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> Do you intend to vote?, The Mid-term Elections are coming
Do you intend to vote?
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Curmudgeon
post Oct 10 2010, 07:34 PM
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In High School Civics, we used to hear of graveyard voters, "Vote early and Often," and other practices of the past. I once heard it reported that the City of Chicago was incorporated as a city with more votes cast to do that; than the Census Bureau found people living in the Chicago area in the Census taken before and the Census taken after the election.

Looking at a random statistical analysis of voter turnout, it would appear that a 37% turnout for the mid-term elections would be about the best we should expect. That means that 19% of registered voters could theoretically constitute a "majority" at the polls on Election Day. With less than a 40% turnout, we essentially have a "1 voter = 2-1/2 votes" ratio instead of "1 man, 1 vote."

The Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision means that more money than ever is going in to advertising, PACS, "influencing the voters," etc. The media reports routinely how much it costs to win an election in today's world...and sends the politicians their bills for the advertising.

The TEA Party wants to "take our government back," but will they show up at the polls?

It's an old argument, "One vote doesn't count." vs. "We have the best government money can buy."

Choose a topic for Discussion:
Why I feel it is important that I vote.
Why I don't feel it is important that I vote.

This post has been edited by Curmudgeon: Oct 10 2010, 07:35 PM
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akaCG
post Oct 10 2010, 09:10 PM
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Why I feel it is important that I vote.

1. I consider it my civic duty.
2. It offsets somebody else's vote for an opposing candidate.
3. It provides some kind of extra "right" to comment, criticize, etc. that is not available to someone who didn't manage or refused to get up from the Laz-ee-Boy chair to vote.

ps:
Regarding campaign spending, a bit of perspective:

In 1986, about $4.5 million was spent on the Presidential campaign. In today's dollars, that's about $100 million. About 14 million people voted. That comes out to about $7.15 per voter.

In 2008, about $1 billion was spent on the Presidential campaign, and about 130 million people voted. That comes out to about $7.69 per voter.

Something to keep in mind when reading headlines/articles that hyperventilate about "unprecedented", "exploding", "out of control", etc. amounts of money spent on campaigns.
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scubatim
post Oct 10 2010, 11:50 PM
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QUOTE(akaCG @ Oct 10 2010, 04:10 PM) *
Why I feel it is important that I vote.

1. I consider it my civic duty.
2. It offsets somebody else's vote for an opposing candidate.
3. It provides some kind of extra "right" to comment, criticize, etc. that is not available to someone who didn't manage or refused to get up from the Laz-ee-Boy chair to vote.

ps:
Regarding campaign spending, a bit of perspective:

In 1986, about $4.5 million was spent on the Presidential campaign. In today's dollars, that's about $100 million. About 14 million people voted. That comes out to about $7.15 per voter.

In 2008, about $1 billion was spent on the Presidential campaign, and about 130 million people voted. That comes out to about $7.69 per voter.

Something to keep in mind when reading headlines/articles that hyperventilate about "unprecedented", "exploding", "out of control", etc. amounts of money spent on campaigns.

Are you comparing mid-term election campaign money to presidential campaign money? The little research I did came up with much bigger money. At first, I couldn't figure out why I couldn't find dollars for the 1986 presidential campaign. Then it dawned on me--because there wasn't one! According to this chart, in 2008, there was 132 million+ that voted, in 1986 there was 64 million+. That is an unfair comparison since they were completely different voting seasons. You will notice in that chart that mid-term elections never top 81 million. The presidential seasons have been over 90 million since 1984. There really isn't any comparison between the two. Secondly, your spending is a little off. I didn't find presidential spending in 1986....for some reason. I can show according to Open Secrets, in the 1984 presidential campaign $103 million was spent, in 2008 $1.3 billion was spent. If you want to boil that down to $$ per vote it comes out to about $1.12 per voter compared to $9.99. Let's compare 2008 and 2000. I picked these two cycles because there wasn't an incumbent in either race. Voter turn out: 2000 105,586,274, 2008 132,618,580. Spending: 2000 $343 million, 2008 $1.3 billion. $$ per vote: 2000 $3.25 2008: $9.99. Spending per voter has tripled in eight years. I think 300% is exploding. Maybe you define it differently.

If you have different figures, please provide links.

As for why I think it is so important to vote, look at how many people don't. In the mid term, according to the voter turn out link I provided, 37% of voting age is pretty accurate. Not only is it my civic duty, but I am one of only about a third of the voting age in this country that cares enough to do something about what I like and don't like. I use my vote to voice my opinion as to who the best candidate would be, not for the lesser of the two evils. I think if American voters did their own research and were properly educated, there wouldn't be 'two evils'. I think there would be more viable candidates.
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akaCG
post Oct 11 2010, 12:17 AM
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QUOTE(scubatim @ Oct 10 2010, 07:50 PM) *
QUOTE(akaCG @ Oct 10 2010, 04:10 PM) *
Why I feel it is important that I vote.

