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Mon Dec 1, 2014, 01:12 AM

Should The US Have Mandatory Voting?

So, here's the idea. The turnout for the midterms was shit. The turnout for midterms is always shit. It is a civic good for more people to vote as this (in theory) makes government more representative. Coincidentally, low turnout favors (generally) Republicans and high turnout (generally) favors Democrats. Australia (IIRC) has compulsory voting. If you don't vote, you have to either justify it to a judge or get fined a small amount (like, $20).

So I came up with a few options but all of them require an automatic voter registration. That shouldn't be too hard to do. AFAIK, the US is the only democratic country where you have to actually register to vote. Every other country I know of, you're automatically registered by virtue of being a living citizen. So I'm proposing that, firstly, the US just start automatically registering everyone to vote, the Social Security register has everyone's name and address anyway, it wouldn't be too difficult to register everyone off that. Then, one of these options.

Option A: The US gets compulsory voting. You have to turn up at a polling place, mark or mail in a ballot or you get fined a small amount unless you can justify it to a judge (all proceeds go to funding future elections).

Option B: The US switches to entirely postal voting. In the weeks running up to an election, every eligible citizen gets mailed a polling card. They mark their choice, sign it and mail it back, just like with overseas military votes. Free of postal costs, obviously.

Option C: The US switches to fully online voting. The idea here is that there's a database in every state with everyone's name and SS number. You go to a website, input your SS number. The system checks against the database that you are eligible and haven't already voted. If you clear both of those, you get to pick your choice. Now, the drawback with this one is that, if it's online, it is potentially hackable. However, cyber-security is now at such a level that, given enough funding and expertise, you could make the threat of a hack virtually impossible.

Option D: Things carry on as they are, with barely anyone turning out for midterms.
32 votes, 0 passes | Time left: Unlimited
Yes
10 (31%)
No
18 (56%)
Yes but totally postal votes
2 (6%)
Online voting
0 (0%)
I like chocolate-mint ice cream
0 (0%)
Am I hungry? Who's hungry?
2 (6%)
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Disclaimer: This is an Internet poll

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Reply Should The US Have Mandatory Voting? (Original post)
Prophet 451 Dec 2014 OP
Adsos Letter Dec 2014 #1
Prophet 451 Dec 2014 #3
Warpy Dec 2014 #2
arcane1 Dec 2014 #4
Man from Pickens Dec 2014 #5
PADemD Dec 2014 #42
Thor_MN Dec 2014 #49
treestar Dec 2014 #54
Man from Pickens Dec 2014 #63
treestar Dec 2014 #66
Man from Pickens Dec 2014 #67
lpbk2713 Dec 2014 #6
Prophet 451 Dec 2014 #12
Skink Dec 2014 #7
Rod Beauvex Dec 2014 #8
Prophet 451 Dec 2014 #14
Rod Beauvex Dec 2014 #17
Prophet 451 Dec 2014 #25
Rod Beauvex Dec 2014 #36
tabbycat31 Dec 2014 #61
Derek V Dec 2014 #9
True Blue Door Dec 2014 #10
Kablooie Dec 2014 #45
easychoice Dec 2014 #11
Prophet 451 Dec 2014 #13
easychoice Dec 2014 #40
former9thward Dec 2014 #15
Prophet 451 Dec 2014 #20
Kennah Dec 2014 #35
Yo_Mama Dec 2014 #70
AndyTiedye Dec 2014 #16
Prophet 451 Dec 2014 #32
branford Dec 2014 #18
Prophet 451 Dec 2014 #21
branford Dec 2014 #23
Prophet 451 Dec 2014 #30
branford Dec 2014 #33
olddots Dec 2014 #19
Prophet 451 Dec 2014 #22
liberal_at_heart Dec 2014 #24
Prophet 451 Dec 2014 #27
liberal_at_heart Dec 2014 #29
Tuesday Afternoon Dec 2014 #26
Prophet 451 Dec 2014 #28
liberal_at_heart Dec 2014 #31
Rhiannon12866 Dec 2014 #34
ErikJ Dec 2014 #37
Spitfire of ATJ Dec 2014 #38
DRoseDARs Dec 2014 #39
Prophet 451 Dec 2014 #47
Jenoch Dec 2014 #41
Kablooie Dec 2014 #43
on point Dec 2014 #44
Kurska Dec 2014 #46
stone space Dec 2014 #48
Fumesucker Dec 2014 #50
Yo_Mama Dec 2014 #71
orpupilofnature57 Dec 2014 #51
jambo101 Dec 2014 #52
treestar Dec 2014 #53
Jamastiene Dec 2014 #55
RKP5637 Dec 2014 #56
davidpdx Dec 2014 #57
Recursion Dec 2014 #58
branford Dec 2014 #62
orpupilofnature57 Dec 2014 #80
tabbycat31 Dec 2014 #59
rock Dec 2014 #60
MH1 Dec 2014 #64
Tierra_y_Libertad Dec 2014 #65
One_Life_To_Give Dec 2014 #68
Yo_Mama Dec 2014 #69
Throd Dec 2014 #72
Vinca Dec 2014 #73
hrmjustin Dec 2014 #74
CK_John Dec 2014 #75
0rganism Dec 2014 #76
Erich Bloodaxe BSN Dec 2014 #77
sadoldgirl Dec 2014 #78
Turbineguy Dec 2014 #79
Prophet 451 Dec 2014 #82
dmosh42 Dec 2014 #81
Prophet 451 Dec 2014 #83
dmosh42 Dec 2014 #84
bigwillq Dec 2014 #85

