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WRT to the next major election where I live:

Displaying poll results.
I am not registered, and don't intend to vote
  1086 votes / 8%
I am registered, but don't intend to vote
  731 votes / 5%
I am not (now) registered, but intend to vote
  571 votes / 4%
I am registered, and intend to vote
  7909 votes / 60%
Register? Doesn't apply where I live.
  2864 votes / 21%
13161 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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WRT to the next major election where I live:

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  • by rrhal (88665) on Friday November 18, 2011 @04:19PM (#38102506)
    I'm writing in Cowboy Neal - I wonder if the Diebold Voting Machine will count it.
  • by Lexx Greatrex (1160847) * on Friday November 18, 2011 @04:19PM (#38102508) Homepage Journal
    Registration sounds too much like a DRM
    • by einhverfr (238914)

      Same here but I think technically it is not the election in the place I live, so I had to vote that I don't intend to vote in that one, since I am not eligible (as an ex-pat at the moment)

  • by gatkinso (15975) on Friday November 18, 2011 @04:23PM (#38102562)

    ...you shouldn't complain.

    While complaining is your right, it is somewhat irrelevant if you aren't willing to take part in the system.

    This system is imperfect, I will agree with that, however it is the best option currently available.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I never vote: I am living in a country where voting is compulsory, so over 99% of the population votes.

        And the thing is: it makes no difference, since everybody votes for the person who makes the best impression in some popular television quiz.

      So the only way to protest is not voting.

      • That's not protesting, since you are not visible.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          That's not protesting, since you are not visible.

          As I wrote in the GP post, where I live voting is not a right but an obligation.

          Voting is more than just choosing who goes to parliament (or congress or whatever), it is also giving away your right to decide for yourself and agreeing that somebody else decides instead. So, yes it is a protest.

          Non voters are very visible. On one hand we are in the statistics: the number of people who refuse to vote is increasing every election. On the other hand: if I vote they do not know for who I voted, but if I do not vo

      • by jamesh (87723) on Friday November 18, 2011 @07:45PM (#38104682)

        So the only way to protest is not voting.

        Not really. It's compulsory to vote where I live, and all the people I know who don't vote are pretty much doing it out of laziness, so count yourself among those. Some of them try to come up with a way to rationalise their laziness as "thumbing their nose at the system", but it's bullshit. Sure, it's visible, but only in terms of the number of people who were too lazy or too stupid to vote.

        Voting does make a difference. Some seats here were won but less than a thousand votes in the last election, and were recounted several times.

        I'm not sure how it works where you live, but the way it works here is that candidates can nominate how their preferences should be distributed (as a voter you get to decide how to distribute your vote yourself but the how-to-vote card for each candidate gives a suggestion that a lot of people follow). So what happens is that there is some deal-making done with the minor candidates so that the others get their preferences. So even if you vote for a minor candidate you are still having a say. And some minor candidates are single platform, so if you happen to agree with their cause a vote for them is _really_ making your point, way more than simply not voting.

    • by tylersoze (789256) on Friday November 18, 2011 @04:46PM (#38102880)

      Can I still complain about none of the candidates being worth a damn, and it not making any real difference who I vote for? And the fact as a practical matter we live in a plutocracy?

      • by q-the-impaler (708563) on Friday November 18, 2011 @04:58PM (#38103004)

        The President should not matter as much as your representatives. And furthermore, the federal gubment should not assume powers that should be relagated to the states. We were intended to be a republic, where the governor of a state was more impactful to day-to-day life than the President of the United States. We are currently off track from the intended path. I have no idea how to get back on track. Perhaps insolvency will fix that for us?

        • by cayenne8 (626475) on Friday November 18, 2011 @05:51PM (#38103646) Homepage Journal

          The President should not matter as much as your representatives. And furthermore, the federal gubment should not assume powers that should be relagated to the states. We were intended to be a republic, where the governor of a state was more impactful to day-to-day life than the President of the United States. We are currently off track from the intended path. I have no idea how to get back on track.

