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Old 11-06-2018, 01:47 PM
 
4,353 posts, read 1,807,487 times
Reputation: 13812

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If you're on Facebook, today's feed has been clotted with messages urging everyone to go vote.

But let me ask this question: If someone hasn't kept up with the issues, if someone doesn't know the candidates, and if someone is just dumber than a box of hair, why should we want them to?

Mind you, I am not advocating discouraging voting or keeping anyone away from the polling station. So don't twist that around.

At the same time, I think voting is a duty that requires actually being an informed voter, whether they are Democrat, Republican, or Independent. Not just pulling a lever or filling in a bubble on a Scantronic sheet. This weekend, I spent a good couple of hours researching the various candidates. I think everyone should.



So when some editorial writer clucks his or her tongue tomorrow about the voter participation rate, I just shrug my shoulders. If--after all the ads, stories, and conversations going on over the past year--some are too apathetic to make it to a polling station, then I'm not sure I want them choosing our political leadership to begin with.
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Old 11-08-2018, 09:34 AM
 
12,629 posts, read 14,882,074 times
Reputation: 14513
people should vote...I agree....but people have forgot that they can "spoil" their vote, (if they feel ALL the candidates are corrupt) and by doing so, their vote is still counted...but as a vote of non confidence in all the candidates. The media can report non confidence votes...but they can't report anything if we just don't vote.
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Old 11-08-2018, 11:52 AM
 
3,761 posts, read 3,106,578 times
Reputation: 10368
I think the problem with voting lies in the knowledge that most people, informed--or not, are feeling the push to vote simply because they see it as a right and a responsibility. So, no, a high participation rate could actually be considered a negative, and possibly a good reason so many are seeing the elections as a team sport and voting for "their" team..

Most people I've talked to in the last few months are obviously ignorant of the facts surrounding American politics and instead of reading, they take the path of least effort and end up absorbing the sound bites amid party vitriol and call it a day. Candidates are vetted by simply checking the party affiliation and initiatives are seldom if ever understood, but the vote goes out and the citizens are pleased with themselves for checking the boxes, only to cry later over revelations of misfeasance.

It's better said here:
“Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'”
― Isaac Asimov
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Old 11-09-2018, 11:46 AM
 
8,626 posts, read 8,825,666 times
Reputation: 26862
Quote:
Originally Posted by MinivanDriver View Post
If you're on Facebook, today's feed has been clotted with messages urging everyone to go vote.

But let me ask this question: If someone hasn't kept up with the issues, if someone doesn't know the candidates, and if someone is just dumber than a box of hair, why should we want them to?

Mind you, I am not advocating discouraging voting or keeping anyone away from the polling station. So don't twist that around.

At the same time, I think voting is a duty that requires actually being an informed voter, whether they are Democrat, Republican, or Independent. Not just pulling a lever or filling in a bubble on a Scantronic sheet. This weekend, I spent a good couple of hours researching the various candidates. I think everyone should.



So when some editorial writer clucks his or her tongue tomorrow about the voter participation rate, I just shrug my shoulders. If--after all the ads, stories, and conversations going on over the past year--some are too apathetic to make it to a polling station, then I'm not sure I want them choosing our political leadership to begin with.
I used to think that if someone didn't make a point of being a truly informed voter than they shouldn't vote.

I've gradually changed my mind though. Many people go through a process and I've seen it with my own children. At first, they profess little interest in elections, but as they begin to vote and hear the names of certain candidates they begin to follow them and pay more attention. They begin to ask questions. Maybe a personal issue intervenes, such as a young person discovering they are gay and realizing that some political candidates do not favor equality for gay people. Or maybe a young person working a hard minimum wage job learns that one political party does not want to raise the minimum wage. Suddenly, lights go on and they begin to realize that politics can make a fundamental difference in their lives.

People are not static and not everyone ends life in the same place where they began life. Life, for many, is a learning process that, for some, involves attending the school of hard knocks. Most of us grow during our life.