Response to Prophet 451 (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 01:13 AM

1. No, but Election Day should be a national holiday. Edited to add...

...that I also like Chocolate-Mint ice cream, and now I'm hungry.

Thanks...thanks a lot.

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Response to Adsos Letter (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 01:15 AM

3. Well, naturally

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Response to Prophet 451 (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 01:14 AM

2. Option B would work

None of the others would...or do.

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Response to Prophet 451 (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 01:26 AM

4. I agree with automatic registration, but I'm not a fan of making it mandatory.

 

An apathetic person forced to vote will pretty much just vote randomly. And I prefer a physical paper ballot over all other options. If an election is 51% to 49% with online votes, who is validating them? Plus, not everyone has internet access.

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Response to Prophet 451 (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 01:28 AM

5. Not casting a ballot IS voting

 

It's a statement that a person doesn't think that an election will make enough of a difference to make it worth their time, and/or that they do not wish to confer legitimacy on a process that doesn't respond to their wishes. When you look at how little really changes when you go from Democrat to Republican and back again, it's hard to argue the issue.

Low participation rates is a failure of the system to engage the population, trying to make it mandatory will just piss people off more than they already are.

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Response to Man from Pickens (Reply #5)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 04:45 AM

42. So let their choices be

none of the above or a write-in vote.

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Response to PADemD (Reply #42)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 06:47 AM

49. Not voting IS none of the above.

 

The SSA does have an address for each person, but unless one updates them when one moves, it may not be accurate. Besides, the SSA believes that their info should not be used for any other purpose. The RWNJs would never tolerate a national ID, even though their SSNs are in fact, just that.

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Response to Man from Pickens (Reply #5)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 07:14 AM

54. Disagree

And if that's the purpose, it's passive aggressive. And useless. Why should those elected care?

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Response to treestar (Reply #54)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 11:31 AM

63. They should care because their legitimacy depends on the consent of the public

 

It may be "passive-aggressive", but what's the alternative for someone who perceives the ballot box to be a farce? I myself have turned in blank ballots as a protest before - because I always vote, as a rule - but it is functionally no different than simply not showing up at all. Other than that, the only real way to deny consent to the process is open rebellion, a step that few would take lightly.

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Response to Man from Pickens (Reply #63)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 01:00 PM

66. Still an excuse

you can vote for the Green party or any third party or even a write in.

I used to write in my name or my Dad's name in my local district, because only the Republicans were running a candidate.

There is no excuse, and they have perfect legitimacy. They represent the voters, the only people they have to represent.

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Response to treestar (Reply #66)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 05:19 PM

67. Constitution doesn't say "we the voters..."

 

it says "we the people", which includes people who can't, don't, or won't vote

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Response to Prophet 451 (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 01:29 AM

6. Do you have a different flavor ice cream?






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Response to lpbk2713 (Reply #6)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 01:49 AM

12. My SO has some Ben & Jerrys in the freezer

I think it's the maple syrup flavoured one.

