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Author Topic: Why would someone NOT vote?
romanylass
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I am curious. I have not missed an election since I turned 18 and I wonder why someone would choose not to exercise this right.
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MaydayDesiax
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I missed an election because I never got around to signing up to vote (just a local gov one, which kinda doesn't matter since I'm living in Baton Rouge as a student so I don't think I can vote here).

I plan on registering and voting by November, though.

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Slash the Berzerker
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Because both choices make you want to vomit.

Also, for some people there are religious reasons.

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Synesthesia
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That's what I'm saying! People worked long and hard so that people like me can vote.
You're damn right I'm going to get out there and vote... And vote in a informed way.
Sadly I have not voted since I was in Canton, but in 2005... It's on... My vote will COUNT!
No longer are just white males who own property allowed to vote! Take advantage of it!

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mr_porteiro_head
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Maybe because, like me, you have always lived in states where there wasn't much suspense as to who would win. (OK '92, OK '96, UT '00).

But just because that might be a reason, it's still no excuse. [Smile]

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Anna
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I so agree with Syn. I mean, here in France women have the right to vote since, what, 60 years ? Nothing in the history ! So we have to exerce this right. In Belgium, it's a duty.
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Synesthesia
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What is the electrial college and do we really need it?
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Xaposert
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I suspect people don't vote because the impact it makes on the actual result is so low that they feel it isn't worth the small time it takes do vote.
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Slash the Berzerker
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OR, because both choices make them want to vomit.

You guys keep missing the vomit factor, but I think it is a valid consideration.

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romanylass
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Slash, I think voting for, or even writing in, a third party candidate is better than not voting at all.
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Xaposert
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Well, I would think you could always write someone in, or vote some third party candidate who won't win - which just gets back to the whole "impact of vote too small" thing.
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zgator
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quote:
Sadly I have not voted since I was in Canton, but in 2005... It's on...
If you wait til 2005, you're going to miss it again.
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mr_porteiro_head
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Other people may not vote because they don't believe that it really matters which candidate is president. That's the reason that I refused to vote for school elections.
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jeniwren
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Some reasons I can think of:
General apathy
Not feeling that your vote matters
A life so busy that voting isn't a priority
Not feeling well enough educated to make an informed decision

Voting by mail has really helped me keep up my voting responsibilities.

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Papa Moose
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As a white male property-owner, I feel I should pass on voting for a while to help even the score. National elections are usually decided before the polls in my state close anyway.
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Book
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I live in Texas. The day that Texas doesn't go republican will be a cold, cold day in hell. So what's the point? Sounds like a lot of work, too. [Razz]
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Kayla
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Some people don't vote because they don't want a jury summons. Especially if they live in a state where their vote wouldn't matter anyway. If 70% of the state is going to vote for either boob, what does it even matter what your vote might be? I would think that if one lived in a state where the race was too close to call and one actually preferred one candidate to the other, one might overcome the fear of jury duty to register.

I'm just guessing, though.

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pooka
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quote:
Maybe because, like me, you have always lived in states where there wasn't much suspense as to who would win. (OK '92, OK '96, UT '00).

So you all like it when the Electoral College winner doesn't get a majority of the popular vote.

The Electoral College was part of the compromise by which small states like Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Delaware will willing the join a Union with really big states like Virginia, and the Carolinas. We gripe about it now, but I doubt Lincoln would have been elected without it.

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romanylass
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In WA state this would not work. they take the jury pool from registered drivers and Indenticard holders. When they get everyone to the courthouse they make a point of letting the potential jurors know they CAN be called to duty even if they aren't a registered voter (But while you're here folks, you can register downstairs). I approve. If nothing else, it might improve the voter turnout.
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Hobbes
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Honestly, I wish the voter turn-out decreased dramatically. I wish everyone who voted un-informed didn't vote at all, because it really ticks me off when people vote on reasons like "My Daddy was a Republican/Democrat and I sure as all get out ain't gonna turn down advice my Daddy gives me!"

[Mad]

*Wishes he had a higher horse*

Hobbes [Smile]

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fugu13
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The electoral college is also extremely important to reduce controversy in relatively close elections. In the recent election, for instance, imagine Florida, but EVERYWHERE as both candidates scrambled for votes.

In that way it reduces fraud as well; there's just less incentive to defraud in most states, as they aren't close.

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Kayla
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Identicards?
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mr_porteiro_head
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I have no fear of ever serving jury duty. I was talking to a trial lawyer once, and when he found out I was studying to get a master's in mechanical engineering, he said that I would never server jury duty. He said that as an engineer, I have been taught how to logically thing through things, and that no trial lawyer would want to have to deal with that.

Thinking of the ramifications of what he said scares me to death. It gives me anti-faith in the legal system. [Mad]

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Beren One Hand
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Too true.

<overheard at a mock jury meeting>

Man: I know that insurance adjustor was up to no good, I saw this once on TV and you see, what they do is....