          One start would be to repeal/amend the 17th Amendment [wikipedia.org] to the constitution...and lets take senators OUT of the popular election process. This would help keep them more beholden to the states' needs they are supposed to be representing there, and also take away the lobbiest powers over there, since they won't need to spend so much of their time trying to get re-elected and raising bribes...err....campaign donations.

          It seems like that would be a good place to start...

          • by slinches (1540051) on Friday November 18, 2011 @06:56PM (#38104314)

            That would be a good start. Then the next step would be to repeal the 16th amendment (direct taxation without redistribution) and establish a new one that funds the federal government out of the states' budgets. That way senators will have to choose whether to spend money on federal programs or keep the money in the state.

            • by AmElder (1385909) on Saturday November 19, 2011 @02:15PM (#38109646) Homepage

              Big picture, what's the virtue in the USA governing itself more through states instead of the Federal government? I've read the historical point below (the US started that way), and some tenuous predictions about how this would somehow improve the incentive structure for representatives, but what's the big argument? Is it a progressive libertarian programme starting at the top of the government food chain? Do units the size of a US state (between 600k and 37M) govern themselves better? Is it local chauvinism? Or is there no argument on principle and is it just a particular argument about specific US governance failures? Why favour states over federal government?

              • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Saturday November 19, 2011 @03:09PM (#38110020)

                "Big picture, what's the virtue in the USA governing itself more through states instead of the Federal government?"

                The key is diversity. I believe it's valid to compare societies to ecologies. We know that diversity of flora and fauna is important to maintaining an ecology. And the reason is relatively simple: given enough diversity, the gap left by a failure of one or more species will be filled by other species that adapt. Not all your eggs are in one basket, as it were.

                The United States is supposed to be a Republic. With 50 (+) individual "experiments" in liberty and good government. Sure, some states will make bad decisions. But then people would "vote with their feet", and go to those states that had the better laws and policies. Call it evolution in action. It is both natural and healthy.

                But impose uniformity, rather than diversity, and you lose all those benefits. No experiments or innovation are taking place. If a Federal policy fails (and there are lots of examples), then EVERYBODY suffers. And one bad mistake can make the whole thing come crashing down. 2008 was a dire warning.

                Not to mention one world government or a "new world order". I cannot conceive of a worse idea for the future of humanity.

                • by AmElder (1385909) on Saturday November 19, 2011 @05:17PM (#38110794) Homepage

                  This is very interesting and it's helping me understand US devolutionists (or states' rights advocates or whatever you call them) better, and the history of America. Why do you believe that what's emerged isn't just the result of two and quarter centuries of that dynamic of individual State experiments playing out? I guess the answer to that has something to do with the income tax and the direct election of US Senators.

                  I also wonder how it would work internationally. Centralised sovereign states dominate the international economic and military landscape, and have for some time. Wouldn't an ecology of loosely federated states, in some form of moderated competition, have trouble representing its concerted interests on the world stage, undermining America's wealth and security?

                  I don't mean to bombard you with questions. This is an opportunity to pose questions about this position I've had for a while. Although I'm studying International Affairs now (with a smattering of Political Science and Sociology) I'm weak on history and on theories of government. That's just by the way, to let you know where I'm coming from.

                  • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Saturday November 19, 2011 @08:06PM (#38111994)

                    "Why do you believe that what's emerged isn't just the result of two and quarter centuries of that dynamic of individual State experiments playing out? I guess the answer to that has something to do with the income tax and the direct election of US Senators."

                    In part, but I do not believe that the Senatorial elections were as important to the process as some believe. Maybe some. For the most part, it has come about simply by means of gradual usurpation of power by the Federal government. It has been a slow, insidious process but nevertheless undeniable. Much of it can be tracked back to certain Supreme Court decisions that supported the executive and legislative branches in legislation and regulation that they actually had no Constitutional authority to make.

