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Tags voting , voting machines , voting systems

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Old 15th April 2019, 10:49 AM   #41
kellyb
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Why would anyone oppose instant runoff/ranked choice/"single transferable vote" voting?
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Old 15th April 2019, 10:49 AM   #42
theprestige
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Originally Posted by ahhell View Post
Wasn't meant pejoratively, I have been especially ignorant and especially unconcerned with the outcome of elections in my life. Chose not to vote in several elections as a student entirely because I knew I wasn't going to be in the same town come graduation and just didn't care enough about the long term future of that particular city while also not really knowing enough about my former home to cast an informed vote.
Ah, gotcha. Thanks for clarifying. I apologize for impugning your motives.

There's a vocal "mandatory voting" faction here that seems to see being allowed to abstain as practically a crime against humanity.
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Old 15th April 2019, 10:54 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Random voting: 100 people are randomly selected by a computer, and they alone get to vote. A great saving of time and money.
Or, we could save even more time and money by just randomly selecting office holders. Given how professional politicians behave, this could work out better.
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Old 15th April 2019, 11:02 AM   #44
Brainster
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
Why would anyone oppose instant runoff/ranked choice/"single transferable vote" voting?
The Republicans and the Democrats (as party organizations). Let's face it, the hope with IRV and other such schemes is that it will allow people to cast their vote for a third-party candidate before they cast it for their "safety" candidate (i.e., the candidate from the two major parties that they despise least), and that this will eventually result in those third parties gaining traction.
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Old 15th April 2019, 11:20 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
Why would anyone oppose instant runoff/ranked choice/"single transferable vote" voting?
Said person is probably all in on establishment politics and the idea of requiring leadership to work with the "outsider" wings rather than forcing the "outsider" wings to bend the knee is abhorrent.
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Old 15th April 2019, 11:55 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Double effort, double cost. Which kind of defeats the purpose.

The real problem with hackable voting machines is that you get what you pay for. No voting district is going to pay Diebold top-dollar for a truly secure voting machine. The way people talk about voting machines, they probably should be as secure as ATMs. But the fact is, they're not, because no voting district has the money to pay for ATM-tier voting machines.

What they have instead is a system of custody and oversight at the polls, which they assure us is sufficient to secure paper ballots, and which they assure us is similarly sufficient to secure voting machines. This is what allows them to buy voting machines they can actually afford.

And maybe they're not wrong.

Winning an election by hacking voting machines requires certain things:
- You have to know which district(s) you need to hack.
- You have to know how to hack the machine(s) in those districts.
- You have to have undetected access to the machine(s) in those districts.
- You have to be able to change the vote count(s) in a way that's both plausible and decisive.*

*You can omit the "decisive" requirement, as long as you're prepared to weather the recounts, the suspicions, the audits, etc. But this requires that you be very confident that your hacking won't be detected, even under heightened scrutiny.

I could see a corrupt mayor or state legislator, needing to flip only the machines in a single district, maybe seeing value in "hacking the vote". But for nationwide - or even statewide - races, there's probably too many voting districts and too much variance between them, for a direct hack of voting machines to be worth the effort.

Even if Rahm Emmanuel had gone to Hillary Clinton in 2016 and told her, "I can guarantee you Illinois", it still wouldn't have solved her problem in other states, and wouldn't have been worth owing a favor to Emmanuel.

That's why both the GOP and the DNC are experimenting with Russian troll-style social media campaigns, for the larger races. For the smaller races, I assume it's the same local machine politics and corruption it's always been. Just with more chrome highlights.
I certainly agree with the first paragraph.

However I disagree slightly about the rest.

At least the US has lots of different systems, so any weaknesses would be unlikely to affect all the ballot. However, a few swing states could be important, and might reward attempts to hack them.

More importantly, I'd argue that elections need to be free and fair, and need to be seen to be free and fair. They also need to be effectively anonymous, but also amenable to investigation to verify that there hasn't been tampering.

