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Author Topic: Why everyone should vote:  (Read 6708 times)
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Greggy_D
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« on: November 01, 2004, 06:22:50 PM »

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Toe
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« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2004, 06:31:40 PM »

I choose not to vote!
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Balshazaar
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« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2004, 06:51:09 PM »

I am always back and forth on this issue.  For the record, I already voted via absentee ballot.

Anyhow, the dilemma is this: you want your voice to be heard, but our system has only two audible voices.  So, what do you do if you don't like either candidate?

--Choose the lesser of two evils--
1) Ok, so you decide to vote for the guy that you think sucks less.  This propagates the problem, since your vote will go either Dem or Rep.  Rich old white ivy-league graduates really don't represent most of America.  Sure, they can be smart, but electing one of them just sets the stage for electing another one of them next time.

2) You decide to write in a candidate or vote for a 3rd party.  Well, shoot... here you might as well not have voted.  Sure, you can claim at the water cooler that you cast a protest vote, but (especially this year) there's no way that your alternative is going to win even a single electoral vote.

3) You're in a state where your vote won't ever make a difference because you vote against the state majority, the electoral votes are not split, and the popular vote means nothing.

--Not Voting--
You just denied yourself the ultimate expression of democracy.  You lose your right to complain because you didn't vote.  How can you ever hope to help the system fix itself if you don't cast your vote?  There are a lot of issues on the ballot other than President.


I think that the final deciding issue about voting vs. not voting is that while the presidential candidates may not be appealing, there are a lot of local and state issues on ballots where you may have a lot more influence.  If grassroots is bottom up, then voting for the local issues at least gives you a voice at the bottom.  So, my current mood says that everybody should always vote, if only to express their opinion for local issues.  Other days, when I'm not feeling so great about the forthcoming 4 years of leadership (regardless of which candidate is elected), I'm more inclined to just say 'screw it.  Don't vote.'   :?
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Daehawk
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« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2004, 06:55:03 PM »

Ive voted every time since I was of legal age but I doubt I will this time..dont care for either candidate. Maybe ill go tomorrow but most likely not.
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« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2004, 08:28:27 PM »

Quote from: "Balshazaar"
I am always back and forth on this issue.  For the record, I already voted via absentee ballot.

Anyhow, the dilemma is this: you want your voice to be heard, but our system has only two audible voices.  So, what do you do if you don't like either candidate?

--Choose the lesser of two evils--
1) Ok, so you decide to vote for the guy that you think sucks less.  This propagates the problem, since your vote will go either Dem or Rep.  Rich old white ivy-league graduates really don't represent most of America.  Sure, they can be smart, but electing one of them just sets the stage for electing another one of them next time.

2) You decide to write in a candidate or vote for a 3rd party.  Well, shoot... here you might as well not have voted.  Sure, you can claim at the water cooler that you cast a protest vote, but (especially this year) there's no way that your alternative is going to win even a single electoral vote.

3) You're in a state where your vote won't ever make a difference because you vote against the state majority, the electoral votes are not split, and the popular vote means nothing.

--Not Voting--
You just denied yourself the ultimate expression of democracy.  You lose your right to complain because you didn't vote.  How can you ever hope to help the system fix itself if you don't cast your vote?  There are a lot of issues on the ballot other than President.


I think that the final deciding issue about voting vs. not voting is that while the presidential candidates may not be appealing, there are a lot of local and state issues on ballots where you may have a lot more influence.  If grassroots is bottom up, then voting for the local issues at least gives you a voice at the bottom.  So, my current mood says that everybody should always vote, if only to express their opinion for local issues.  Other days, when I'm not feeling so great about the forthcoming 4 years of leadership (regardless of which candidate is elected), I'm more inclined to just say 'screw it.  Don't vote.'   :?


For starters . . . the picture is misleading.  Our soldiers who have fought and died in the numerous wars since the birth of our nation -- only three have been fought to protect our sovereignty and our soil.  A fourth war that could possibly be included in that list was only fought to maintain our nation and not let another nation split from us.

The part that is misleading is that we should vote because a volunteer soldier gave his life so that we can continue our illusion of democracy.  

To comment to Balshazzar's excellent point:

The president is nothing but an overly powerful puppet.  Any hope of having any real impact in such a broad and controlled election such as the Presidential election is nothing but visions of grandeur.  The real power to voting is at the local levels:  City, County and State.  

