HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Why Do So Few Vote In US?

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 01:05 PM

Why Do So Few Vote In US?

Compared to other advanced industrial democracies US voting rates are abysmal. In presidential elections about 50-55% of the voting age population (VAP) votes... and in off-year elections it's about 35%. Which means the so-called Republican Revolution of 1994 represented the "consent" of about 18% of the VAP. Pretty pathetic.

There's a vast voter reserve out there that can be appealed to. For example when Reagan brought into the GOP coalition right wing Christians which my understanding was tended not to vote.

So why don't people vote? Obviously there's felon disenfranchisement and the last number I've hears is this may be 5-6 million people. This is criminal in itself. But what about all those others? Is it they're not moved by the issues the candidates run on? Or is it that our very system discourages voting? After all... what's the point of voting if a candidate rejected by the People can become president? What's the point of voting if an antidemocratic Senate can block anything coming out of the House? What's the point of voting when winner-take-all elections disenfranchise up to 49.9% of voters? What's the point of voting when one can't vote their conscience and be sure of representation for what one believes? What's the point of voting when the system seems reformproof?

Our very system makes a mockery of the idea of self-government. On some level I suspect people know that but since we're also brought up to believe we have some grand political system... they can't connect the dots to see that it's really antidemocratic and dysfunctional. In such a case apathy is a pretty reasonable response.


61 replies, 3235 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 61 replies Author Time Post
Reply Why Do So Few Vote In US? (Original post)
eniwetok Feb 2017 OP
Zoonart Feb 2017 #1
TNLib Feb 2017 #14
GoCubsGo Feb 2017 #21
chowder66 Feb 2017 #23
CrispyQ Feb 2017 #27
Freddie Feb 2017 #39
Warpy Feb 2017 #56
randome Feb 2017 #2
YoungDemCA Feb 2017 #20
alarimer Feb 2017 #45
uponit7771 Feb 2017 #51
uponit7771 Feb 2017 #50
PoindexterOglethorpe Feb 2017 #3
eniwetok Feb 2017 #9
gopiscrap Feb 2017 #34
putitinD Feb 2017 #29
PoindexterOglethorpe Feb 2017 #47
putitinD Feb 2017 #48
PoindexterOglethorpe Feb 2017 #54
putitinD Feb 2017 #55
PoindexterOglethorpe Feb 2017 #57
putitinD Feb 2017 #59
PoindexterOglethorpe Feb 2017 #60
haele Feb 2017 #4
gopiscrap Feb 2017 #35
Yupster Feb 2017 #5
unblock Feb 2017 #8
eniwetok Feb 2017 #15
Ace Rothstein Feb 2017 #19
bigbrother05 Feb 2017 #37
unblock Feb 2017 #6
gratuitous Feb 2017 #10
BeckyDem Feb 2017 #7
Initech Feb 2017 #11
eniwetok Feb 2017 #16
Retrograde Feb 2017 #40
Initech Feb 2017 #44
jodymarie aimee Feb 2017 #12
yallerdawg Feb 2017 #13
eniwetok Feb 2017 #22
GliderGuider Feb 2017 #17
Phoenix61 Feb 2017 #25
GliderGuider Feb 2017 #26
Phoenix61 Feb 2017 #30
GliderGuider Feb 2017 #43
eniwetok Feb 2017 #32
Kimchijeon Feb 2017 #18
Yo_Mama Feb 2017 #24
Phoenix61 Feb 2017 #28
eniwetok Feb 2017 #36
Phoenix61 Feb 2017 #38
eniwetok Feb 2017 #52
JTFrog Feb 2017 #31
gopiscrap Feb 2017 #33
ymetca Feb 2017 #41
eniwetok Feb 2017 #49
moondust Feb 2017 #42
truebluegreen Feb 2017 #46
Calculating Feb 2017 #53
Proud Liberal Dem Feb 2017 #58
eniwetok Feb 2017 #61

Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 01:10 PM

1. From a quick survey around the office...

They don't want to be on the voter rolls because they do not want to be called for Jury Duty.
I kid you not.

I makes no difference any-a-ways... they're all the same.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Zoonart (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 01:29 PM

14. Yep my mother is like that

But it's probably a good thing because she likes Trump.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Zoonart (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 01:46 PM

21. Yep.

This is also a stupid way to form a jury pool. One keeps getting the same people over and over.