                    Many Americans -- indeed, just about everybody -- are taught that the Supreme Court is the ultimate arbiter of Constitutionality. But that is actually not the case. The Supreme Court is indeed the final arbiter when it comes to decisions that relate to matters that lie within the Constitution. But it is NOT, and was never intended to be, the judge of what the Federal government's own powers should be (it being but one branch of that very government). As Jefferson said, in various ways and at various times: "The government created by this compact was not made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to itself." -- Thomas Jefferson, Kentucky Resolution of 1798

                    The Supreme Court is as susceptible to corruption and power-grabbing as the other branches of government. Never doubt it, because it has happened. It has, in fact, declared essentially that the Federal government is supreme in all matters. But the Supreme Court was never actually granted the Constitutional authority to do that; any more than the kid next door has authority to declare himself king. That is explained here with perfect logic by James Madison, in his Report of 1800 before the Virginia legislature. Note that the "parties" he refers to are the States that together formed a "compact" to delegate some of their authority to a central government:

                    "The resolution of the General Assembly [the Virginia Resolutions of 1798] relates to those great and extraordinary cases, in which all the forms of the Constitution may prove ineffectual against infractions dangerous to the essential rights of the parties to it. The resolution supposes that dangerous powers, not delegated, may not only be usurped and executed by the other departments, but that the judicial department also may exercise or sanction dangerous powers beyond the grant of the Constitution; and, consequently, that the ultimate right of the parties to the Constitution, to judge whether the compact has been dangerously violated, must extend to violations by one delegated authority, as well as by another; by the judiciary, as well as by the executive, or the legislature.

                    "However true, therefore, it may be, that the judicial department, is, in all questions submitted to it by the forms of the Constitution, to decide in the last resort, this resort must necessarily be deemed the last in relation to the authorities of the other departments of the government; not in relation to the rights of the parties to the constitutional compact, from which the judicial as well as the other departments hold their delegated trusts. On any other hypothesis, the delegation of judicial power would annul the authority delegating it; and the concurrence of this department with the others in usurped powers, might subvert for ever, and beyond the possible reach of any rightful remedy, the very Constitution which all were instituted to preserve."

                    I should point out that when told this, many people (who are not as schooled in the political history of the U.S.) will tell you this concept is hogwash, and that the Supreme Court is the be-all and end-all of our laws. But history clearly shows us that is not actually the case, and never was.

                  • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Saturday November 19, 2011 @09:40PM (#38112614)

                    "Wouldn't an ecology of loosely federated states, in some form of moderated competition, have trouble representing its concerted interests on the world stage, undermining America's wealth and security?"

                    I can only argue that when we were more of a loose federation of states, our economy was more robust and our place on the world stage that much more prominent. What you say would seem to make sense, but the only historical examples we have are from our own past, and they say otherwise.

              • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Saturday November 19, 2011 @03:15PM (#38110058)

                "Do units the size of a US state (between 600k and 37M) govern themselves better?"

                "Our country is too large to have all its affairs directed by a single government. Public servants at such a distance, and from under the eye of their constituents, must, from the circumstance of distance, be unable to administer and overlook all the details necessary for the good government of the citizens; and the same circumstance, by rendering detection impossible to their constituents, will invite public agents to corruption, plunder and waste." -- Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to Gideon Granger, 1800.

                Note that Jefferson wrote this in a time when there were only 13 states, and a population of a couple of million, max. It is truer than even now, with 50 states and 300+ million.

                • Jefferson also wrote this at a time when the faster transportation method was a fast horse, and communications, ahem another fast horse with some pieces of paper transported..

          • It seems like that would be a good place to start...

            That reminds me of the old joke:

            Q: What do you call a boatful of lawyers at the bottom of the ocean?

            A: A good start.

          • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland&yahoo,com> on Friday November 18, 2011 @09:38PM (#38105374) Homepage Journal

            haha. Another suggestion from the 'Don't don't know why this is, so lets change it back" crowd.

            People got LESS representation with state legislator appointed senators.

            Think about it. It means people running companies will also be a senator, a senator YOU have no recourse against.
            For FUCK SAKE people, learn why we do something before whining about changing it.

            • by reboot246 (623534) on Saturday November 19, 2011 @01:01AM (#38106418) Homepage
              Of course people got less representation when Senators were appointed by state legislatures. That was the whole point! The House represents the people and the Senate represents the states. Got it?

              And I don't buy the "there was corruption" back then argument. There's always going to be some corruption, but it's more easily exposed now than it was 100 years ago.

              BTW, "Congress" is both Houses, not just the House of Representatives. A Senator is a Congressman. Did anybody here pay attention in class?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Can I still complain about none of the candidates being worth a damn, and it not making any real difference who I vote for? And the fact as a practical matter we live in a plutocracy?

        Sure ,and the best way to do that: vote for a non-candidate. Yourself, your mom, your dog, if you like. Like you said, it doesn't make any real difference who you vote for.

        Write someone in, and go on record that you're active and engaged and participatory, but not supporting Lobbying Team D or Lobbying Team R.

      • by dkleinsc (563838) on Friday November 18, 2011 @06:07PM (#38103834) Homepage

        Sure, go right ahead.

        Vote anyways, though. Vote for a third-party candidate, write in yourself if you like, but don't drop out of one of the 2 government processes that is at least in theory democratic rather than plutocratic (the other being jury duty).

        • Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by AmElder (1385909) on Saturday November 19, 2011 @01:02PM (#38109148) Homepage

          There are other ways to participate, maybe more effective ways. For example, you can give money. You can protest. You can write policy suggestions. You can even write laws and try to find a representative to sponsor them. Or get hired by the bureaucracy. Most importantly, you can run for office yourself. Most of these are more difficult than voting but I bet you they have a greater effect on policy.

          There's no exhaustive list of how you can participate in government. Voting is a small part of real participation. And no kidding, idealism aside, one vote really doesn't mean a heck of lot.

      • Exactly. I probably will vote in the next election but if there isn't a good candidate you pretty much are what picking the person you hate least? I can't remember which city-state it was but one of the ancient greek cities was democratic (in the sense of rule by the people) but didn't have elections. They picked their rules by lot. While I don't necessarily like being stuck with an idiot that I didn't even get a chance to try stopping from getting power it has its appeal. After all modern democracies are d
        • Oh and critical roles selection could be limited in sort of a blended meritcracy/ancient greek style democracy. Most roles random draw and then volunteered but say head of the military requires someone with military experience, perhaps at the officer level, head of finance has to be one of (banker, accountant, economist).
      • by Hentes (2461350)

        There is a difference between not voting and not voting for anybody. You can still go in and vote incorrectly so it doesn't count but it gets registered that you are, in fact, interested in voting there just weren't any good candidates. Of course that doesn't work if you are in one of the weird places using voting machines, in which case the best action is to boycott the voting completely as it's going to be cheated anyway.

    • by Rob the Bold (788862) on Friday November 18, 2011 @05:59PM (#38103728)

      ...you shouldn't complain.

      While complaining is your right, it is somewhat irrelevant if you aren't willing to take part in the system.

      This system is imperfect, I will agree with that, however it is the best option currently available.

      Non-voting is just as much a way of "taking part" as voting is. Election boycotts are political participation.

    • by Mad Merlin (837387) on Friday November 18, 2011 @06:04PM (#38103814) Homepage

      I'd vote, but the real problem with Democracy is that everybody else can vote too!

    • by Cabriel (803429)

      Politics is like owning a car: Whether you drive it or not has no bearing on whether you're allowed to complain about it's state of disrepair.