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jeniwren
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romanylass, I didn't know you were a fellow Washingtonian! [Smile]
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CaySedai
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I actually got a summons to jury duty in the mail yesterday (for June) - my first ever. My husband's response: "see, that's why I don't vote." I told him they get the names from drivers licenses and other sources. Didn't faze him. He doesn't vote because he's an irresponsible jerk. (there's a lot going on here ... )

I'm already in a quandry over this coming election and seriously considering my write-in vote because I can't imagine voting for Bush or Kerry (there's the vomit factor mentioned by Slash).

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Synesthesia
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I got my first Jury duty in June too...
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romanylass
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kayla- Identicards are photo ID for people who don't drive.

jeniwren- where in WA? I am in Federal Way!

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John L
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Are people only talking about presidential elections? If so, that's too bad, because there are so many other elections that need more people paying attention to them that aren't just some special interest group who believes they alone are the constituency. Some years have two sets of voting in many states.

This has been baffling me lately: how is the US a democratic republic when voting turnout is typically way less than 50(or 40)%, and the only people being actively represented are those who vote and put the pressure on the candidates? I hear the whole "government is for the rich and big business and <insert bogeyman here>" line a lot, and the funniest part is that it's usually from people who don't vote, thus fulfilling their own prophesy.

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fugu13
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*nods*

Quite true. Local elections such as those for schoolboard are regularly quite close (not to mention quite intense), and are regularly decided by handfuls of votes. A new block of fifty, or even twenty or thirty, people informing themselves about the election (and making certain to talk to others about it) can easily influence the outcome of an election (*whistles innocently*).

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ReikoDemosthenes
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while I disagree with it, I can see why someone from this province (British Columbia) would choose not to vote in the fedral election...due to the system our vote does not count...however I still choose to vote because I feel that if you did not attempt to direct your government you have no right to be upset with them and their decisions...
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Ralphie
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...and for some people there are religious reasons.
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digging_holes
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I think Slash's vomit factor is an important one. I have not voted once since I turned 18. Each time, I had the intention of voting, and then I looked at the candidates, and said "Why bother? Doesn't matter who wins, I'm not going to be happy with any of them."
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luthe
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quote:
So you all like it when the Electoral College winner doesn't get a majority of the popular vote.
No we just understand that they popular vote is completly irelevent.

People don't vote because many of the election are rather pointless, particularlly the primaries. Pennsyvainia's primary is not till the 27 of April. Which make it rather pointless for the presidential race. The sole point of this primary is to vote against Arlen Specter.

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Raia
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I can't vote... I'm not an American citizen.

But next year, if Sharon falls, I'll be able to vote while I'm in Israel!

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lcarus
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I generally vote, but I don't think exercising your right not to is the big travesty people like to say it is. The important thing is that you have a say. Doesn't mean you have to use it, especially ignorantly. I don't see much wrong with abstaining (courteously, of course! [Wink] )

If a bunch of us are choosing what restaurant to go out to, I would not like to be left out of the decision-making process, to have no say. However, if my opinion is valued, but I just don't have one, then there is nothing wrong with me choosing to let other people decide.

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Danzig
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I think that people should be able to sell their votes. I (and lots of others) plan to vote for the person most likely to increase my disposable income, so morally there is no difference. Practically it would mean corporations would start bribing the common man as well as the senator. Besides, if your vote means so little to you that you will part with it for a price, obviously there are no burning issues for that particular election anyway.
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Kayla
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Well, as if to prove a point, I got a jury duty summons today. This of course, brought on a panic attack about the whole thing, but my shrink is writing a letter to explain to them why I can't do jury duty.

The thing I can't figure out is how they got my name. It couldn't be from the driver's license because I haven't lived at the address they sent it to for over a year, and the driver's license was updated after I moved. It can't be from Social Security because they have to know my correct address. So, where did they get the information? Gotta love incompetent government.

However, I still don't see the point in voting in this state. It's not like Kansas is ever a battleground for anything, except rationality, of course. Remember, we're the ones who decided not to include evolution on State tests. And, in a perverse way, that probably explains where they got the old address from. Backward rednecks.

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Book
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Recent turnout for presidential elections hasn't dropped below 50%. It's gone down since the 60's but it's still the majority of the people. Of course, in comparison to Europe, it's ridiculous.

My prof pointed out that Australia had a 98% rate, but that's because in Australia, if you don't vote, you get arrested.

I also think that it's good that voter turnout is so small for Representatives and Senators because only the people who are informed or really care are voting, and they're the ones who should participate.

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Lupus
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my sister does not vote because she says she is uninformed...and that uninformed people should not vote. Of course she could try to get informed...but she is rather gullible (and recognizes this) and believes everything she hears...and that can be dangerous in American politics when neither the politicians nor the media really care about the truth.
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Farmgirl
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((I love my state!)) even if Kayla doesn't!
[Taunt]

Farmgirl

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