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Response to Prophet 451 (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 01:38 AM

7. For Dems yes

For the stupid no.

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Response to Prophet 451 (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 01:41 AM

8. I'm a firm believer in mandatory voting, but in addition....

...I also believe that two things should go in hand.

One should be able to choose the method, be that:

Vote online
Vote by mail
Vote at ballot box

Two, one should be able to vote for more than one person, or sign the ballot none of the above.

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Response to Rod Beauvex (Reply #8)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 01:51 AM

14. Query: Do you mean STV?

Or one of the similar options?

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Response to Prophet 451 (Reply #14)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 02:06 AM

17. Not sure.

What is "STV" ?

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Response to Rod Beauvex (Reply #17)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 02:29 AM

25. Sorry

STV is Single Transferable Vote. The way it works, if I understand correctly, is that you have the candidates and mark them in order of your first, second and third preference. After the votes are counted, the lowest polling candidate is dropped. If that was your first choice, your vote now goes to your second. And so on. So if the completed voting card looks like this:

Steve Rogers 1st
Victor Von Doom 3rd
Reed Richards
Tony Stark 2nd

Then let's say, after the votes are counted, Steve is the lowest polling. He's then dropped off teh list and your vote goes to Tony Stark instead. Then they re-count and if Tony is the lowest polling, he gets dropped and your vote goes to Victor instead.

It's a little complicated but, as I understand it, that's essentially how it works.

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Response to Prophet 451 (Reply #25)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 03:20 AM

36. Ah. OK.

Actually, I was just thinking of being able to vote for as many candidates as one wants, and whoever simply had the most would win.

Though I see a problem with possible ties, which the system you suggested may prevent.

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Response to Rod Beauvex (Reply #8)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 11:00 AM

61. There is a none of the above option

It's called a write in. You can write in an obvious none of the above candidate (Mickey Mouse). I've voted for several fictional characters when the GOP is running unopposed as write ins.

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Response to Prophet 451 (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 01:41 AM

9. YES!

 

HELL yes!

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Response to Prophet 451 (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 01:42 AM

10. Voting is a lot more important than the other mandatory responsibilities we have.

Jury duty, car insurance, health insurance...voting is clearly more important.

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Response to True Blue Door (Reply #10)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 04:59 AM

45. Why vote when media polls do it all for us anyway?

let Fox News decide for us, that would solve the voting problem.

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Response to Prophet 451 (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 01:44 AM

11. Yes,with a compelling fine for noncompliance.Start at $250.00

Second miss $1000.00
Now lets see who doesn't vote
Reagan got elected by 18% of the eligible voters.The scumbag of the universe...That just totally sucks.

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Response to easychoice (Reply #11)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 01:50 AM

13. I didn't want to go that high

Because I don't want to hurt the poor who didn't vote for one reason or another. Of course, if we include the option for judicial waiver, that goes away.

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Response to Prophet 451 (Reply #13)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 04:27 AM

40. Obviously there would be mitigation...But

Being nice is a lot less effective than being definite.
Ya know,I am not really a draconian creep but the disdain these folks have for voting has a lot more to do with lousy government than they realize...
There needs to be a "real" penalty for not voting without cause.

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Response to Prophet 451 (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 01:52 AM

15. No, it would be a violation of the First Amendment.

People can not be compelled to assemble anyplace including the voting booth.

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Response to former9thward (Reply #15)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 02:17 AM

20. I think that's legally questionable

The First, from memory, says the right to assemble shall not be infringed but we're not infringing it, we're encouraging it.

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Response to Prophet 451 (Reply #20)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 03:13 AM

35. I would then refer you to the Ninth

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Response to Prophet 451 (Reply #20)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 06:17 PM

70. It also covers free speech.

The SC has ruled that free speech is both positive and negative - including the right not to speak.

Therefore I don't think such a measure would be found constitutional.