Personally, I'm going to vote only because there are several state issues that will be on the ballot.
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Rob_Merritt
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« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2004, 08:52:31 PM »

The other point of view

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Falator
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« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2004, 08:56:13 PM »

Not voting is a vote.
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Balshazaar
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« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2004, 09:06:46 PM »

Quote from: "Falator"
Not voting is a vote.


How do you reckon that?  Not voting is bystanding.  Like I mentioned earlier, I'm not necessarily against those who choose not to vote, but not doing it certainly doesn't count as doing it under any system of logic.
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whiteboyskim
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« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2004, 09:15:56 PM »

Quote from: "Balshazaar"
Quote from: "Falator"
Not voting is a vote.


How do you reckon that?  Not voting is bystanding.  Like I mentioned earlier, I'm not necessarily against those who choose not to vote, but not doing it certainly doesn't count as doing it under any system of logic.


Then the people who don't vote bitch and moan and whine about things being bad or not good enough when in that case they don't have a leg to stand on. If you cast your vote, you are taking part in the process. If things don't work out as you want them to, then you have the right to stand up and voice your concern. Otherwise, can it. smile
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draegun
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« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2004, 09:33:02 PM »

This whole topic raises the issue that was brought up on gg about a month ago:  Should we charge a fee for people to vote?  or Should there be some sort of qualification prior to voting?

My answer would be yes to both.  Preferrably the latter.  Passing some sort of civics exam or something to prove that you understand the system you are partaking in.

As it stands now, anything classified as a human with a heart beat can vote.  This isn't responsible government management IMHO.
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Jancelot
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« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2004, 10:06:31 PM »

"Voting is not only a privilege but a responsibility."  Not my quote, but one with which I completely agree.  South Park put it best: elections, since the very first one, have always been between a giant douche and a turd.  Those are the only types of people who can weather the political system.  Someone not voting is most certainly NOT a vote at all.  I've never really liked any of the candidates in all 3 elections that I've been able to vote in.  Please vote.

Charging a fee to vote?  Requiring an exam?  Sorry but I don't like those ideas at all.  I understand your good intentions, but it would discriminate against those without money or a good education.  And one of the foundations of our freedoms is the right to vote for all citizens (unless you're naughty and commit a felony).  Once you start putting restrictions on that it'll just open a can of giant, angry flesh-eating worms.  How much do we charge?  What questions should be on the exam that would provide a universal and fair score?  If we can't even count the votes correctly how could we possibly administer this test?
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Daehawk
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« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2004, 10:15:52 PM »

I dont think that its very intelligent to be telling people to vote for someone they dont care for. If someone does'nt like either candidate they should'nt be pressured into voting for one of them. Abstaining is everyone's right just as much at voting is. Stop browbeating people into thinking they have to vote no matter what. That is for other countries and thier senile little dictators...not America.
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Greggy_D
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« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2004, 10:19:50 PM »

But there's gotta be some race or proposal that directly affects your life on the ballot.  If it directly affects me, I'm voting.
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VynlSol
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« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2004, 10:58:12 PM »

Quote from: "Daehawk"
I dont think that its very intelligent to be telling people to vote for someone they dont care for.


One caveat: When I use the word, "you," I'm not specifically referring to Daehawk.

I agree with that. I certainly would never tell a person they should vote for someone/something that they didn't care for. However I would urge everyone who is capable to go out and vote for someone they did care for. If the person you would like to see be POTUS is Joe Blow down the street, go down to the polling booth and write his name in and vote for Joe Blow. That's called participating in the democratic process, and whereas there is no way Joe Blow is going to pull off a win, or probably get anymore than just your vote, at least you participated. That's honorable. Letting apathy get the better of you and not voting because you only want to cast your vote for someone who has a chance of winning the election, and niether of the options are appealing to you, is copping out, plain and simple.

In fact, one of the myriad of reasons that the USA only has two viable candidates for POTUS anymore is due to that kind of apathetic non-participation. Taking that trend to the far right of the chart shows that eventually the USA won't have a need for an election at all. Those in the "ownership class" will just pick who they want and place them in the position. That's what they do now, right? So might as well just roll over and let them do what they want eh?