I generally do not mind jury duty. It's kind of interesting, and you get a few bucks from it, and sometimes even lunch.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Zoonart (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 03:44 PM

23. I know someone like this too. I didn't realize there were so many. nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Zoonart (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 03:53 PM

27. That's why our county now uses the DVM as well.

If you drive, you can be called for duty.

on edit: our county, not country.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Zoonart (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 04:18 PM

39. PA picks registered drivers now

Pretty sure years ago it was registered voters - why my late MIL refused to vote. Didn't keep her from complaining about politicians endlessly.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Zoonart (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 07:17 PM

56. Yes, the jury system definitely needs to look elsewhere for bodies

In Mass, it was by driver's license. Unfortunately, in NM, it's voter registration, so a lot of people just don't register. It's a nuisance to go to the courthouse to register, anyway, so having jury duty hang over their heads is the disincentive most need to abstain. People can't afford to be off work for token jury duty pay.

If they want people to vote, then registration should be online, automatically at the MVD, or by mail. Voting needs to be by mail, something that will also give a paper trail to check if results are hinky (Ohio, I'm looking at you). Trying to register illegally via ID theft will result in a visit from some very rude cops who will hit the perp with a felony ID theft charge and probably more. You want people to vote, do these things and untie jury duty from voter rolls.

None of this will be done, of course, because low turnout protects the plutocracy from too much democracy.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 01:11 PM

2. We're too rich and too content.

 

[hr][font color="blue"][center]I'm always right. When I'm wrong I admit it.
So then I'm right about being wrong.
[/center][/font][hr]

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to randome (Reply #2)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 01:45 PM

20. FYI, lower-income Americans are considerably less likely to vote than higher-income Americans.

 

And that gap obviously has favorable implications for Republican/right-wing policies benefiting the richest Americans.

Nonvoters are more liberal than voters

A 2012 Pew survey found that likely voters were split 47 percent to 47 percent between Obama and Romney while non-voters preferred Obama 59 percent to 24 percent, a 35 point margin. A 2006 Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) study found that non-voters were more likely to support higher taxes and more government-funded services. They were also more likely to oppose Proposition 13 (a constitutional amendment which limits property taxes), dislike then -Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and support affordable housing.




It so happens that the gap between voters and non-voters breaks down strongly along class lines. In the 2012 election, 80.2 percent of those making more than $150,000 voted, while only 46.9 percent of those making less than $10,000 voted. This “class bias,” is so strong that in the three elections (2008, 2010 and 2012) I examined, there was only one instance of a poorer income bracket turning out at a higher rate than the bracket above them. (In the 2012 election, those making less than $10,000 were slightly more likely to vote than those making between $10,000 and $14,999.) On average, each bracket turned out to vote at a rate 3.7 percentage points higher than the bracket below it.

This class bias is a persistent feature of American voting: A study of 40 years of state-level data finds no instance in which there was not a class bias in the electorate favoring the rich—in other words, no instance in which poorer people in general turned out in higher rates than the rich. That being said, class bias has increased since 1988, just as wide gaps have opened up between the opinions of non-voters and those of voters.

Recent research tells us that this voting disparity—in class and in opinion—has tremendous impact on policy. State-level research suggests that higher voter turnout among the poor leads to higher welfare spending. A 2013 study found that turnout inequality directly predicts minimum wages, children’s health insurance spending and anti-predatory lending policies. And studies at the state level have found that a higher class bias in the electorate actually leads to higher levels of income inequality.


http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/01/income-gap-at-the-polls-113997

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to YoungDemCA (Reply #20)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 04:29 PM

45. They might have the hardest time voting on a Tuesday.

It might be difficult to take time off to go vote.

I think election day should be a holiday. As a state employee, it is for me (though I had to work that day anyway because I was in the field), but most people don't have that luxury.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to alarimer (Reply #45)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 06:49 PM

51. +1,... and the KGOP knows this

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to randome (Reply #2)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 06:49 PM

50. +1, this is the science in human behavior !!! Its been relatively peaceful for the last 30-40 yrs

... there hasn't been a Germany to fight

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 01:12 PM

3. This country has always made it hard to vote.

From needing to live some minimum time in your state or city -- sometimes as long as a year -- to making the voting location hard to find. The very requirement to find the correct voting place is ludicrous, especially in our modern era of computers.