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Response to Prophet 451 (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 02:00 AM

16. No. Pay People to Vote

Give each voter a refundable tax credit for voting. It should be sufficient to at least defray the costs of getting to the polls.
There should be another one (perhaps allowable every 4 years or something) to defray the cost of getting a voter ID, since so many states are requiring them now, and the courts seem to be OK with that.

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Response to AndyTiedye (Reply #16)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 02:35 AM

32. Voter ID

I've said this before but the onloy fair way to do voter ID is to do it for everyone. Working from the SS rolls, mail out a national ID card to every citizen when they come of age, free of charge (although there could be a small fee for replacing them if you lose one or need it altered).

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Response to Prophet 451 (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 02:08 AM

18. No mandatory voting.

 

Last edited Mon Dec 1, 2014, 02:55 AM - Edit history (1)

Option A: Compulsory voting is almost definitely unconstitutional, primarily as an infringement of the First Amendment. Besides, not voting is still making a choice, it's little different than an abstention that goes to the majority.

Option B: Major federalism problem and practical concerns. The states themselves set most of the voting rules for their citizens, and Congress both cannot, and will not, usurp such authority or even allocate the funds for the "free" cards. Moreover, the nature, type and extent of early voting is still controversial in many areas, and is best left to the states.

Option C: Online voting is a disaster waiting to happen. Despite you confidence, cyber-security is hardly foolproof, no less for something as important as elections. Our government is routinely hacked and there are still problems with the ACA website. Why would a government voting system be different from any other online activity, public or private?

I would also note that you should be very careful what you wish for. Just because you make voting mandatory, it does not necessarily follow that many more people will actually vote, particularly since fines or worse will likely be very unpopular (think about how the ACA penalty still polls miserably with all segments of society), and that's assuming you garner sufficient support to pass the law through Congress. More importantly, those new or once lazy voters are not guaranteed to vote the way you want. All you may accomplish is increasing the number of Republicans in Congress, at least in certain areas.

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Response to branford (Reply #18)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 02:20 AM

21. I honestly can't see a problem with the First Amendment

It says the right to assemble shall not be infringed and we wouldn't be doing so, we'd be commanding people to assemble.

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Response to Prophet 451 (Reply #21)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 02:28 AM

23. It's primarily a violation of free speech, not the right to assemble, among other problems.

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lyle-denniston/could-voting-be-made-mand_b_1094501.html

http://harvardlawreview.org/wp-content/uploads/pdfs/compulsory_voting.pdf (see p.601-3)


Edit: However, government subsidized chocolate-mint ice cream would be entirely constitutional, and would receive my full support!

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Response to branford (Reply #23)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 02:33 AM

30. Thanks for teh links

I'm not going to read them right now because I'm currently doing about fifteen things and my tired PC is already complaining but I will read them later.

And a pint of Ben & Jerrys "Minter Wonderland" to every voter!

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Response to Prophet 451 (Reply #30)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 02:40 AM

33. I've never had "Minter Wonderland," but it sounds delicious.

 

One of my favorite flavors, however, is B&J's Mint Chocolate Cookie. Yummmmm . . .

Read the links when you have some free time. The Huffington Post article is a very quick and easy read. The Harvard Law Review Note is much more dense and scholarly, but describes some of the more detailed legal problems with mandatory voting in the USA.

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Response to Prophet 451 (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 02:09 AM

19. the Trader Joes Chocolate Mint Ice Cream

 

Was a let down and our system of voting desperately needs a rethinkk .

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Response to olddots (Reply #19)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 02:21 AM

22. Try the Ben & Jerrys

I think it's called "Minter Wonderland", mint ice cream with chunks of dark chocolate in it. OMG, it's so good!

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Response to Prophet 451 (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 02:28 AM

24. We'd have a lot of Mickey Mouse write ins and a lot of people simply

willing to face the consequence of not voting. You cannot make people vote.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #24)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 02:30 AM

27. Sure, that's expected

The votes for fictional characters get discarded and the money all goes to adminstering elections in future.

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Response to Prophet 451 (Reply #27)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 02:33 AM

29. We already live in a police state. We don't need to make it worse.

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Response to Prophet 451 (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 02:29 AM

26. No but, Voting Day should be a National Holiday and Civic Duty should be taught in schools.

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Response to Tuesday Afternoon (Reply #26)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 02:31 AM

28. Agreed on both

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Response to Tuesday Afternoon (Reply #26)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 02:35 AM

31. teaching and then encouraging rather than punishing? Nah. That's too radical.