Quote from: "Daehawk"

 If someone does'nt like either candidate they should'nt be pressured into voting for one of them.


Again, I agree with that. If a person wants Darth Vadar to be POTUS, then that person should go down and vote for Darth Vadar. Sound stupid? At least that person participated. That person in effect said, by placing their vote, that they are not interested in giving up their power over the way they want to live their life to someone else. Because voting, in and of itself, is where the power lies. Give that power up by non-participation and eventually it won't be just 40% of the population deciding things for 100% of the population, it will be about 0.5% deciding it.


Quote from: "Daehawk"

Abstaining is everyone's right just as much at voting is. Stop browbeating people into thinking they have to vote no matter what.


Agreed. Everyone is free to let someone else decide things for them. At the very least, I get a license to complain by voting.

Quote from: "Daehawk"

 That is for other countries and thier senile little dictators...not America.


I want people to get out and vote, not because I want them to vote for any particular person or platform, but just to get out and vote for the sake of the process itself. It's self-centered of me, really. I don't want to wake up one day (or my granddaughter, or her children, etc.) and instead of trying to decide who I should vote for, just having to turn on the government sanctioned television station and be told who is going to decide how we're going to live. I don't ever want to see any kind of dictator in charge of America. Senile or otherwise.
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JSHAW
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« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2004, 11:51:58 PM »

I'm glad someone started this thread because it will allow me to vent on something that I have been thinking about for a long time.

I'm NOT voting during this election. I abstain.

Neither candidate deserves my vote because I don't believe in either one.

I refuse to vote for someone who I don't believe in.

I'm tired of caring in politics, at this point I've lost all faith in those who run the U.S. of A.  Like the Genesis song says "I don't care anymore".
I have no more caring left in me.

I don't care who runs the country into the ground anymore. Be it Republican or Democrat, I just don't care anymore. No care, no vote.

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Greggy_D
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« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2004, 12:10:29 AM »

Jshaw, what about voting for the local proposals and not for President?
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Sparhawk
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« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2004, 12:18:25 AM »

Quote
Then the people who don't vote bitch and moan and whine about things being bad or not good enough when in that case they don't have a leg to stand on.



Saying that someone's opinion isn't valid because they didn't vote for a republican or democrat is asinine.

What if a person wanted to vote but they couldn't get into the voting booths on time to vote? What if someone got injured and had to go to the hospital the day of the elections? What if that person was injured on their way to cast their vote? So you're telling me that you will ignore their opinion because they didn't vote? That is absurd, immature, and illogical.

We all have a right to voice our opinion and every single one of those opinions should be considered. The moment you start specializing you start to stagnate or erode into a system that is no longer strong but weak.
Even U2K the Greatest in all his ramblings has the right to say what he believes. That doesn't mean those things are right or wrong or the best way to live your life (which is certainly subjective), but they are another way to live. Gather information so you have resources to draw upon; do not let your own beliefs cloud the bigger picture.  Someone might have a very good opinion; no matter if they voted or not.

I'm not trying to attack you; I’m just trying to understand why it is you think that way. It seems close-minded and a bit self-destructive.




Quote
I get a license to complain by voting.


We all have a license to complain.  Your saying that if someone doesn't vote for Black or White that they can't complain about the lack of Grey?
Seems a bit crazy to me.
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Greggy_D
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« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2004, 12:20:16 AM »

He's talking about not voting at all......it's not an Elephant/Donkey or Black and White thing.
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JSHAW
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« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2004, 12:22:55 AM »

Greggy D,

Here in North Carolina, specifically Mecklenburg County there was something that happened  during the last election that has changed my mind about voting for the local representatives also.

There was an issue that was on the ballot that was FOR or AGAINST the seeking a new arena for another NBA franchise which now is the Charlotte Bobcats.

The vote that was in the majority was AGAINST, but what did the Charlotte City Council do anyway? They went forward and brougth another NBA franchise to Charlotte.

The vote didn't matter, because the city council and it's ELECTED OFFICIALS did what they wanted to do, regardless of how the vote and it's decision went.

I'm burned out on politics.  I've ALWAYS had a distrust of politicians and I just don't think I can give a damn anymore about their decisions. If they want to find new and inventive ways to take more of my tax money and make sure I'm taking how less money in my paycheck, they will. If they want to find new and inventive ways of screwing the masses, they will.