With voting machines, I struggle to see how the last requirements can be met. I also can't see how electronic counting can be transparent either.

From the blockchain for elections thread:

Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
You are missing another point. The people need to understand and trust the process. I have no doubt that you know far more about computer science than me - although that isn't much of a plaudit.

I can explain the UK system in a few sentences
  • Each household receives a form for registering to vote and the householder fills the form in (with it being an offence to make a false declaration).
  • Shortly before an election, each registered voter receives a polling card with the details of the poling station (based in the electoral ward, and nearby and with only a few hundred people - in my constituency, it ranged from 88 to about 1500 per polling station)
  • The polling station opens at 7am and closes at 10pm but if you are in a queue to vote at 10pm, it will remain open until the queue has voted
  • When you go to the polling station, it's easiest to take your polling card, but not necessary. At the polling station, someone looks for your name and gives you a numbered ballot paper, and writes the number against your name.
  • You then go to the voting booth and put a cross in the box by your preferred candidate and put it in the ballot box
  • If there is suspicion of foul play, then the votes can be tallied to the voter but it would require an official investigation, and because the data isn't collated until such an investigation is started, under normal circumstances, there is no chance of leakage of who voted for who.

This system is transparent and easily understood. People can see that the votes aren't tampered with.

With blockchain, the fact that you are saying that people with computer-science backgrounds don't understand how it is going to be secure means that the system is not going to be transparent or trusted.

ETA: And the current systems are far from unhackable. I would contend that electronic systems are inherently vulnerable to advances in technology. Paper and pencils aren't



*we might be rubbish at running referenda but are reasonable at elections
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Old 15th April 2019, 01:29 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Donal View Post
Make Election Day a federal Holiday on the first Monday of November

Automatic registration of everyone over 18

Voting Machines that produce a paper receipt and are audited before and immediately after every election. And a few randomly selected during the election (I know that will slow some things down, but I'd say maintaining the integrity of the vote is worth it).

Recounts for any margin under 5%

Rank choice voting with automatic run off

No indication of party on the ballot. Randomly change the order candidates appear on each ballot so people just can't go straight down the ticket without knowing who they are selecting

No announcing totals until the polls have closed

Free BBQ for all
Since the chance of me ever again voting knowingly for a republikker are O, I would bring in my list of who to vote for if they were not party identified. Trumpf and the slime he spreads over and around itself have made that dead certain.
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Old 15th April 2019, 02:06 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
We hold barbecues at polling places. You can get a sausage there. Some polling places are public schools, so they make a day of it - a school fundraising fete. Not only sausages but lots of other yummy stuff.
Then I concur; mandatory voting in exchange for sausage is acceptable to me.
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Old 15th April 2019, 02:09 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by ahhell View Post
...
More voters means you have to fake more votes to shift an election. ....
Might seem intuitive but it's wrong.

The number of votes you have to fake depends on how close or not the election is.
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Old 15th April 2019, 02:10 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by Donal View Post
It makes each vote less consequential. The significant each vote is, the less value there is in warping individual ballots/boxes. So, either you expand your operation, which carries a world of security risks, or you move on to another method. Something crazy like "use policies that appeal to the majority of voters".
No, see my above post.
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Old 15th April 2019, 02:21 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Might seem intuitive but it's wrong.

The number of votes you have to fake depends on how close or not the election is.
And the level of effort depends on whether you need to fake individual ballots that can survive a recount, or if you just fake the reported totals and hope a recount doesn't happen.
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Old 15th April 2019, 02:39 PM   #52
ahhell
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Might seem intuitive but it's wrong.

The number of votes you have to fake depends on how close or not the election is.
you are correct, however, if an election is very close, say less than a percentage difference, that's still a lot more votes if there are 500k votes total than if there are 50k votes total.

Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
Why would anyone oppose instant runoff/ranked choice/"single transferable vote" voting?
Lack of understanding and fear of the complexity?
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Old 15th April 2019, 03:05 PM   #53
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Why all the animosity towards automatic voter registration?
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Old 15th April 2019, 03:25 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by wareyin View Post
Why all the animosity towards automatic voter registration?
What animosity?
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Old 15th April 2019, 04:24 PM   #55
wareyin
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
What animosity?
I count no to hell no as animosity. Apparently you don't. Why do you say no to automatic voter registration?
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Old 15th April 2019, 05:04 PM   #56
theprestige
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Originally Posted by wareyin View Post
I count no to hell no as animosity. Apparently you don't. Why do you say no to automatic voter registration?
Why would I want to have a conversation with someone who interprets simple disagreement as animosity? That seems like a recipe for pointless bickering.

Do you believe it's possible to disagree without animosity?
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Old 15th April 2019, 06:21 PM   #57
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I used to be an advocate of Ranked Choice / IRV voting but now feel there are much better systems to choose over that.

The best system is Star Voting

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I AGREE


Next best is alternative voting, then ranked choice, and finally our current system.
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Old 15th April 2019, 07:49 PM   #58
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That is rank choice voting, it just eliminates all but the top 2 in the first round
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Old 15th April 2019, 08:46 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by Donal View Post
That is rank choice voting, it just eliminates all but the top 2 in the first round
Star is basically a combination of ranked choice and alternative voting which takes the good aspects of each system while minimizing their downsides.
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Old 16th April 2019, 12:12 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by The_Animus View Post
Star is basically a combination of ranked choice and alternative voting which takes the good aspects of each system while minimizing their downsides.
Yeah, that is what it looks like. I like that system a whole lot, too. Thanks! I had never heard of it before!
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Old 16th April 2019, 04:00 AM   #61
wareyin
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Why would I want to have a conversation with someone who interprets simple disagreement as animosity? That seems like a recipe for pointless bickering.

Do you believe it's possible to disagree without animosity?
Nah, pointless bickering would be trying to change the discussion to whether or not "hell no" is animosity. The question was about why you are against automatic voter registration. Can you explain why you answered no?
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Old 16th April 2019, 06:15 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by wareyin View Post
Why all the animosity towards automatic voter registration?
I can't understand why anyone thinks its a good idea actually, well I can really but it just amounts to a naive faith in democracy.

All it does is get a lot of people registered who clearly don't give a **** enough to actually check a box at the DMV on their own. It seems silly to want that person to vote.
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Old 16th April 2019, 07:19 AM   #63
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They won't have to vote, so I don't see the problem. But there are places in the country that don't make the registration process clear or convenient. That means people who want to vote are being excluded. That is an actual problem.
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Old 16th April 2019, 07:23 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
The real problem with hackable voting machines is that you get what you pay for. No voting district is going to pay Diebold top-dollar for a truly secure voting machine. The way people talk about voting machines, they probably should be as secure as ATMs. But the fact is, they're not, because no voting district has the money to pay for ATM-tier voting machines.
What makes you think ATMís are secure?
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Winning an election by hacking voting machines requires certain things:
- You have to know which district(s) you need to hack.
- You have to know how to hack the machine(s) in those districts.
- You have to have undetected access to the machine(s) in those districts.
- You have to be able to change the vote count(s) in a way that's both plausible and decisive.*
Setting aside the fact that many of the published hacks involve Wi-Fi or exposed USB ports that can easily be exploited using the type of access voters require. Even setting aside the fact that a myriad of people need access to the machines to move them, set them up and store them, and most of these have all the access they need to hack them.