Not the American way. Just kidding. Those are good ideas actually.

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Response to Prophet 451 (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 02:46 AM

34. No, but I believe election day should be a national holiday.

It would give a lot more people the time to get out and vote.

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Response to Prophet 451 (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 03:44 AM

37. Vote by Mail ONLY! Works in the PNW very well. 70% turnout mid-terms. nt

 

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Response to Prophet 451 (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 04:01 AM

38. The United States is the only civilized country where you have to register to vote....

 

In other countries it's just part of being a citizen.

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Response to Prophet 451 (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 04:03 AM

39. Compulsory voting is the antithesis of democracy.

 

You WILL tithe the Church...
You WILL swear fealty to his Lordship...
You WILL vote for the candidates the Politburo provides for you...

...or you WILL suffer the consequences.

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Response to DRoseDARs (Reply #39)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 06:15 AM

47. Write-in a candidate if you like

Nothing sinister about it, not sure why people think there is.

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Response to Prophet 451 (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 04:33 AM

41. My option is E.

 

In my world, every voter shows up at the polls and votes in person. Of course there are absentee ballots for those who are out of their precinct on election day or those who are unable to travel to the polling location.

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Response to Prophet 451 (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 04:55 AM

43. No but purple fingers would be a wonderful addition.

You could point to all the people who didn't vote.

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Response to Prophet 451 (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 04:57 AM

44. Only if 'None' is on ballot and elections monitored by UN

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Response to Prophet 451 (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 05:55 AM

46. Extend early voting periods, maybe make it the entire month before the election.

Make election day a national holiday.

If that isn't enough to motivate you to vote, then I see no reason to force someone to. Frankly, such a person probably doesn't like any of the candidates or possibly isn't even basically knowledgeable about the issues to care. No reason to force such people into a ballot box

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Response to Prophet 451 (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 06:18 AM

48. No need to make it manditory. Just let people vote. (nt)

 

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Response to Prophet 451 (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 06:52 AM

50. Mandatory insurance, mandatory voting...

What other social problems can the Democratic party solve by making some behavior mandatory?

Mandatory home purchase?








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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #50)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 06:20 PM

71. Yes, I think the voters are pissed off enough already.

No need to make them double down.

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Response to Prophet 451 (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 06:57 AM

51. NO, only if they bring back literacy tests, only this time for Real . n/t

 

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Response to Prophet 451 (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 07:06 AM

52. “If voting made any difference

they wouldn't let us do it.” ― Mark Twain

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Response to Prophet 451 (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 07:14 AM

53. Yes

Option A might be the only one that could really be trustworthy, though.

Jury duty is the only other privilege we have, and that's compulsory if you are called, so I see no problem here.

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Response to Prophet 451 (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 07:19 AM

55. Only if education is required too.

The US should have mandatory voting classes to teach uninformed people about our system. If they understood both the official version of our system and how things really work in comparison, they would be more apt to vote. If that happened, we could have an actual left leaning liberal win elections at the national level and maybe some (more) state level elections too, maybe even some local elections, at the very least.

Most of the people who do not understand the system and do not vote are liberals, at least from what I have seen. I think learning about our system and learning the purpose of elections should be mandatory. You'd be surprised how many people are completely ignorant of the system. There are far too many uninformed and far too many apathetic people who do not really understand why not voting is causing the country to continue to...as politely as I can clean it up...go to hell in a hand basket.

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Response to Prophet 451 (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 08:15 AM

56. I agree with all but forcing people to vote. I think it will bring in a lot of people who are

politically illiterate and will just significantly increase the noise level in the voting system. That said, I'm all in favor of improving and standardizing the voting system across the nation to make it more equitable and easier for many people to vote who really want to vote. I've voted for years now by mail in ballots and it's encouraged.

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Response to Prophet 451 (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 10:06 AM

57. No to mandatory voting, but yes to vote by mail

Oregon has vote by mail and it has been successful. I really don't think you can mandate someone do their civic duty and vote.