      I don't vote because the system is broken and I will not support something that doesn't work.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by geekoid (135745)

        no,l you don't vote because you are a narcissistic fool. Complaining about it being broken is just an excuse.

        All systems are broken, but I guess ignoring it mean it will fix itself.

        Quite frankly, I don't think you should be allowed to drive if you don't vote.

    • by sodul (833177)

      I'm allowed to vote, so should not complain? I though there was a thing about no taxation without representation here.
      If I was given the chance to vote I would probably vote for the little guys that have zero media coverage. It's not changing much whoever I would vote for anyhow, eventually the US might get a colorful representation of ideologies like most european countries do. Not perfect across the pond but the people opinions do seem more represented rather than only the corporations will.

    • by zill (1690130) on Friday November 18, 2011 @07:42PM (#38104648)

      If you don't vote you shouldn't complain.

      You should really look up the definition of democracy. Here's a hint: it isn't "showing up at the polling station every few years".

      The "complaining" that you're complaining about is a part of the democratic process. Democracy isn't just about voting. It's also about actively voicing your political opinions. George Carlin [youtube.com] with his "I don't vote" skid has made more impact on this country than the ballots that he didn't cast.

    • by ugen (93902)

      The "system" is a sham, and participating in it just makes you complicit in the ridiculous spectacle.

      While this is, perhaps, not quite as obvious to those in US, where I can vote but choose not to, it is quite obvious to Russian citizens, where I can also vote, but choose not to for the same reasons.

      Perhaps there was a time when voting indeed made a difference, at least in aggregate. Now is not that time, and I am not interested in lending a hand to a farce that is being played. They will just have to keep

    • Actually, the US system is *not* the best option currently available. The two party system is inferior to the multi-party, proportional representation system commonly used in Europe -- at least if you want policy to more accurately reflect public attitudes.

    • by AK Marc (707885)
      Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos.
  • Hehe, I just voted on voting. Voteception!

  • Register? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Golden Section (961595) on Friday November 18, 2011 @04:28PM (#38102618)

    If you're registered as living in a municipality ("still living"), with details like age ("old enough to vote") why would one need to re-register to vote? Who thought of this system? Why is this system still in place? It seems unnecessary.

  • by artor3 (1344997) on Friday November 18, 2011 @04:31PM (#38102672)

    If you chose "Not registered; intend to vote", then you better register ASAP. A lot of places with Republican state legislatures are doing away with the right to register and vote on the same day, in order to keep new voters from voting. Also make sure to bring a government issued photo ID both to register and to vote, as that is another tactic that they are using to suppress turnout among the unwanted (i.e. low income) demographics. After all, the most common government issued photo id is the driver's license, and guess which demographic is least likely to be driving. Now guess how people in that demographic most often vote.

    Their anti-democratic tactics can only work if you let them.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Ogive17 (691899)
      I can't believe some places allow you to vote without showing a government issued photo ID. That just seems like common sense to me.
      • by artor3 (1344997) on Friday November 18, 2011 @05:08PM (#38103126)

        Why? You register, and your name goes on the list for the precinct. Then you come in and vote, and they check your name off, making it impossible to vote twice.

        Someone could, theoretically, vote for another person, but they would quickly be found out if that person came in and tried to vote. It's a lot of risk for little reward, and the risk increases linearly with the number of illegal votes you try to cast in this manner. Can you cite any sources showing that this actually occurs?

        It's an imaginary problem being used as a pretext to discourage people from taking part in the governance of the country. That should be obvious to any intellectually honest person.

        • Sad thing is voter fraud doesn't usually take the form of person taking the time to vote. Besides that single vote will be drowned out by the multitude of other votes coming from the rest of the precinct. To really pull this off you will have to pay a lot of people to pose as someone else and vote multiple times at multiple voting locations. This seems inefficient, expensive and unlikely.

