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Old 31st January 2019, 05:34 PM   #41
acbytesla
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
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.
Oh c'mon. Comparing this to Mao's China is an absurd exaggeration. I hardly think someone is being forced to being virtuous. Just reminded of their civic responsibility. They can still be very un-virtuous by writing in Donald Duck or Krusty the Clown if they choose. This is also why I like the idea of making if a Holiday.
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Old 31st January 2019, 06:20 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
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.
Or Australia. Don't forget the horrors that await you in Australia brought on by mandatory voting. It's a gulag out here...
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Old 31st January 2019, 06:23 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
Or Australia. Don't forget the horrors that await you in Australia brought on by mandatory voting. It's a gulag out here...
Nearly had my head cut off by the guillotine hidden around the corner last time I voted.
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Old 31st January 2019, 06:32 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
Nearly had my head cut off by the guillotine hidden around the corner last time I voted.
Yeah, you have to watch out for that, don't you.
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Old 31st January 2019, 06:55 PM   #45
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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.

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.
You say this as though 1/12th means nothing? Roughly 8.5% of the country encumbered by the work day. I agree that it's a really poor sampling and not a valid poll, but 8.5% would've meant ten million votes in 2016. Even one in twenty would still mean six million.
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Old 31st January 2019, 07:40 PM   #46
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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."

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.
Maybe? I don't think it's a coincidence that only one person has a typically non-white first name. Ask some more Javiers or Pablos, I think you'll find your numbers continue to move.
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Old 31st January 2019, 11:13 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
The US Post Office isn't exactly at the pinnacle of its powers lately.
There's also the matter of Republicans being happy to reject votes based on failures by the government, especially if they hold a very narrow lead that could easily be reversed by those validly cast votes.
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Old 31st January 2019, 11:50 PM   #48
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Citizenship of a democracy confers responsibilities as well as rights. The right to vote is accompanied by the responsibility to fully inform yourself about the issues and people for which/whom you are voting. If someone does not have the time, inclination or capacity to properly inform themselves then refraining from voting is actually the responsible thing to do.
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Old 1st February 2019, 01:46 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
Citizenship of a democracy confers responsibilities as well as rights. The right to vote is accompanied by the responsibility to fully inform yourself about the issues and people for which/whom you are voting. If someone does not have the time, inclination or capacity to properly inform themselves then refraining from voting is actually the responsible thing to do.

Yeah, but most people in that situation just vote for the party they usually vote for, and I suspect that they represent a majority of voters.
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Old 1st February 2019, 02:24 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
Citizenship of a democracy confers responsibilities as well as rights. The right to vote is accompanied by the responsibility to fully inform yourself about the issues and people for which/whom you are voting. If someone does not have the time, inclination or capacity to properly inform themselves then refraining from voting is actually the responsible thing to do.
That's what I thought about Brexit. I was working crazy hours at the time and simply didn't have the time to inform myself about what was going on. My inclination was towards staying, and I got the general vibe that there was an undercurrent of racism on the "Leave" side (helped by the fact that before it actually became a proper political issue, I knew of parties such as UKIP), but I figured that I needed to be informed to vote and so didn't. Now I've had the time to inform myself I learn that my impressions and inclinations were right, even more so than I thought at the time, and I really regret not voting.

I just comfort myself with the facts that a) my one vote wouldn't have made any difference, and b) I'd feel worse if I had voted and ended up voting for something I disagreed with. But, honestly, when it comes down to it, I wish I'd voted anyway based on what little I knew at the time.
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Old 1st February 2019, 03:14 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
That's what I thought about Brexit. I was working crazy hours at the time and simply didn't have the time to inform myself about what was going on. My inclination was towards staying, and I got the general vibe that there was an undercurrent of racism on the "Leave" side (helped by the fact that before it actually became a proper political issue, I knew of parties such as UKIP), but I figured that I needed to be informed to vote and so didn't. Now I've had the time to inform myself I learn that my impressions and inclinations were right, even more so than I thought at the time, and I really regret not voting.

I just comfort myself with the facts that a) my one vote wouldn't have made any difference, and b) I'd feel worse if I had voted and ended up voting for something I disagreed with. But, honestly, when it comes down to it, I wish I'd voted anyway based on what little I knew at the time.
I'd point out that if the leave voters who didn't bother to inform themselves had been as responsible as you, instead of just blindly swallowing whatever lies most appealed to their prejudices, we wouldn't be in this mess. Likewise the uninformed US voters who swallowed Trump's lies.
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Old 1st February 2019, 05:26 AM   #52
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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.
Not that I disagree with your larger point, but why should the government not be allowed to use this specific coercion? Is it because you think people would be bullied into voting for a specific party, or what?