No early voting in too many places, resulting in abysmally long lines for too many people to stand in.

Then there's the often accurate perception that your vote doesn't count, which is absolutely true at the Presidential level. Gerrymandering House districts and the districts for the state house and senate likewise doesn't help. People vote but nothing changes because so many politicians are only beholden to their donors.


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #3)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 01:17 PM

9. sure... not here in MA... but we do have a long history of voter suppression... but

We can't escape the fact that in the US we could have

100% public financing of elections
100% voter participation
100% vote count accuracy
100% non-gerrymandered districts

and

A candidate REJECTED by the People can still become president
18% of the US population will still get 52% of the seats in the Senate where they have a veto over the House
States with 4% of the population can block any reform amendment
up to 49.9% of votes count for nothing in winner take all elections
voters can't vote their conscience and get representation for what they believe.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to eniwetok (Reply #9)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 04:05 PM

34. agreed

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #3)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 03:56 PM

29. Election day should be a paid holiday, with proof that you did actually vote!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to putitinD (Reply #29)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 05:49 PM

47. No. Not a paid holiday.

Think of the retail opportunities and that every single person who works retail, and probably in restaurants and various entertainment venues, will not be getting that day off.

Better have uniform and plentiful early voting in every single state.

Make it easier in other ways. Make registration automatic. Have computers at every voting location so that you can simply show up at whatever one is convenient, give them your name and DOB and address, and they print out your ballot. That's actually how early voting works for me here in New Mexico, and it's fabulous.

A paid holiday isn't going to happen, except perhaps for Federal employees, and maybe some state and municipal ones. Private businesses won't go for it. And if schools are closed on election day, millions of working parents will have to scramble for child-care, which adds another layer of hassle.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #47)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 06:17 PM

48. Here in Michigan, schools are all closed on election day, because they are all polling places.

That is why I was thinking it would be better if it were a National Holiday, because the school kids are off. But I guess that isn't so everywhere.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to putitinD (Reply #48)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 06:57 PM

54. I have often voted in schools that stay open for the election.

In more than one state.

Too bad your schools don't stay open. Kids ought to see democracy in action.

A couple of weeks ago there was a school bond issue in my current city. I voted at a school, and the very best part was that students were working the computers where they checked us in and gave us that ballots. I thought that was beyond cool. Adults were also there, but in the short time I was there they simply pointed me in the correct direction and then made sure I put my ballot in the scanner and gave me the "I voted" sticker.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #54)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 07:05 PM

55. They don't like the adults that just walk in the door around the students, no way of screening

them, too many pedophiles! My local school district has 274 sex offenders within a 2 square mile area.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to putitinD (Reply #55)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 07:20 PM

57. There are registered pedophiles everywhere.

Depending on the layout of a given school, the voters often don't need to go near the kids at all.

Often the voting is done in the gymnasium, which should have doors directly to outside, and you go in those to vote. With plenty of signs pointing the way.

And somehow, I don't think pedophiles slipping into a school on election day is really a big problem. About the same level of threat as men dressing as women to molest females in public bathrooms. Someone bringing a gun to school and opening fire, now that's a genuine threat.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #57)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 07:44 PM

59. the school where I vote has one main entrance, then a very open floor plan, and the gym is

situated quite a distance from the main entrance near the cafeteria, not a good layout for any kind of separation.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to putitinD (Reply #59)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 08:10 PM

60. That's unfortunate.

But it really wouldn't take too much to set up a pathway to whereever the voting would be. Maybe free up a classroom near the front of the school.

I do understand that it might not really be possible in your particular school, but I still think it's a shame to close schools on election day. I think the kids seeing voters coming in, even if only from a bit of a distance, is good.

And I still think fear of pedophiles is ludicrous. If they're going to target school kids, they're not going to do it by walking into the school, least of all on election day. They'll go after kids in the neighborhood, going to and from school, not within the school building itself.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 01:13 PM

4. The system discourages voting. Americans have been taught to value working/money above citizenship.

Other countries with robust electorate turn-out have a "voting holiday" - either voting is done over the weekend, or there's a specific day set aside to vote where work stops.
Most actively democratic countries also have a civic requirement to vote similar to our supposed civic requirement for jury duty, and make arrangements for those who can't set aside time from their schedule to cast a ballot.
It really depends on how important "citizenship" is in the society. Which is a very sad reflection on the current United States...