          The irony being the most likely and used method to commit voter fraud is absentee voting usually performed by a politica

        • by cayenne8 (626475)

          Why? You register, and your name goes on the list for the precinct. Then you come in and vote, and they check your name off, making it impossible to vote twice.

          Someone could, theoretically, vote for another person, but they would quickly be found out if that person came in and tried to vote. It's a lot of risk for little reward, and the risk increases linearly with the number of illegal votes you try to cast in this manner. Can you cite any sources showing that this actually occurs?

          Or...maybe someone or

      • First, not everyone has a ID that is valid for voting* and making people who don't have one anyway pay to get one is basically a poll tax. Shouldn't an ID card required to vote be free?

        *The following government issued photo IDs are not valid for voting: National Labs ID, State University IDs, Community College IDs, etc.

        • by cayenne8 (626475)

          First, not everyone has a ID that is valid for voting* and making people who don't have one anyway pay to get one is basically a poll tax. Shouldn't an ID card required to vote be free?

          Actually, virtually every state that requires a gov-issued photo id in order to vote....does have a program to give anyone that wants one in the state (citizens) a FREE state id with photo and all....good for voter identification.

      • I can't believe some places allow you to vote without showing a government issued photo ID. That just seems like common sense to me.

        I can believe it, and there's no need for it.

    • by cayenne8 (626475)

      If you chose "Not registered; intend to vote", then you better register ASAP. A lot of places with Republican state legislatures are doing away with the right to register and vote on the same day, in order to keep new voters from voting.

      Err...this isn't something new, at least not in any states I've lived in before. Not a republican conspiracy....I've never lived in a state all my years that let you register the day of the vote. This is too easy to defraud and vote multiple times. Actually , what state ar

    • I didn't get my license until I was 23. Instead, I carried around a NON-driver's license. Big conspiracy.

  • by pbjones (315127)

    if you don't vote, then you have no right to complain about the outcome. If you can't vote, then you should complain about the outcome. Pencil and paper, cheap, low tech, and audit-able.

    • by knarfling (735361)

      Vote early, vote often

      Reminds me of a White Collar episode where they try to take down a corrupt politician. (You know it is TV, because they 1. they try, and 2. they succeed.)

      Peter: Mozzie votes??
      Neal: More often than you might think...or approve of.

  • Missing option! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TheSpoom (715771) <slashdot@@@uberm00...net> on Friday November 18, 2011 @04:39PM (#38102804) Homepage Journal

    I'm not a citizen, you insensitive clod.

    But that will be remedied as soon as USCIS allows it, which is in about a year and a half plus processing time. (Canadian, immigrated to the US on a fiance visa.)

    • by zill (1690130)
      You get to vote in two countries' general elections for the price of one citizenship. That sounds like a much better deal to me.
  • by ShavedOrangutan (1930630) on Friday November 18, 2011 @04:42PM (#38102846)
    The decisions that most affect your life daily life are made by state and local politicians, yet voter turnout is dismally low for anything but a really charged presidential election.

    Do you know who is your representative to your county Board of Supervisors? Do you know who is your delegate for state senate? Did you vote in their elections? Have you met them? Unlike the president, these people have phone numbers and will usually talk to you.

    U.S. Presidents come and go, and life pretty much remains the same for us as individuals. Your county government can drop a shopping center next to your house, decide where your kids go to school, or clobber your property value. Your state government can decide how long your commute takes, or how many employers want to move in (or out), or how much college costs. Both tax almost as much as the federal government. Yet hardly anybody votes in local elections!
  • by beer_maker (263112) on Friday November 18, 2011 @04:42PM (#38102850)
    vote against! This may be the best election ever for NoneOfTheAbove. Since both sides are pretty much interchangeable, don't vote for any of them - write in NOTA and vote out the incumbents.
  • Missing one (Score:5, Funny)

    by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Friday November 18, 2011 @05:01PM (#38103036)

    Where's the selection "I'm not even going to vote in this poll"?

