
They already let FoxNews viewers vote...[rimshot]

Here's a question: at what point do we take voting rights away? Imagine a senior citizen who is medium functioning alzheimers. Are they allowed to vote? Yep.

My dad has Parkinson's, and has days where he can't find the bathroom in his house where he's lived for 60 years. But he is allowed to vote.
You are getting in Robert Heinlein territory here. He became, in his later years a big advocate of restricting the vote to those who could use it intelleignetly. Problem was of course, Heinlein's idea of voting intelliegnely was somebody who though exactly like Heinlein....
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Old 31st January 2019, 03:24 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
I think the argument is that it would increase vote for joke candidates or something.
I think that happened anyway . . . .
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Old 31st January 2019, 03:48 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
Quote:
Republicans in the senate have always taken small steps to do things that Trump doesn't like (such as voting for sanctions against Russia in 2017.) However, I see any sort of 'rebellion' as more symbolic/empty rhetoric. The minute that the senate has to deal with any issues of consequence (vote for more tax breaks for millionaires, conformation of unqualified judges for the supreme court) the Republicans will likely fall in line behind Trump.
You want Republicans to become Liberal Democrats. That is not going to happen.
Where did I say that I wanted Republicans to become Liberal democrats?

I do think that its possible for someone to take a conservative stance on a lot of issues, yet still be in opposition to what the current GOP is doing.

Want to cut taxes? Do so in a way that won't cause the debt to spike, and where the cuts have a bigger impact on the middle/lower class. In my opinion, that is a "conservative" stance.

Quote:
But if they stand up to Trump's authoratanism and some of his stupidier ideas that's a big step in the right direction.
We still have to see whether they actually will stand up to Trump's authoritarianism. Remember, this is the same Republican party who voted for Russian sanctions in 2017, and then when Trump didn't actually do what he was supposed to, let him slide. This is also the same republican party where various members have said "We have to protect the Mueller investigation", yet any attempts to do so legislatively have gone nowhere.
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Old 31st January 2019, 04:20 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
Terrible idea. [mandatory voting like in Australia]

A.I think if an individual does not want to vote, that is his right.
The actual law in Australia is that casting a ballot is mandatory. That does not equate to correctly filling out a ballot paper. While spoiling a ballot paper is discouraged, it happens regularly but not very often. Mickey Mouse would be in our parliament permanently if write-ins were allowed. So would Mr FU.

But at our last major election, the official turnout was over 95%, which means the winner in a two-party race MUST get a respectable majority from the whole country - it is representative. Whereas the USA turnout rarely exceeds 60%, so less than 30% of the US voting-age population can take the "win" - not really representative.

Quote:
B. It really a good idea to force people who don't care about politics, and are totally ignorant about the issues vote?
Curious fact: Mandatory voting means that our politicians must spend all their efforts trying to convince voters of their points of view. Because they do not have to spend any money or effort encouraging (or discouraging) people to actually turn up to vote, i.e. buying votes. So we tend to be far better informed about our politics generally, although it gets to be a barrage of piffle in both directions in major elections.

Lastly, mandatory voting turns the legality of voter suppression on its head. It is actually illegal trying to prevent a registered voter from voting, or to interfere with their ballot.

Incidentally, we run major elections on a Saturday. Generally that's a non-work day, so people should be available to vote at some time. For most elections, we make it a day out at a school fete (most schools hosting polling stations throw sausage sizzles, hence the term "democracy sausage") with a bit of civic duty thrown in.
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Old 31st January 2019, 04:31 PM   #38
pgwenthold
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
You are getting in Robert Heinlein territory here. He became, in his later years a big advocate of restricting the vote to those who could use it intelleignetly.
Um, isn't that exactly what you were saying? "Would having a bunch of people totally ignorant of the issues vote benefit anybody?"

Although I will say, we already won't allow people vote if they are too young. So why can't we say the same if they are too old? And don't say, "there are old people who can vote intelligently" because the same can be said of young people.

If we can put restrictions on young people being allowed to vote, I don't see why we can't do it with old people.
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Old 31st January 2019, 04:49 PM   #39
acbytesla
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
It's still coercion in an area where government should not be allowed to use coercion.
It seems to me automatic registration would guarantee that anybody who wanted to vote could but not have the coercion which I find obnoxious.
And what good would it accomplish? Would having a bunch of people totally ignorant of the issues vote benefit anybody?

To me it's a question of individual liberty. And, sadly, at times I think the right has a point when it accuses those on the hard left of not really caring about individual freedom if it gets in the way of their utopian schemes.
I definitely believe in automatic registration. As far as making it mandatory to vote, my answer is why not? Freedom isn't free. Voting is one way to assure our freedom.

I see it as a CIVIC RESPONSIBILITY. Like paying taxes. It's the least we can and should do for our country.
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Old 31st January 2019, 05:21 PM   #40
dudalb
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I definitely believe in automatic registration. As far as making it mandatory to vote, my answer is why not? Freedom isn't free. Voting is one way to assure our freedom.

I see it as a CIVIC RESPONSIBILITY. Like paying taxes. It's the least we can and should do for our country.
And I don't think you can force CIVIL RESPONSIBILITY on somebody who does not want it, any more then you can force somebody to be more kind, more compassionate, etc.You can't really force somebody into virtuous behavior. You can make them refrain from some actions by threat of punishment, but that is different then making somebody more virtuous.
We have seen attempts to enforce "Civic Virtue" by coercion and it has always ended badly, from Roberpierre's attempts to make people virtuous through the Guillotine to the Horrors of Soviet Russia and Mao's China. Count me out.
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