Like I said previously, I...DON'T...CARE...ANYMORE!

If P'Diddy's tshirt slogan VOTE or DIE is true, I think I'd just rather die.
That's how little I care, I have no caring left in my body.
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Sparhawk
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« Reply #19 on: November 02, 2004, 12:30:16 AM »

Quote
He's talking about not voting at all......


That doesn't change the arguement in the least. If someone chooses not to vote for something that does not make their opinions less valid.
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JSHAW
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« Reply #20 on: November 02, 2004, 12:34:23 AM »

I'm not the kind of person that sits around and whines, gripes, complains about things. I hate whiners, gripers, and complainers.

I know that there are people that say if you don't vote then you don't have a right to complain about the political process.

Just so I can add some things to my point of view I'll say this;

During the last election which was GORE/BUSH, I voted for Bush.

4 years later and with the handling of the IRAQ war I'm not satisfied with the Bush admin's handling of Iraq, therefore I'm not happy with Bush, therefore he does not get my vote. I have a right to not like how the Bush admin. has handled Iraq. I know for sure they could have done things better and Bush himself won't even admit that mistakes were made in Iraq.

I'm not voting for Kerry because I don't respect him NOR do I have faith in his flip/flop style of politics, nor that of John "Ambulance Chaser" Edwards.

I'm not voting for Ralph Nader because he's got NO CHANCE of becoming the next president, nor do I have any faith in his ability to make things better.

I'm sitting this election out.  WHY?
Because I "just don't care anymore".
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Daehawk
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« Reply #21 on: November 02, 2004, 12:49:42 AM »

Oh btw here where im at we have only 2 things to vote on..president and 1 guy for congress..thats it. Ill most likely stay home with my wife who is sick and asking me to stay with her...then again I may go vote if the line is'nt long. But I dont like these guys and would just vote for the congress one most likely....then again i like to complain a lot and if I dont choose I cant complain lol...all so complicated smile

And Im sorry if it seemed I was singling anyone out in here. I was just tired of seeing so many posts in here and people I know in my area talking about people must vote and stuff. I kinda felt some pressure over something I see no clear choice in.
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« Reply #22 on: November 02, 2004, 12:55:55 AM »

I thought if you didn't vote you would die? Thats what that Vote or Die slogan was all about, right? P. Diddy comes to your home and shoots you if you don't vote, from what I understand.
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« Reply #23 on: November 02, 2004, 01:08:10 AM »

I had debated on not voting. To be honest, I wasn't sure which candidate I would have voted for. I then discovered two important proposals from a State level that I am definitely motivated to vote (as my husband said, if Prop 2 doesn't get you to the polls I don't know what will).
However, after reading a concise, objective chart today on issues for the Presidential race, I have decided I can't go to the Polls and not vote for President. I would regret it. At least I can say, "I didn't vote for that idiot!"  biggrin

While I can understand the point of having some sort of lithmus test for voting, I prolly wouldn't pass it. I don't know alot about the government, I know what issues I feel strongly about, and thats the voter I am. I think instead of a lithmus test for voting, we should implement the one for driving !!  It seems they give a license to anyone these days ! :lol:
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« Reply #24 on: November 02, 2004, 01:08:21 AM »

Since when did I become a member of the Electoral College?  Oh, that's right, I'm not so my vote doesn't mean dick.
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« Reply #25 on: November 02, 2004, 01:10:39 AM »

Might be ok if he brought pics of J-Lo's butt to keep your attention.
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« Reply #26 on: November 02, 2004, 01:28:03 AM »

You non-voting people need to get off your assess and find something you do care about.  Abortion, gun control, tax law, tort reform, Iraq, gay marriage, fundamentalist religion creating the national agenda, or who looks better in a blue tie  - whatever.  If you don't see the issues, or the differences in the candidates, is isn't because they aren't presented to you, it's because you're too fucking* lazy to look.

Don't like my post?  Vote Bush.  Then you can piss me off in the process of exercising that notion you have a brain stem and a spine and that one day out of every four years you can stand up straight and pretend you give a shit about the country from which you're obvisouly content to freeload.

Love & kisses,
Bill

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« Reply #27 on: November 02, 2004, 02:02:27 AM »

Sorry Driver, but you don't make a convincing enough point.