BY FAR the most common culprit for cheating in an election is the people running the election, in which case none of your points apply. Even plausibility of the reported results doesn't prevent the winning party from simply ignoring the complaints. TBH it doesnítí matter how many anomalies there are, you can bet that if Republicans win an election Fox will be on the air 24/7 telling the faithful that there is nothing wrong with the results, and most Republicans will not just accept it many will come to forums like this one and fervently defend the results even though they are completely bogus.
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Old 16th April 2019, 07:33 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by wareyin View Post
Nah, pointless bickering would be trying to change the discussion to whether or not "hell no" is animosity. The question was about why you are against automatic voter registration. Can you explain why you answered no?
The question was about animosity. I said "no". You said you consider that animosity. I'm not interested in having a conversation on that basis. Change the basis, and we'll talk.
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Old 16th April 2019, 07:57 AM   #66
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Just wondering, would it change anyone's mind on mandatory voting if you allowed an "Abstain" option for each item on the ballot?
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Old 16th April 2019, 08:13 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by Hellbound View Post
Just wondering, would it change anyone's mind on mandatory voting if you allowed an "Abstain" option for each item on the ballot?
No.

An "abstain" option is redundant with a secret ballot, since you can just spoil it or turn it in blank with no reprisals anyway.

My objection to mandatory voting is about opportunity cost. If I'm confident in the expected outcome, and comfortable with it (or don't see that my vote will affect it much anyway), then it's a waste of my time to go to the polls. I could spend the day earning money, or fixing up the house, or fishing on the lake, or playing with my kids, or any of the ten thousand other things I'd like to do with my time, if I had the time.

Mandatory voting takes away time that can't be replaced. I think that the choice of how to spend that time is properly the right of the individual citizen, to determine for themselves what is the most profitable action for them to take in their situation.

There's also an individualistic distaste for "mob morality". The argument for mandatory voting goes something like this:

- I think that voting is the most important thing you could do with your time.
- If you disagree, you're wrong.
- In fact, I think it should be a crime to disagree with me.
- So I'm going to make you spend your time according to my values.
- And I'm going to punish you if you resist.

Unlike automatic voter registration, I have a lot of animosity towards mandatory voting.

Last edited by theprestige; 16th April 2019 at 08:17 AM.
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Old 16th April 2019, 08:15 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by Hellbound View Post
Just wondering, would it change anyone's mind on mandatory voting if you allowed an "Abstain" option for each item on the ballot?
Abstain is easy with current voting systems. Just donít mark any of the candidates.
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Old 16th April 2019, 08:22 AM   #69
theprestige
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
What makes you think ATMís are secure?
They're obviously more secure than voting machines.

Quote:
Setting aside the fact that many of the published hacks involve Wi-Fi or exposed USB ports that can easily be exploited using the type of access voters require. Even setting aside the fact that a myriad of people need access to the machines to move them, set them up and store them, and most of these have all the access they need to hack them.
See what I mean? ATMs don't have these problems.

Quote:
BY FAR the most common culprit for cheating in an election is the people running the election, in which case none of your points apply. Even plausibility of the reported results doesn't prevent the winning party from simply ignoring the complaints. TBH it doesnítí matter how many anomalies there are, you can bet that if Republicans win an election Fox will be on the air 24/7 telling the faithful that there is nothing wrong with the results, and most Republicans will not just accept it many will come to forums like this one and fervently defend the results even though they are completely bogus.
Exactly my point: Maybe voting districts don't need to spend a lot of money on unhackable less-hackable voting machines, because that's not where the real voting fraud happens.

On the other hand, highly secure voting machines, combined with a rigorous process for moving, storing, setting up, etc. similar to how armored couriers handle money, would greatly increase public confidence in the honesty of the system.
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Old 16th April 2019, 08:57 AM   #70
wareyin
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
The question was about animosity. I said "no". You said you consider that animosity. I'm not interested in having a conversation on that basis. Change the basis, and we'll talk.
I'm sorry that you'd rather be pedantic about a word that is synonymous with opposition than actually explain why you are against automatic voter registration.

So far we have one poster who is against it because automatically registering voters amounts to a naive faith in democracy, and another poster who is against it who would rather pointlessly bicker over which synonym for dislike is acceptable than explain why he opposes it. Neither is a very compelling argument at all.