Quote:
And what good would it accomplish? Would having a bunch of people totally ignorant of the issues vote benefit anybody?
Isn't that already the case?
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Old 1st February 2019, 05:37 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
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.
Aw, man. I wanted to read your response to some of the good counter-points that were made. Don't hand-wave the idea; please address some of the points that Norman Alexander, for instance.
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Old 1st February 2019, 06:27 AM   #54
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If voting is made mandatory, some people who would otherwise vote might refuse purely out of resentment over being told that they have to do it. I remember when NY made it mandatory to wear a seatbelt when driving. My father refused to use his for no other reason than because he was being told that he had to do it.
"If I want to smash head first into the windshield, then I'm damn-well going to do it."
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Old 1st February 2019, 06:35 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by Armitage72 View Post
If voting is made mandatory, some people who would otherwise vote might refuse purely out of resentment over being told that they have to do it. I remember when NY made it mandatory to wear a seatbelt when driving. My father refused to use his for no other reason than because he was being told that he had to do it.
"If I want to smash head first into the windshield, then I'm damn-well going to do it."
But everyone uses their seatbelts now, and we're all safer for it.
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Old 1st February 2019, 06:47 AM   #56
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The precedent already exists for compulsory service to the country by its citizenry. Military drafts and jury duty service are two examples. The concept that the citizens of a democracy can be compelled to engage in activity to preserve that democracy is not something new. There are no free rides.

That being said, I am not convinced that mandatory voting is a good idea. I could perhaps be persuaded that paying a small fine or tax for not being an engaged citizen would be reasonable, but am largely averse to any serious consequences for not voting. While most nonvoters do so out of laziness, I think protest votes or non-engagement are valid forms of political expression, even if I personally find them idiotic.
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Old 1st February 2019, 06:55 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by Armitage72 View Post
If voting is made mandatory, some people who would otherwise vote might refuse purely out of resentment over being told that they have to do it. I remember when NY made it mandatory to wear a seatbelt when driving. My father refused to use his for no other reason than because he was being told that he had to do it.
"If I want to smash head first into the windshield, then I'm damn-well going to do it."
Then you told him that after the windshield he could smash into something else and kill somone?
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Old 1st February 2019, 07:47 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Then you told him that after the windshield he could smash into something else and kill somone?

Anything that doesn't directly affect him is irrelevant to him. For example, he smokes but doesn't drink, so state taxes on cigarettes should be eliminated and replaced with higher taxes on alcohol. Any law that impacts him in even the smallest way is proof to him that "we're living in a dictatorship."
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Old 1st February 2019, 07:54 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by Armitage72 View Post
Anything that doesn't directly affect him is irrelevant to him. For example, he smokes but doesn't drink, so state taxes on cigarettes should be eliminated and replaced with higher taxes on alcohol. Any law that impacts him in even the smallest way is proof to him that "we're living in a dictatorship."
Out of respect for you I will not post what I think of him.
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Old 1st February 2019, 10:48 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
Or Australia. Don't forget the horrors that await you in Australia brought on by mandatory voting. It's a gulag out here...
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Old 1st February 2019, 10:56 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
Citizenship of a democracy confers responsibilities as well as rights. The right to vote is accompanied by the responsibility to fully inform yourself about the issues and people for which/whom you are voting. If someone does not have the time, inclination or capacity to properly inform themselves then refraining from voting is actually the responsible thing to do.
And even Australia actually allows this. But you do HAVE to submit a ballot. You can write none of the above or Donald Duck on your ballot if you like.

It sure beats the situation in American politics where politicians actually work to subvert the will of the people by trying to prevent people from voting.
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Old 1st February 2019, 11:07 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by slyjoe View Post
Making election day a holiday is kind of dumb. Let everyone vote by mail.
I'd prefer a holiday, voting should take some minimal effort. Voters should show some actual desire to vote.

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.
If mandatory voting was accompanied by actual penalties, it probably would make a difference.

Side note, anecdotally, even when I was a kid, Republicans hope for bad weather on election day was a thing. Republicans voters pretty much always vote and democrat voters only vote when the mood strikes and it ain't that hard. Broad generalization of course but still, there's nothing new about that.

Granted, I'm a bit of an extremist on this but I don't think its so crazy to ask that voters demonstrate that they actually care a little bit in order to vote. I have refrained on occasion myself for exactly that reason. When I lived in Seattle, I didn't give a damn about Seattle politics and wasn't particularly well informed about it. Voting under such circumstances would have been irresponsible.
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Old 1st February 2019, 11:11 AM   #63
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Again (since this keeps getting lost in the noise) I'm not against making voting easier.