  • by Sebastopol (189276) on Friday November 18, 2011 @05:10PM (#38103152) Homepage

    I've been voting since 1992 (I turned 18 a week after the 1988 election). The cumulative disappointment year after year is now crushing. I still vote, but with enormous despair.

    • by Rob the Bold (788862) on Friday November 18, 2011 @06:15PM (#38103934)

      I've been voting since 1992 (I turned 18 a week after the 1988 election). The cumulative disappointment year after year is now crushing. I still vote, but with enormous despair.

      "If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal." -- Emma Goldman

    • So... you didn't vote in the off-year? (1990) At least it didn't matter as much as the last off-year did.

      The biggest mistake any sub-set of American voters have made in the last five years, that I can see, was sitting out the 2010 election. I'm convinced half the problems that have ensued would not have happened if only the young and enthusiastic had realized that "the President proposes, Congress disposes". You can't afford to sit any of them out.

      Oh, and by the way, in our country it's called "being en
  • Elections really haven't changed since the Athenians were voting. Sure the process has changed, but they have always been a festival of shit slinging.

    So quit bitching about how much worse they are today, at least today you can do some research from your home.

  • I'm dead. I can't vote.

    • To some politicians, there doesn't appear to be a causality between those two sentences.

    • by knarfling (735361)

      I'm dead. I can't vote.

      Don't worry. In Chicago, you still get to vote. Twice or three times, actually. You just won't get to choose who or what you are voting for. (It doesn't matter if you are or ever were a resident of Chicago. Your vote still is counted there.)

  • by coldsalmon (946941) on Friday November 18, 2011 @05:41PM (#38103516)

    Of course the vast majority will say they are registered and intending to vote in the next "major" election -- because people only vote in elections they consider to be "major."

    • by rwv (1636355)
      I skipped the "major" local election two weeks ago for my town in USA. There is an election for state senator (i.e. representing my district at the state level, not my state at the national level) two weeks from now. I will probably skip that one too. I consider both of these major because I am aware that they were scheduled before-hand. I find that I'm more motivated to vote when there is a real fear of the race having a negative result for my point of view... so these local races in jurisdictions that gen
  • I went with the Cowboy Neal option of "Register? Doesn't apply where I live". The missing option I would have gone with is "I'm registered but I'll vote if I think it matters"
  • Even if it's a close call. Or at least write in your favorite. It upsets the party bosses which makes it worth standing in line. Oh, and take a candy bar in when you vote. For some reason, it makes the whole process a lot more tolerable. A hotel I voted at in San Francisco handed out truffles and good coffee. When I got there, I thought, "Yes, democracy is ALL RIGHT!"

    I was a lot younger.

  • by mnmlst (599134) on Friday November 18, 2011 @08:01PM (#38104802) Homepage Journal

    The United States of America is a Federal Republic, not a democracy. Rather than the people directly governing, they choose representatives who govern on their behalf, thus "republic". The rules that govern elections were first established in the Constitution (ratified in 1789) and then amended periodically.

    You must be at least 18 years old to vote (by Constitutional Amendment) on the first Tuesday in November of an even numbered year. If you live in a US state, you have 2 Senators, regardless of the state's population size. Each Senator had to be at least 30 years old when they were elected and 1/3 of the total of 100 come up for election every even numbered year. You can directly vote for each of them when their must stand for election every 6 years. Until the late 19th Century(?), Senators were voted in by state legislators.

    You live in a single US House of Representatives district. Your Representative had to be at least 25 years old when they were elected and all 438 of them nationwide stand for election every even numbered year. As the population has been shifting towards the Sunbelt, each Census has resulted in more and more Reps coming from Sunbelt states and fewer from states losing population.