At this point in my life, I think the proper approach that should be taken is to try get as many people voting as we can. In the process, many will gradually begin to take the time to find out about issues and candidates.
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Old 11-10-2018, 01:25 AM
 
Location: Australia
516 posts, read 180,788 times
Reputation: 999
In Australia we have, and as far as I know, have always had, compulsory voting. We get fined if we do not vote or provide an acceptable reason why we could not. Many outsiders and newcomers are somewhat horrified by this but overall it is quite well accepted. A lot of voting happens in schools, which take advantage of the occasion by organising stalls and sausage sizzles. This will probably slow down any move to online voting (also the fact that it was tried out for the last census and the system crashed)

Not sure how it affects the political process. As our main parties are centre right and centre left, possibly not a great deal.
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Old 11-10-2018, 05:37 AM
 
2,421 posts, read 1,354,869 times
Reputation: 2598
Quote:
Originally Posted by MinivanDriver View Post
If you're on Facebook, today's feed has been clotted with messages urging everyone to go vote.

But let me ask this question: If someone hasn't kept up with the issues, if someone doesn't know the candidates, and if someone is just dumber than a box of hair, why should we want them to?

Mind you, I am not advocating discouraging voting or keeping anyone away from the polling station. So don't twist that around.

At the same time, I think voting is a duty that requires actually being an informed voter, whether they are Democrat, Republican, or Independent. Not just pulling a lever or filling in a bubble on a Scantronic sheet. This weekend, I spent a good couple of hours researching the various candidates. I think everyone should.



So when some editorial writer clucks his or her tongue tomorrow about the voter participation rate, I just shrug my shoulders. If--after all the ads, stories, and conversations going on over the past year--some are too apathetic to make it to a polling station, then I'm not sure I want them choosing our political leadership to begin with.
Well, you are more opinionated about this issue that I am but I do agree overall with your point. Right before our local elections, one of the candidates rented a few large moving trucks, placed a banner large enough to cover the entire truck, and parked them close to the busiest intersections. Pretty smart but it made me wonder how many people would vote for her just because of name recognition. She won.
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Old 11-10-2018, 06:05 AM
 
Location: Just west of the Missouri River
643 posts, read 1,294,346 times
Reputation: 806
Absolutely agree. If you never read a newspaper, or do any in-depth self-education about the candidates, why vote. A candidate's TV ads are hardly sufficient. My 42 year old niece, who doesn't read, told me that she couldn't remember who she voted for in 2016. I didn't ask about her vote, but assume she believes I would think badly of her for not voting.
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Old 11-11-2018, 07:41 AM
 
5,175 posts, read 1,714,567 times
Reputation: 8287
I was innundated this year with texts, phone calls and even by someone going door to door urging me to vote for XYZ.

One text I received was erroneous. Not me, not my state. I texted back that well, I am not "Susan' and I don't live in "X' state.

The response? Well, if you know anyone who does tell them to vote for 'XYZ."

The ones trying to gain votes don't care if people are educated. They just want votes. It's no different than a drunk in bar throwing darts at a dartboard. Oh, I hit the circle. Yay me.

And guess what? No one is unaware of elections. We all know about them. There is no way NOT to know about them (similarly to the campaigns for 'breast cancer awareness' really??? Does any person in the USA not know about breast caner? I digress.).

If people don't want to vote, that's their choice.
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Old 11-12-2018, 08:26 PM
 
87 posts, read 20,509 times
Reputation: 107
A vote in the wrong direction is generally worse than simply not voting. You should definitely know what you're voting for. Perhaps in the long lines at the voting booths you can do some research on the candidate. But yeah, voting is important for any functioning democracy, but more important than just voting is meaningful and educated voting. Voting solely along party lines is one of the reasons for our polar political environment and ultimately why essentially nothing gets done in congress.
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Old 11-16-2018, 02:11 PM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
3,326 posts, read 1,870,583 times
Reputation: 3147
High voter participation rates, whatever their downsides, are not nearly as bad as low rates. The former mean the voters do care about at least their right to vote so as to defend that right (and by extension the rights of those who do know about the issues). Low rates imply the people either don't care enough to being with or either lost hope in the electoral process. There's always a price for the product.
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