I'm against the idea that's it's the magic bullet that's finally going to make winning easy for one of the tribes, this idea that all the people not speaking agree with you.

It's the "I have a girlfriend but she lives in Canada and you've never met her" of political discussions.
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Old 1st February 2019, 11:15 AM   #64
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You know, I wonder if some type of blind voting might be better. Take this idea:

Instead of voting for a particular candidate, vote for issues. Each candidate would be required to give their position on several key issues. The voters, then, would be presented with a list of those issues, and rate each one with a number, say 1 to 5 or something (1 being strongly against, 5 being strongly for, 3 being neutral, etc). Then, the voters answers are compiled and compared to the candidates answers.

Of course, I'd have no idea how to run such a system, or make sure it was fair, or anything else...but it might get someone with more knowledge thinking about a way
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Old 1st February 2019, 11:16 AM   #65
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I used to be on the "let's all vote by mail" camp, but after all this NC absentee ballot shenanigans (where a GOP operative was illegally collecting ballots and changing/destroying them), I think I do prefer in person voting. There's much less chance of someone secretly intercepting or otherwise spoiling a ballot when in person. There's really no way to guarantee that a mail ballot is also a secret ballot (say, an abusive spouse checking to make sure the battered spouse votes the "right" way). When you vote in person, secrecy is easy to accomplish.

I also think voting holiday won't help much, except for government workers. Holidays in the US have a way of rapidly becoming big retail events. Making it a holiday would probably actually make it harder for many workers to make it, as demand would be high to man a cash register during the big "election day sale". People that can't be bothered to engage in democracy have no problem lining up on the sidewalk at 3am for a discount TV.

Early voting is the best option IMO. Assuming the polls are open into the evenings and weekends for a couple weeks and polling locations are numerous and convenient, nearly everyone will be able to cast a ballot quickly and conveniently. I voted early this time and had no wait. It's great.
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Old 1st February 2019, 11:18 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
Early voting is the best option IMO. Assuming the polls are open into the evenings and weekends for a couple weeks and polling locations are numerous and convenient, nearly everyone will be able to cast a ballot quickly and conveniently. I voted early this time and had no wait. It's great.
Or, even better, just do away with election day AND early voting, and give, say, a two week period for the polls to be open.
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Old 1st February 2019, 11:21 AM   #67
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Wouldn't it be easier to move election day to a Saturday? That would free up more people than a not-very-recognized federal holiday during the week. I mean how many people across the nation are actually off on Columbus Day versus the Saturday before?

ETA: Early voting really does make this a moot point locally.
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Old 1st February 2019, 11:21 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by Hellbound View Post
You know, I wonder if some type of blind voting might be better. Take this idea:

Instead of voting for a particular candidate, vote for issues. Each candidate would be required to give their position on several key issues. The voters, then, would be presented with a list of those issues, and rate each one with a number, say 1 to 5 or something (1 being strongly against, 5 being strongly for, 3 being neutral, etc). Then, the voters answers are compiled and compared to the candidates answers.

Of course, I'd have no idea how to run such a system, or make sure it was fair, or anything else...but it might get someone with more knowledge thinking about a way
That would only work if the candidates were removed from office when they don't live up to what they promised.
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Old 1st February 2019, 11:26 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by Hellbound View Post
Or, even better, just do away with election day AND early voting, and give, say, a two week period for the polls to be open.
That's kind-of-but-not-completely what we have here. There is a polling station at the county seat elections office that is open daily starting in mid-October, I think, and then there are also polling locations around the county on various days, too. Moreover, you don't have to go to any specific location, and can vote anywhere in the county (maybe even the state, as far as I know).

Last election, I voted on a day when I had time in October. I was not the only person there voting that day, on a random day in the middle of the week.

It's considered "early voting" but you don't have to have any justification or do an absentee ballot, you just go and vote at your convenience.
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Old 1st February 2019, 11:31 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
That would only work if the candidates were removed from office when they don't live up to what they promised.
We don't have that now, so at least it wouldn't be any worse
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Old 1st February 2019, 11:31 AM   #71
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The irony is that most liberals support mandatory voting because they assume that it will help the Democrats (and most conservatives oppose it for the same reason). But consider this for a second: Isn't Trump the exact type of candidate who would do well with the politically disengaged?
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Old 1st February 2019, 11:42 AM   #72
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I just want to add that voter turnout is largely a problem of voter apathy. Sure, many states play corrupt games in order to reduce turnout, but voter disengagement is the larger issue. Voters simply choose not to vote.