Haele

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to haele (Reply #4)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 04:05 PM

35. yup

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 01:13 PM

5. As a former election judge, I don't think it's as low as announced

When I looked at the rolls at the end of the day, I could see all the people who didn't vote. A lot of them I knew no longer lived in the district. That was especially true of apartments. People move around and don't tell the election people they're moving so their name stays on the rolls. It may also be on the roll of their new place but they only vote in one of them.

It makes the percentage of voters look lower than it is.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Yupster (Reply #5)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 01:16 PM

8. fair point!

though there's still certainly a major drop-off looking at mid-term/off-year election. many people feel these don't matter.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Yupster (Reply #5)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 01:30 PM

15. an election judge?

You mean someone at a precinct level?

I'm using national numbers from http://www.idea.int/data-tools/data/voter-turnout

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Yupster (Reply #5)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 01:43 PM

19. But there are a ton of non-registered people who don't vote.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Yupster (Reply #5)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 04:14 PM

37. You were looking at the rolls of registered voters

People that bothered to register are more likely to vote, so you saw most of them coming out.

The %'s quoted were Voting Age Population regardless of registration. A lot of folks don't register and the GOP is doing it's best to make it harder to get or maintain their registration as well as just harder to get to the polls generally.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 01:13 PM

6. so many reason....

disenfranchisement laws
voter roll purges
voting made difficult (fewer voting places) instead of voting made easy (mail-in)
skepticism about whether votes are counted properly if at all
electoral college vs. popular vote means many voters are in states where the winner is a foregone conclusion even when the national race is very close
gerrymandering means many house races are foregone conclusions
the incumbent advantages in congress make serious challenges difficult, many races are foregone conclusions if not unopposed
heavy, heavy media emphasis about presidential politics means that mid-term and off-year elections are treated as unimportant
heavy emphasis on character/horse race means local elections, propositions, and issues are treated as unimportant
...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to unblock (Reply #6)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 01:23 PM

10. There are many reasons

Since the Shelby County decision by the Supreme Court, I think the biggest impediment to citizens voting has been a concerted effort by Republicans to make it as difficult as possible for some citizens to vote. As one court mentioned, reviewing Republican fuckery, their work in disenfranchising citizens proceeded with an almost "surgical precision."

If hostile citizens do manage to get on the voter rolls, Republicans leave it to their 501(c)(4) "educational" non-profit organizations to scare hell out them with ads and billboards reciting the maximum fines and jail terms for voter fraud. People who can barely make ends meet get frightened by the prospect of a $5,000 fine or a year in jail (Am I 100% sure I'm eligible to vote?), and don't show up.

Low voter participation doesn't happen by accident, and the citizens who are discouraged from registering to vote or cast a ballot are targeted quite specifically.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 01:15 PM

7. I'm sure there are more extensive academic reviews of the issue and you're right to talk

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 01:23 PM

11. Electoral college has convinced people their vote doesn't count.

It's an old, archaic system and if we want to restore dignity in voting, in 2018 that should be one of the first things discussed is its' removal.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Initech (Reply #11)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 01:32 PM

16. EC is part of a larger system of voting weighting...

In our federal system the "weight" of one's vote is determined by one's state residence in all the areas where there is state suffrage. Obviously states don't really vote... the PEOPLE in them do. So state suffrage means any voter in WY has a 3.5x bigger presidential vote than any voter in CA... and a 70x bigger Senate vote.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Initech (Reply #11)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 04:22 PM

40. Presidential elections haven't been the big deal here for some time

I'm in California: it's generally given that we'll vote for the Democratic candidate for president. Candidates rarely bother to campaign here. But we have higher than average voter turnout because IMO the state and local races are often hotly contested. I think a lot of this is because there's a good chance the voters have actually met the person they're voting for (or against): to judge by yard signs the big contest was for state assembly.

My county - the heart of Silicon Valley, diverse and affluent - had an 83% turnout last November (that's of registered voters), over half of them mail-in votes. We make it easy to vote, and provide some nice websites at both the county and state level that appeal to the geeky side of the population.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Retrograde (Reply #40)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 04:26 PM

44. Yeah I'm in Orange County.

We had some extremely hot races for the state house and Senate that were decided by a very small handful of voters. I'm very happy that the liberal candidates won, and both had Obama's endorsement. But it's scary how close they came.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 01:25 PM

12. We just had State School Superintendent election Tuesday

 

8% turn out. State of Wisconsin.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 01:25 PM

13. If you don't care who wins, why vote?

If it's winner-take-all, and you know your vote won't make any difference, why vote?