    You don't vote for President, you essentially "indicate a preference". The President, minimum age of 35, is actually elected by the Electoral College, bunches of political party members who cast their votes around 6 weeks after Election Day. Each state gets a minimum of 3 members, 1 for each Senator and 1 for each member of the House of Representatives, so Wyoming gets 3 and California gets about 54 for a grand total of 538/- electors. Nearly all the states use a winner-take-all approach, so when a presidential candidate receives a majority of the votes from a given state, all of that state's electoral college members are obliged to cast their vote for that candidate when the Electoral College convenes. If one refuses, they are known as a "faithless elector". Two states, Maine and Nebraska(?) use proportional representation for their electors instead of "winner take all". Other states are considering this approach.

    Debates endlessly rage about the merits and demerits of this system. For good and ill it has evolved into its current state over the last 222 years. I did not consult any notes, just going from memory here so feel free to chime in...

    As for the impact of this system, political scientists have simplified the analysis of Presidential elections by labeling states as either "red", "blue", or "swing" (meaning neither red nor blue). A red state is expected to cast its electoral votes for the Republican candidate, a blue state for the Democratic candidate, and a swing state is up for grabs. Once the single Republican and single Democratic candidate face off after their respective party conventions at which they are formally designated as the candidates, the major focus is on the swing states as they try to win a majority of votes and thus all the electors in each of those states. Many of the "solid red" and "solid blue" states will be nearly ignored other than as sources of funds, volunteers, and other resources. e.g. California has been a reliably "blue" state for many years so the blue and red candidates will only briefly visit it a few times prior to election day. No semi-serious political scientist expects a Republican candidate to win California's electoral votes in 2012. Until another state is added to the Union (still a possibility - I'm lookin' at you Puerto Rico), the winning number is 270 electoral votes. The requirement only to win 270 electoral votes rather than the nationwide popular vote is why a number of candidates have become President without getting at least 50% of the nationwide popular vote (Bush in 2000, Clinton in 1996(?), Clinton in 1992, Kennedy in 1960(?), Wilson in 1912(?), Hayes in 1876, Lincoln in 1860(?). Most of these were caused by third-party candidates splitting the popular vote among more candidates. The two most contested el

  • Missing option (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LeDopore (898286) on Friday November 18, 2011 @08:10PM (#38104880) Homepage Journal

    I'm a Canadian in the USA, and I'm not allowed to vote *anywhere*. F*ck you, Harper!

  • Biased sampling (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dalias (1978986) on Friday November 18, 2011 @09:45PM (#38105408)
    This poll is inherently biased towards option 4 by virtue of the fact that it's only counting people who choose to vote in this poll itself. :-)
  • ...they won't close the polling office three hours early and deny me and several thousand others the opportunity to cast our vote, like they did in 2010.

    Those votes would seriously have swung it and we'd've ended up with a single party government instead of this unholy clusterfuck we have now.

  • I'm in District 6 of South Carolina, and Jim Clyburn owns it.

    It's a "throwaway" district so black folks can have a guaranteed seat, and that's a fair trade since gerrymandering IS democratic in "statewide" terms. Voluntary segregation isn't wrong, unlike forced segregation.

    It also means there is no point in my voting either for (not happening) or against (futile) him. I don't mind since that District has low taxes and I live on the edge of it.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      had to google about gerrymandering.
      now that's just ridiculous and system perverting.

      sounds like the perfect reason why usa needs more parties.

  • As an American living in Switzerland, I don't really fit into any of the categories: as a foreigner, I'm not allowed to vote in elections in Switzerland (not unreasonable, and I don't mind it).

    I am, however, registered to vote in the US, and the government will send me a ballot electronically (they gave me the option of postal mail, but I'm lazy) when the next election rolls around.

    I'm quite pleased with not having to see all the political ads in the US as election season approaches.

  • by JeffAMcGee (950264) on Saturday November 19, 2011 @03:11PM (#38110032) Homepage
    • * Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
    • * Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
    • * This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.

    I think that's a pretty accurate summary of the problems with elections.

He's dead, Jim.

 



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