Take for example my state, Massachusetts. MA makes it very easy to vote, with early voting and vote by mail. In the last 10 years, voter turnout has varied from 50% to 75%, depending on the year. The voting conditions were mostly constant, but turnout varied heavily based on voter enthusiasm. Non-presidential years are consistently lower than presidential election years. This has nothing to do with long lines and arduous requirements and everything to do with voters not caring enough to vote. For that 25% that did not vote in the 2012 election, I'm fairly confident in saying that it has almost everything to do with voter attitudes and very little to do with voting logistics. Simply put, I don't think there's anything reasonable the state could do to get these bums to the polls. They are just bad citizens.

This is not to say that voting conditions cannot and should not be improved. I am also extremely alarmed by the shameful attempts by the GOP to entrench themselves into power with corrupt gamesmanship. But the largest factor is by far voter enthusiasm.

https://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/elev...rnoutstats.htm
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Old 1st February 2019, 11:43 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
The irony is that most liberals support mandatory voting because they assume that it will help the Democrats (and most conservatives oppose it for the same reason). But consider this for a second: Isn't Trump the exact type of candidate who would do well with the politically disengaged?
Maybe. I think there are a lot of stupid people out there that vote already and it's amazing how many vote against their own self interest. But I do believe (with some exceptions) that the government and its laws reflect the people.
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Old 1st February 2019, 11:44 AM   #74
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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 haven't seen the McConnell quote in context, but as I understand it, the bill includes other matters, such as matching small donations (using public funds? not sure) for Congressional candidates. That is clearly going to benefit Dems more than Republicans and I can see why that's controversial.

If McConnell really meant that the national holiday for voting should not be acceptable because more voters means more Democratic votes, then shame on him. Those who choose to vote should have ample opportunity to do so.
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Old 1st February 2019, 11:45 AM   #75
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The thing is, I don't need a law to force me to register an "abstain" vote. I can simply... abstain.
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Old 1st February 2019, 11:48 AM   #76
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
I just want to add that voter turnout is largely a problem of voter apathy. Sure, many states play corrupt games in order to reduce turnout, but voter disengagement is the larger issue. Voters simply choose not to vote.

Take for example my state, Massachusetts. MA makes it very easy to vote, with early voting and vote by mail. In the last 10 years, voter turnout has varied from 50% to 75%, depending on the year. The voting conditions were mostly constant, but turnout varied heavily based on voter enthusiasm. Non-presidential years are consistently lower than presidential election years. This has nothing to do with long lines and arduous requirements and everything to do with voters not caring enough to vote. For that 25% that did not vote in the 2012 election, I'm fairly confident in saying that it has almost everything to do with voter attitudes and very little to do with voting logistics.

This is not to say that voting conditions cannot and should not be improved. I am also extremely alarmed by the shameful attempts by the GOP to entrench themselves into power with corrupt gamesmanship. But the largest factor is by far voter enthusiasm.

https://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/elev...rnoutstats.htm
What you are ommitting is the deliberate attempt by some to encourage that apathy. That this is an often used political strategy.
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Old 1st February 2019, 11:50 AM   #77
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
The thing is, I don't need a law to force me to register an "abstain" vote. I can simply... abstain.
I agree with you on this. I don't need mandatory voting, but I do want it to be so damn easy to vote that anyone who doesn't vote is a target for public shaming.

Currently, I have to work hard to get my politically interested wife to the polls because her schedule does not fit well with the times when the polls are easily accessible. When she can go is when everyone is trying to go, and showing up to see a huge line kind of sucks. In that context I have a hard time calling out people who don't vote.
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Old 1st February 2019, 11:59 AM   #78
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
It's the "I have a girlfriend but she lives in Canada and you've never met her" of political discussions.
That reminds me of an episode of the king Arthur comedy series Kaamelott made in France.

One of the knights of the round table, Bohort, talks about his wife and constantly gives excuses as to why she can't attend festivities and whatnot. Bohort can be described charitably in that series as 'effeminate', so the audience and the characters both conclude that he's actually not married and lying about it. At the very tail end of the episode (they each last under 4 minutes) we see him talking to his wife, who I kid not is an absolute divine bombshell. Of course she complains about her poor health preventing her from attending said festivities and whatnot.
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Old 1st February 2019, 12:02 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
I also think voting holiday won't help much, except for government workers. Holidays in the US have a way of rapidly becoming big retail events. Making it a holiday would probably actually make it harder for many workers to make it, as demand would be high to man a cash register during the big "election day sale".
Ain't a problem here. Just require employers to release employees X hours before the voting booths close. That means pretty much that nobody works except absolute essential personnel like emergency workers and such.
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Old 1st February 2019, 12:05 PM   #80
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Originally Posted by Hellbound View Post
We don't have that now, so at least it wouldn't be any worse
Depends: if the candidate promises to destroy the world during the campaign, would he be held to that?
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