If you didn't pay attention in school, and checked out of any civics' responsibility as an adult, and you don't even understand what the daily news is talking about, why vote?

Considering how appallingly stupid people are, are we not better off that they don't vote?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to yallerdawg (Reply #13)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 01:48 PM

22. I'm reminded of class consciousness

Maybe as a remnant of the Cold War America even organized labor worked to get rid of the Marxist idea of class consciousness... and yet without it... people tend to see themselves in non-economic terms... gun owners, gay, Christian, anti-abortion, white, black, hispanic, whatever.

Yet if class consciousness is promoted as a frame to interpret the world... even many right wingers would see through the Trickle Down nonsense of the right. They'd see through some of the divide and conquer tactics of the right.

I think the Dems have been dragged too far into the realm of identity politics by some of the groups in the Dem coalition... and I believe economics is a better issue to unite the masses.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 01:39 PM

17. IMO it's for a combination of two reasons

 

a) not feeling represented - none of the candidates views represent mine.
b) feeling disempowered - no matter who I vote for, the pols will do what they want anyway. The house always wins, and I always lose, so why play?

The reason Trump did as well as he did was that his supporters felt that their views were well represented, and they felt empowered. So they voted.

If I lived in the USA I would have felt unrepresented by all the presidential candidates. I don't vote against things - I vote for them. If there is no view on display that I agree with, I won't vote.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to GliderGuider (Reply #17)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 03:49 PM

25. Not casting a vote is casting a vote for

whoever wins. If you don't care who wins then it doesn't matter.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Phoenix61 (Reply #25)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 03:52 PM

26. Of course it is.

 

There is a price for every decision. Luckily, in Canada I've never seen a political party I couldn't live with.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to GliderGuider (Reply #26)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 03:57 PM

30. Lucky you

No sarcasm intended. Just pure old jealousy.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Phoenix61 (Reply #30)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 04:26 PM

43. I agree.

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to GliderGuider (Reply #17)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 03:58 PM

32. if Trump votes are your standard...

"The reason Trump did as well as he did was that his supporters felt that their views were well represented, and they felt empowered. So they voted."

Trump did miserably by any democratic standard. Trump only won because we have a mindless, antidemocratic, winner take all vote rigging system called the EC that turned his REJECTION into a win.

We should NEVER use Trump's "win" as proof of anything OTHER than our system is nuts. We need to reframe the 2016 election http://www.democraticunderground.com/10028681654

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 01:40 PM

18. many people just don't care

they really just don't know any better, or give a shit.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 03:46 PM

24. Great question, I have no answers, curious as to what others think.

Thanks for this post.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 03:56 PM

28. People have bought the myth that their vote

doesn't matter. They hear it so many times that they start to believe it. It is the single most effective form of voter suppression. It tells people there is no point in paying attention to politics because there is nothing they can do about what happens anyway. Once you have lost the battle in your mind passing laws to disenfranchise voters is easy, they already disenfranchised themselves.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Phoenix61 (Reply #28)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 04:06 PM

36. your post glosses over the obvious defect in US system...

If votes didn't matter the GOP would not spend so much time trying to suppress the Dem vote.

But our antidemocratic system has more variables. In our system even election winners can lose elections... as Trump did. In our system it's not what the People vote for... it's what some people vote for in particular states. So 80k voters in 3 states can weigh more than 3 million in the other 47 states.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to eniwetok (Reply #36)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 04:17 PM

38. I don't think it glosses over anything

If anything it shows how important it is for everyone, everywhere to vote. Complaining about the system feeds into the myth and keeps people from going to the polls. Would it be great to change the electoral college? Sure, but that isn't going to happen. The only way Dems are going to get back on at least a level field with the Repubs is to get people to buy into the idea that their vote does, indeed matter.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Phoenix61 (Reply #38)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 06:54 PM

52. thanks for a perfect example of defeatism...

" Complaining about the system feeds into the myth and keeps people from going to the polls."