If I vote or in this case don't vote, people are still going to buy guns, get abortions, be homosexuals, get taxed by the government, praise God, Allah, Satan or Mother Earth, etc.

My vote or non-vote is NOT going to change these things. People will still do those things with or without my vote.

I am in 100% agreement with Engine#9 with his quote -

Quote
Since when did I become a member of the Electoral College? Oh, that's right, I'm not so my vote doesn't mean dick.


Voting in America, YES this is still America, is a CHOICE, correct?
I choose NOT to vote. Don't like it Driver? Sorry bud, you don't get to make this choice for me.

I pay my taxes, I obey the laws of this country, I've paid my dues, served my country, I've earned the right to not care anymore. Let someone else care. I'm opting OUT of the political system.  :twisted:
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« Reply #28 on: November 02, 2004, 02:32:04 AM »

Quote from: "JSHAW"
I'm opting OUT of the political system.  :twisted:


Actually you're just opting out of voting in this coming election. Unless you move out of this country you'll always be IN the political system...just in your case it will be as a tax dollar producer who doesn't care what is done to him.

I happen to care. I think people who are able should vote. And if they don't like what happens afterwards, they should use the legislative AND voting process in the future to remedy things rather than just take their toys and go home. JSHAW, if you didn't like what happened with your city council, fight for it.  If that's too much trouble, then it apparently isn't that important to you, and of course like you said, you don't care anymore anyway.

Just my opinions, I actually do respect a person's right to do whatever the hell they want. I just hope people understand the ramifications of their (non) actions. Oh, the quip about the electoral college making a person's vote mean dick...that's bullshit. There's a reason they have the electoral college as well as the popular vote. If you don't know what that is you should look it up.
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« Reply #29 on: November 02, 2004, 02:51:10 AM »

Quote from: "VynlSol"
Oh, the quip about the electoral college making a person's vote mean dick...that's bullshit. There's a reason they have the electoral college as well as the popular vote. If you don't know what that is you should look it up.


I know exactly what the electoral college is and why it was brought about.  It is an outdated system that was developed by a nation in it's infancy almost 220 years ago.  A nation that had no way of instant communication and mass vote tallying.  A nation where most people would never even get to see their president speak and had to rely on other people to vote for them.  A nation that didn't have any political parties, let alone the strict two party system we have today.

I think that if 48% of my state wants to vote for Candidate B, then 48% of our votes should go to that candidate, not 100% to Candidate A.  

There is also a reason that in the last 200 years Congress has seen more than 700 proposals to change the system.  The problem is that it is a very complex issue to get a Constitutional amendment passed.  Especially one that takes power away from the very people who are supposed to approve that amendment.  

And no, I don't have enough time, resources, connections, influence or ambition to be the next person that tries to get that amendment passed Congress.
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« Reply #30 on: November 02, 2004, 02:55:55 AM »

You're very eloquent when you are empowering your own futility.  But you should know that electorates are decided at the state level, not the national, which means that it actually benefits you to vote annually versus only in presidential election years.

Besides, how do you do anything?  How do you choose what to eat for dinner?  What road to take to work?  Where to buy your shirt?  Who gets the remote control?  What your children read?  Which games you play?  What actors you enjoy?  Where you buy your gas?  Whose voice you turn your head toward?  Which sports team you follow?  What branch of the military you join?  Doublestuff or regular?  Permapress or delicates?  Paper or plastic?  Credit or debit?  Cassette tape or vinyl?  Short term fling or long-term romance?  Do you quit your job?  Do you change your shirt?  Do you hit the snooze bar?  Do you pack your lunch?  Do you ask her out?  Do you eat the last donut?  Do you say hello to that stranger?  Do you ignore that homeless guy?  Do you give back the correct change?  Do you get your haircut?  Do you wait for the next train?  You do all these things the same way: You look at the options, and then you decide.  The process is no different, only the results.

It's only America so long as you make it America, and you make it America when you vote.  That's the one thing that makes this place any different, and you're turning your back to it because you've earned some "right to not care"?  

I'm not here to convince you of anything - but I think you're wasting the opportunity and shirking the responsibility of being randomly born in a country that should have bred in you the notion to be first in line in how the thing is treated, and  how the thing continues long, long after you and your exasperated lack of interest are gone.

 thumbsup It's all about the vote, whether or not you believe it to be.   thumbsup
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« Reply #31 on: November 02, 2004, 02:57:08 AM »

Maybe this helps folks see how fluid and unfinished the process is.

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« Reply #32 on: November 02, 2004, 03:07:40 AM »

Quote
You do all these things the same way: You look at the options, and then you decide. The process is no different, only the results.


JSHAW's options on 2004 Presidential Vote

1. BUSH - NO
2. KERRY - HELL NO
3. NADER - NO FRIGGIN' WAY

4. DARTH VADER - write in candidate - SURE! I'll turn to the dark side.
 :lol:
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Driver
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« Reply #33 on: November 02, 2004, 03:14:33 AM »



Between 600 and 800 voters wait in line to cast their early ballots as the polls closed at the Stephen P. Clark Center, Monday, Nov. 1, 2004, in Miami. Election officials estimated a waiting time of more than three hours to cast ballots. Nearly 2 million Floridians have cast their ballots through early or absentee voting. (AP Photos/Mitchell Zachs)

(From Yahoo!)
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Greggy_D
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« Reply #34 on: November 02, 2004, 03:25:43 AM »

That's one thing I don't remember (or really understand).....

How can these polling locations be open so far in advance of "Election Day"?  I've used Absentee ballots before but I can't recall actual in-person early voting.
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Driver
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« Reply #35 on: November 02, 2004, 03:28:13 AM »

That's new to me too - it may be that it's been around but just underused in years past.   Or it may have come in part from fears about the discrepencies  of 2000.  In Indiana you can start voting October 4.  Weird, but cool to see people so geeked up about voiting that they'll stand in line for three hours.

I feel like I'm trying to take over this thread, so I'll leave it alone for a while.
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Jeff
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« Reply #36 on: November 02, 2004, 03:38:50 AM »

I live here in FL, and the average wait to vote EARLY, is an hour and 45 minutes.

They say expect 3 hour waits tomorrow, on the actual voting day.

That is the most shameful thing I've ever heard in U.S. politics. You hammer into people's heads the importance of voting, then provide so few facilities to do so, that you force people to wait 3 hours.
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Driver
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« Reply #37 on: November 02, 2004, 03:55:54 AM »

One more....


Finally Kerry and Bush speak out on the Issues That Matter: Pay-Per-View Super Bowls and Pete Rose in the Hall of Fame!

If this doesn't get JSHAW to vote nothing will!  slywink
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EngineNo9
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« Reply #38 on: November 02, 2004, 04:31:22 AM »

Quote from: "Driver"
Besides, how do you do anything?  How do you choose what to eat for dinner?  ...  
 You do all these things the same way: You look at the options, and then you decide.  The process is no different, only the results.


The process is actually quite a bit different.  I personally make those decisions.  I do not rely on others to make it for me.  My vote is always counted as 100% of it's potential, not 0 or 100% depending on what other people think.  

Let me put it this way:  If you were having a celebration with 10 tables of people and you wanted them to decide what to have for the meal, would you take the highest vote of each table and count it as the full table's votes?  Even if you knew this would not necessarily bring in the true popular vote?  Why not just get the actual number of votes and decide from that?  

Even if I was part of the winning group at my table that wanted steak, I wouldn't want the votes for a vegetarian dish thrown out completely.  They deserve as much of a voice as I do.  You are essentially throwing away all the votes for second or third (or forth, etc) choices of that table and clouding the overall total votes for the group as a whole.  

The system has failed 6 times in our short history (4 elections that did not go with the popular vote, 1 electoral tie and one that did not recieve the requisite majority of electoral votes), and personally I find 1 failure to be too many.  If you want me to believe that my vote counts, you should damn well count it!

And no, we don't vote on our Electors anyway, they are chosen by the political parties and therefore nearly always vote directly along those lines (although they are not obliged to by the Constitution).
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« Reply #39 on: November 02, 2004, 04:36:26 AM »

My opinion on this is short and succint.

Vote, or lose any credibility you have with me to complain about the administration/local governments.

If you cannot be bothered to make use of the one institution that allows you to influence the direction of the country, then you have no right to complain (at least to me, or in my presence) of the result.

That is my litmus test with friends and family.
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