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Response to Prophet 451 (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 10:07 AM

58. Should happiness also be mandatory? (nt)

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Response to Recursion (Reply #58)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 11:29 AM

62. The Beatings will continue until morale improves . . . nt

 

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Response to Recursion (Reply #58)

Wed Dec 3, 2014, 06:43 AM

80. A study showed, America has contempt for the " Unhappy " which

 

only contributes to the Artificial exsistance being promoted .

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Response to Prophet 451 (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 10:57 AM

59. a combination of the above

Compulsory voting would not work in this country, but I'm not opposed to compulsory education of voters. When I was a senior in HS, the board of elections came to our government class. THey had voter registration forms with them (and registered all who turned 18 before Election day, including myself) and brought a voting machine with them. As they registered us to vote, they also showed us how the (now obsolete) machine worked and explained the importance of voting. They were not partisan at all. But the new voters they registered that day were informed of how elections and the voting machines worked. I'd like to see every high school senior have that as part of their civics education.

Voting by mail-- In my state (NJ), you don't need a reason to vote by mail. The first year this was in effect was 2009. But because it's a (fairly) new law, very few people are aware of it (maybe if this were 2008 it would have been different). It's super easy, but campaigns and county clerks (a partisan position) have to do a better job of informing people of the option. Other states I've worked in (as a campaign staffer) have much stricter absentee voting laws. I'm in favor of lifting strict absentee voting laws and expanding early voting (which my governor vetoed on the basis of it being too expensive then scheduled a special election in October).

Online voting--- First of all not all states require your SSN when registering to vote (which is a good thing, I don't want to give mine out if I don't have to). And if states that don't already do so start requiring it for voting, you will (rightfully) get an outrage. I'm on the voting rolls in two states (I haven't voted in NY since 2006, my sister hasn't voted there since 2004 and we're both still on the rolls) and it shows that NY does not communicate with other states when it comes to cleaning their voter rolls (others are different). I don't have a common name, but for a state without a SSN on the form, a John Smith could be screwed over by an error. I'm all for being able to do things online but there has to be a better way of doing it that does not involve a SSN.

Perhaps if the state assigned everyone a voter ID #, then you could vote online. The technology is there, as evidenced by online banking (then again the companies that make voting machines without a receipt are the same ones that make ATMs that give receipts so I'm skeptical there). But I don't see it happening anytime soon.

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Response to Prophet 451 (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 11:00 AM

60. Absolutely not!

You miss the point if you think otherwise.

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Response to Prophet 451 (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 11:40 AM

64. Other: mandate employers provide sufficient paid time for voting.

I.e. cannot harass or discipline an employee who is late on election day, or who needs to leave early, if employee shows a receipt showing that they voted. Baseline minimum allowance 2 hours. If long wait times are widely reported, than whatever is the wait time should be the allowance; or at least increase to 4 hours.


I would try something like that before mandatory voting.

In the end, I might be persuaded to mandatory voting, but only if all else fails.

Another option is to make Election Day a federal holiday. If we did that and people still didn't vote in reasonable numbers (at least 80%), then consider making it mandatory. (Of course, if convenience stores, gas stations, etc are still open, what about those employees? Back to mandating employers allow time. This will force employers to plan their workforce on election day accordingly.)

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Response to Prophet 451 (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 11:41 AM

65. No. But, adding a None of the Above option might help turnout.

 

B and C are also good ideas.

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Response to Prophet 451 (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 06:14 PM

68. Tool of dictators to pretend legitimacy

raqi officials say President Saddam Hussein has won 100% backing in a referendum on whether he should rule for another seven years.

There were 11,445,638 eligible voters - and every one of them voted for the president, according to Izzat Ibrahim, Vice-Chairman of Iraq's Revolutionary Command Council.


Is this what we aspire to?


We really should look at it as a failure of the politicians themselves. When they are unable to inspire 100% of the people to turn out and vote for them. When it's a local issue like building a Nuke-Waste Dump 100% will turn out. Really it's more like people saying "We hate all the candidates" They should take it as a challenge to improve upon.