But if our system IS antidemocratic... then it NEEDS to be openly critiqued... AND DEMS SHOULD BE LEADING THE CHARGE... first because they are clearly the victims of this antidemocratic system and second, BECAUSE DEMS SHOULD BE STANDING UP FOR MORALLY LEGITIMATE GOVERNMENT. If we listen to you nothing will change and demographics will continue to make the system more and more antidemocratic... AND more reformproof. Where once the population differential between the largest and smallest state was about 16:1... it's now about 70:1... and what the hell do you think happens when reform is held hostage to STATES instead of the general population?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 03:57 PM

31. Because when elections are free and easily accessible, Democrats win.

 

And Republicans do everything in their power to fuck the system up, rig it and make it very difficult for some people to vote exactly for that reason. It's not hard to discourage folks from voting.

Everyone should be registered at birth and voting day should be a holiday.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 04:03 PM

33. ignorance, laziness

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 04:22 PM

41. I think one of the bigger factors is

that our system is representative, rather than direct. A popular public referendum will drive people to the polls. Then our representatives, after having done everything possible to prevent the referendum in the first place, pass legislation to chop the referendum off at the knees.

We've all bought the bill of goods that things will improve if we just elect better representatives. That's just hogwash.

We need a Direct Democracy where everybody votes on everything. And it must be global. A Global Direct Democracy.

If such an idea frightens you then maybe you are part of the problem.

Ohhh snap! Did he just say that? Oh yes he did!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ymetca (Reply #41)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 06:46 PM

49. why do other nations have rates into the 70-80%?

"I think one of the bigger factors is that our system is representative, rather than direct."

Our electoral/political system has many disincentives to voting. Winner take all elections toss out up to 49.9% of the vote... more with the so-called spoiler effect. We can have imposed on the nation presidents who were REJECTED by the People. In the Senate states with a minority of the US population can veto the House AND the Senate has special powers over nominations.

A representative government CAN have decent turn out if it eliminates the defects our system has.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 04:24 PM

42. Gerrymandering is one factor.

As mentioned in the very good video in this thread, http://www.democraticunderground.com/10028697994 , many districts are now so uncompetitive due to gerrymandering that people in those districts know their votes are not going to change anything. So they may not bother going to the polls especially if it could be a time-consuming hassle standing in line, etc.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 05:29 PM

46. Imo many do not think it does any good.

 

We vote for stuff....and we don't get it. Neither party--as a general rule--makes big changes that benefit everyone: Democrats because they seem to be weak even in the majority, and Republicans because they are malevolent.

This election just might change that in the future.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 06:57 PM

53. The EC discourages people

Partially due to the unequal weight of votes, and it also discourages people from voting if they're a minority party in their state. Until this disgusting, rotten at the core, slavery compromise of a system is removed, we will always have low turnout.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 07:35 PM

58. Obviously can't speak for everybody

but, based on my experience, a lot of people just think that government sucks and politics is a disgusting, dirty, boring "hobby" that they'd just as soon not deal with, especially with so many other entertaining things to do- or just so busy trudging through another day of life until they die that they don't pay enough attention to what's going on in the world outside of their enclave. The irony is that, while many people I know complain about how much their life sucks in terms of their lack of healthcare, low wages, high cost of living, etc., they don't seem to make the connection between being politically active (unless maybe voting for President every 4 years) and the quality of their lives (or lack thereof). I always try to encourage people to get involved politically and get out to vote every election even if I don't agree with them politically but it seems hard to motivate people much, especially when they're being bombarded with media coverage that seems to dis-incentivize people's engagement in politics and negatively broad brushes politicians as all being roughly the same amount of corrupt and out to make everybody's lives worse (except theirs). For instance, there were too many people I knew personally whom were equally turned off by both Clinton and Trump this past election and considered them to be about equally negative despite obvious differences. Some of them held their nose and voted for Hillary and some just didn't vote for either.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Proud Liberal Dem (Reply #58)

Fri Feb 24, 2017, 11:32 PM

61. I was a nose holder...

" For instance, there were too many people I knew personally whom were equally turned off by both Clinton and Trump this past election and considered them to be about equally negative despite obvious differences. Some of them held their nose and voted for Hillary and some just didn't vote for either."

As a Bernie Guy, HRC just didn't cut it... and I never believed her rejection of neo-lib economics was sincere. Since I live in MA... a safe blue state, I could vote for a Green without hurting a Dem. But I voted HRC... and given the utter psycho in Trump, I GLADLY held my nose.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread