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Saturday, November 03, 2007

VOTING Questions

Election Day is Tuesday, and you'll be sure to discover on Wednesday that fewer people vote in off-year/non-Presidential years than will vote next year, as shown here (PDF), here and here. It's ironic, I think, because one has a much greater voice in municipal elections than in the Presidential race. Even next November, more people will vote at the top of the ticket, and ignore the "lesser" races.

I've been involved in "get-out-the-vote" pitches before. My last strategy, sort of a reverse psychology thing, was "don't vote - mote power for me". So:

1. Are you voting on Tuesday? Why or why not/ I am, just so I can kvetch about the results.
2. What would it take to get more people to vote? (Electronic voting, instant runoff voting, bribery - somewhere in the Southwest, they offered a random voter a cash prize for voting, which turned out to be of dubious legality.) I think IRV's a good idea in multi-candidate (3 or more) elections, but it won't solve the ennui problem.
Pulse Poll of the Democratic candidates for President, with videos delineating a couple of their positions.



Greg said...

I'm not voting, because I suck. When I'm dictator of the world, the faux elections we have to keep the peons happy will be held on a Monday and it will be a day off. Why doesn't the government already make it a national holiday? What's this Tuesday crap? I am convinced the reason people don't vote is because it's too inconvenient. Who wants to get up so early or stay so late? In Oregon they have vote-by-mail, and it's excellent. They also have it in Arizona, but this year I just can't be bothered. If they made it a three-day weekend (Americans love three-day weekends!) and everyone could go shopping on the Monday after they voted, more people would vote. I'm convinced of it. There's no logical reason to have it on a Tuesday when people are busy, you know, making a living. Who cares about politics when you're trying to pay your mortgage?

Scott said...

I am not voting either, but it's mostly due to not knowing any of the candidates. I won't go out and vote if I don't know anything about either candidate. That's not fair to either, and to the people that have taken the time to research them. Quite honestly this time around, I don't even know what seats are up for election. I know that none of the US and State senators or reps are up for election, neither is the city's mayor. So without any major seats up, I haven't taken the time to notice or care. I know I should though.

As for getting more people out to vote, I agree with Greg. It is very inconvenient to get out and vote on a normal work day. For the Bush-Kerry election, I left work two hours early because of the reports of long lines, and waits of up to two hours. I was lucky enough to only wait 10 minutes, but I lost two hours of work because of it. Sure, it's a small price to pay to have my voice heard. But it would be better if the government made it easier by making it a national holiday, or if it was mandatory for all states to offer things like "vote-by-mail".