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Response to Prophet 451 (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 06:16 PM

69. No, and I believe the First Amendment protects the right not to vote

Just as it protects the right not to speak.

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Response to Prophet 451 (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 06:24 PM

72. Mandatory voting is an insipid concept.

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Response to Prophet 451 (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 06:27 PM

73. Absolutely not.

I don't want a numb nuts who can't name the POTUS picking any old box to check because he's forced to. It's bad enough half the voters are too stupid to know they're hurting themselves with their votes.

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Response to Prophet 451 (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 06:28 PM

74. No this is a free country and people should be allowed to make a statement in not showing up.

 

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Response to Prophet 451 (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 06:53 PM

75. The OP doesn't understand the functions of the states vs the federal gov.

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Response to Prophet 451 (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 06:57 PM

76. you hit on the answer right there - vote-by-mail

Didn't see it in the poll, but it's the answer, really.

Oregon has vote by mail. Guess what our turnout rates were for the midterm elections. Go on, guess. Or google it, i'll wait.

...

70%

Problem solved. Get vote-by-mail for the whole country, and watch the turn-out rise by 20 points for the mid-term elections.

It's not that people don't want to vote, it's that they don't have time to vote. Look at some of those lines at the polling places, especially those where the GOP-dominated state leg decided that the major metropolitan areas deserve about 1/3 the voting apparatus of the rural counties. You want to vote there, you set aside half a day, most of which is spent standing in line. Outside. In November. On a Tuesday.

Which brings me to my next point. People work, many at jobs where they don't get time off for voting. People often feel like they have better things to do than stand around waiting for an opportunity to cast a vote which may never happen in which case they have to cast a provisional ballot which probably won't get counted for candidates who all-to-often fail to inspire the slightest bit of interest. And that last bit is key, too: important as that local bond measure may be, you can't count on it to generate a lot of turnout. That takes high-quality candidates.

OR vote-by-mail. You want turnout? Go with that, no need to punish people for not doing something expensive, annoying, and difficult.

Know what else you get with vote-by-mail? An informed electorate. By sending out ballots and election information booklets describing candidates and ballot measures, you ensure that people have time to read about what they're voting for before they mark the page. People get to take their time, sit down, and think it over, without being rushed to get out of the tiny booth to make room for the next citizen. Nice, huh?

Another thing you get: instant paper trail. People differ on how reliable paper-free touch screen voting is, but vote-by-mail ends the debate because it's all on paper. No more wondering if the overpriced touch screen machine mis-read your vote by accident or by design, no more fretting over how to do a recount. With vote-by-mail you can shift your suspicion upstairs to the central tabulators where it belongs.

Anyway, that's my take: establish vote-by-mail nationwide, and watch the problem of midterm turnout evaporate.

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Response to Prophet 451 (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 07:19 PM

77. Only if, in EVERY race, the voters are given an option of

'None of the Above', and if that option wins in any race, that race has to be run again, with different potential candidates, and none of those who ran for it before are allowed to re-run for that office, either in the new race OR the next election cycle.

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Response to Prophet 451 (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 07:48 PM

78. Vote by mail,

but if people really don't believe their vote makes a difference,

then offer the option "none of the above". The problem with

that are the sheep, who go by (D) or (R) only. Unfortunately

the other parties don't get enough exposure.

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Response to Prophet 451 (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 08:01 PM

79. The wingnuts would go ape!

I like it!

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Response to Turbineguy (Reply #79)

Wed Dec 3, 2014, 06:12 PM

82. A day without conservative poutrage is a day without cheer

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Response to Prophet 451 (Original post)

Wed Dec 3, 2014, 07:30 AM

81. Rather than a fine, maybe an extra $1000 deduction on income tax?

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Response to dmosh42 (Reply #81)

Wed Dec 3, 2014, 06:13 PM

83. I think $1k is a little too much

I like the idea but I don't think the US could afford a thousand on every voter. Still, that's quibbling over sums rather than the basic premise.

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Response to Prophet 451 (Reply #83)

Thu Dec 4, 2014, 07:27 AM

84. Yes, the premise is what US citizens usually respond to.

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Response to Prophet 451 (Original post)

Thu Dec 4, 2014, 08:59 AM

85. No (nt)

 

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