Last edited by wareyin; 16th April 2019 at 08:59 AM. Reason: got distracted
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Old 16th April 2019, 09:06 AM   #71
theprestige
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Originally Posted by wareyin View Post
I'm sorry that you'd rather be pedantic about a word that is synonymous with opposition than actually explain why you are against automatic voter registration.

So far we have one poster who is against it because automatically registering voters amounts to a naive faith in democracy, and another poster who is against it who would rather pointlessly bicker over which synonym for dislike is acceptable than explain why he opposes it. Neither is a very compelling argument at all.
Good thing I'm not trying to compel you re: automatic registration. Keep in mind that I'm not the one who proposed it. It's up to the proponent to make the compelling arguments, not me. Are you taking up the proposal? Then you should probably explain your animosity towards voluntary registration.

I don't agree that animosity is synonymous with those other things, nor with simple disagreement. I have animosity towards being accused of animosity where I harbor none.

I don't want to be pedantic, but I do want to understand what attitude you think I have, based on my simple "no" to automatic voter registration. If you think my attitude is simple disagreement, rather than hatred, resentment, or similar, towards the idea, then say so.

Last edited by theprestige; 16th April 2019 at 09:08 AM.
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Old 16th April 2019, 09:14 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by wareyin View Post
I'm sorry that you'd rather be pedantic about a word that is synonymous with opposition than actually explain why you are against automatic voter registration.

So far we have one poster who is against it because automatically registering voters amounts to a naive faith in democracy, and another poster who is against it who would rather pointlessly bicker over which synonym for dislike is acceptable than explain why he opposes it. Neither is a very compelling argument at all.
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Good thing I'm not trying to compel you re: automatic registration.

I don't agree that animosity is synonymous with those other things, nor with simple disagreement. I have animosity towards being accused of animosity where I harbor none.

I don't want to be pedantic, but I do want to understand what attitude you think I have, based on my simple "no" to automatic voter registration. If you think my attitude is simple disagreement, rather than hatred, resentment, or similar, towards the idea, then say so.
If I may step in for a moment from the sideline, I just wanted to point out that I think both of you might be talking past each other a bit (though I can't speak for anyone other than myself).

My impression is that wareyin took ahhell's specific quote:

Originally Posted by ahhell View Post
Voting machines, ok so long as there is a paper back up.

Compulsory voting, no.

Automatic registration, hell no, though it pretty much exists everywhere I've lived.



Rank choice voting, I like that idea a lot.
...to be animosity toward automatic registration. I also get the impression theprestige misinterpreted wareyin's post as saying theprestige was the one showing animosity, when actually it was ahhell.

I've got nothing more to add, just wanted to point that possible misunderstanding out.
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Old 16th April 2019, 09:19 AM   #73
wareyin
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Good thing I'm not trying to compel you re: automatic registration. Keep in mind that I'm not the one who proposed it. It's up to the proponent to make the compelling arguments, not me. Are you taking up the proposal? Then you should probably explain your animosity towards voluntary registration.

I don't agree that animosity is synonymous with those other things, nor with simple disagreement. I have animosity towards being accused of animosity where I harbor none.
I'm sorry, but you'll have to take that up with the dictionary and various thesauruses.

Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I don't want to be pedantic, but I do want to understand what attitude you think I have, based on my simple "no" to automatic voter registration. If you think my attitude is simple disagreement, rather than hatred, resentment, or similar, towards the idea, then say so.
Are you under the mistaken impression that you are the only person opposed to automatic registration in this thread? The original question was a general one, and I did answer you when you began this semantic nitpicking by pointing out there was a range of negative answers.

If you are simply against automatic registration as some sort of a knee-jerk 'liberal proposed it therefore it's bad' reaction, fine. I was hoping you might have some sort of thought out position that you could explain.
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Old 16th April 2019, 09:21 AM   #74
wareyin
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Originally Posted by Cabbage View Post
If I may step in for a moment from the sideline, I just wanted to point out that I think both of you might be talking past each other a bit (though I can't speak for anyone other than myself).

My impression is that wareyin took ahhell's specific quote:



...to be animosity toward automatic registration. I also get the impression theprestige misinterpreted wareyin's post as saying theprestige was the one showing animosity, when actually it was ahhell.

I've got nothing more to add, just wanted to point that possible misunderstanding out.
I thought I was pointing that out with the discussion of a range of answers up to "hell no", but I do appreciate you also bringing it up. Perhaps I wasn't as clear as I thought I was.
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Old 16th April 2019, 09:24 AM   #75
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OK, now that we determined

1) someone did in fact say "hell no" to automatic registration

2) such a repsonse indicates a visceral opposition to such a notion

3) it doesn't freakin matter

can we just get an answer as to why it is a bad thing?

Last edited by Donal; 16th April 2019 at 09:25 AM. Reason: incorrectly attributed a comment to theprestige
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Old 16th April 2019, 09:24 AM   #76
theprestige
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Originally Posted by Cabbage View Post
If I may step in for a moment from the sideline, I just wanted to point out that I think both of you might be talking past each other a bit (though I can't speak for anyone other than myself).

My impression is that wareyin took ahhell's specific quote:



...to be animosity toward automatic registration. I also get the impression theprestige misinterpreted wareyin's post as saying theprestige was the one showing animosity, when actually it was ahhell.

I've got nothing more to add, just wanted to point that possible misunderstanding out.
The question of automatic registration was asked. I said "no". ahhell said "hell no".

Wareyin then asked, of nobody in particular, why the animosity?

And then I asked wareyin, what animosity?

And wareyin explained that he considers everything from "no" to "hell no" to be animosity.

If wareyin had asked me personally why I said "no", without presupposing motive or attitude, it would have been a different conversation.

My mistake - which I now regret - was that I didn't just say, "oh, my 'no' was simple disagreement, not animosity" and leave it at that. I'm sorry, wareyin.
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Old 16th April 2019, 09:27 AM   #77
Donal
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so, can you actually answer why you oppose automatic registration?
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Old 16th April 2019, 09:27 AM   #78
wareyin
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Originally Posted by Donal View Post
OK, now that we determined

1) someone did in fact say "hell no" to automatic registration

2) such a repsonse indicates a visceral opposition to such a notion

3) it doesn't freakin matter

can we just get an answer as to why it is a bad thing?
It appears not.
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Old 16th April 2019, 09:35 AM   #79
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I do have animosity towards it, mostly because I'm from CA where they've taken democracy to the its nearly stupidest extreme. Automatic registration wouldn't actually matter if you don't have mandatory voting, the initiative process, or legal vote harvesting.

I used work with a women who I would describe as stupid, ugly, lazy, and mean(I wouldn't bother with the first two if she hadn't been the last) any rate, she was registered to vote but had know idea what if any party she was registered in. Fortunately, she'd never voted. So, who cares really. I would be very concerned if she had actually been required to. And recently the state has made it legal for someone to go collect her vote, so she may actually be voting, or someone might just be collecting her ballot and turning it in. Sure, anecdote, I know but still. That does concern me, I really don't understand why anyone thinks its a good idea to register folks to vote who have literally know interest in doing so, unless its for just base politics in because they figure those folks, if they vote, will vote for their side.

I realize, I have pretty extreme here, as in, out on the fringe of thought not fringe of emotion, I don't really get all that worked up about it.

As I said previously, its a bad thing because if you don't care or are ignorant of the issues, you should not be making decisions about those issues, nor should you be given the opportunity to without some effort on your part to demonstrate at least an interest.

Last edited by ahhell; 16th April 2019 at 09:39 AM.
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Old 16th April 2019, 09:39 AM   #80
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There is literally no downside in what you described.

But, again, there are several states that have made voter registration complicated and difficult. This prevent people who want to vote from doing so.
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