1. I consider it my civic duty.
2. It offsets somebody else's vote for an opposing candidate.
3. It provides some kind of extra "right" to comment, criticize, etc. that is not available to someone who didn't manage or refused to get up from the Laz-ee-Boy chair to vote.

ps:
Regarding campaign spending, a bit of perspective:

In 1986, about $4.5 million was spent on the Presidential campaign. In today's dollars, that's about $100 million. About 14 million people voted. That comes out to about $7.15 per voter.

In 2008, about $1 billion was spent on the Presidential campaign, and about 130 million people voted. That comes out to about $7.69 per voter.

Something to keep in mind when reading headlines/articles that hyperventilate about "unprecedented", "exploding", "out of control", etc. amounts of money spent on campaigns.

Are you comparing mid-term election campaign money to presidential campaign money? The little research I did came up with much bigger money. At first, I couldn't figure out why I couldn't find dollars for the 1986 presidential campaign. Then it dawned on me--because there wasn't one! ...
...

Oops. Sorry. That was a typo. I wrote 1986 instead of 1896.

$4.5 million in 1896 dollars, after adjusting for inflation, becomes about $100 million in 2009 dollars. And there were only 14 million who voted back then, as opposed to 130 million in 2008.

Again, sorry for the confusion.

EDITED to add link:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States..._election,_1896

This post has been edited by akaCG: Oct 11 2010, 12:22 AM
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scubatim
post Oct 11 2010, 02:30 AM
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QUOTE(akaCG @ Oct 10 2010, 07:17 PM) *
QUOTE(scubatim @ Oct 10 2010, 07:50 PM) *
QUOTE(akaCG @ Oct 10 2010, 04:10 PM) *
Why I feel it is important that I vote.

1. I consider it my civic duty.
2. It offsets somebody else's vote for an opposing candidate.
3. It provides some kind of extra "right" to comment, criticize, etc. that is not available to someone who didn't manage or refused to get up from the Laz-ee-Boy chair to vote.

ps:
Regarding campaign spending, a bit of perspective:

In 1986, about $4.5 million was spent on the Presidential campaign. In today's dollars, that's about $100 million. About 14 million people voted. That comes out to about $7.15 per voter.

In 2008, about $1 billion was spent on the Presidential campaign, and about 130 million people voted. That comes out to about $7.69 per voter.

Something to keep in mind when reading headlines/articles that hyperventilate about "unprecedented", "exploding", "out of control", etc. amounts of money spent on campaigns.

Are you comparing mid-term election campaign money to presidential campaign money? The little research I did came up with much bigger money. At first, I couldn't figure out why I couldn't find dollars for the 1986 presidential campaign. Then it dawned on me--because there wasn't one! ...
...

Oops. Sorry. That was a typo. I wrote 1986 instead of 1896.

$4.5 million in 1896 dollars, after adjusting for inflation, becomes about $100 million in 2009 dollars. And there were only 14 million who voted back then, as opposed to 130 million in 2008.

Again, sorry for the confusion.

EDITED to add link:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States..._election,_1896

Thank you for the correction.

That, however doesn't dispute the data I provided. The campaigns have become more and more expensive without an equal increase of voters. The question there is 'why'?
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CruisingRam
post Oct 11 2010, 02:51 AM
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QUOTE(scubatim @ Oct 10 2010, 05:30 PM) *
QUOTE(akaCG @ Oct 10 2010, 07:17 PM) *
QUOTE(scubatim @ Oct 10 2010, 07:50 PM) *
QUOTE(akaCG @ Oct 10 2010, 04:10 PM) *
Why I feel it is important that I vote.

1. I consider it my civic duty.
2. It offsets somebody else's vote for an opposing candidate.
3. It provides some kind of extra "right" to comment, criticize, etc. that is not available to someone who didn't manage or refused to get up from the Laz-ee-Boy chair to vote.

ps:
Regarding campaign spending, a bit of perspective:

In 1986, about $4.5 million was spent on the Presidential campaign. In today's dollars, that's about $100 million. About 14 million people voted. That comes out to about $7.15 per voter.

In 2008, about $1 billion was spent on the Presidential campaign, and about 130 million people voted. That comes out to about $7.69 per voter.

Something to keep in mind when reading headlines/articles that hyperventilate about "unprecedented", "exploding", "out of control", etc. amounts of money spent on campaigns.

Are you comparing mid-term election campaign money to presidential campaign money? The little research I did came up with much bigger money. At first, I couldn't figure out why I couldn't find dollars for the 1986 presidential campaign. Then it dawned on me--because there wasn't one! ...
...

Oops. Sorry. That was a typo. I wrote 1986 instead of 1896.

$4.5 million in 1896 dollars, after adjusting for inflation, becomes about $100 million in 2009 dollars. And there were only 14 million who voted back then, as opposed to 130 million in 2008.

Again, sorry for the confusion.

EDITED to add link:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States..._election,_1896

Thank you for the correction.

That, however doesn't dispute the data I provided. The campaigns have become more and more expensive without an equal increase of voters. The question there is 'why'?




Also- I believe we are comparing a mid-term election to a hotly contested presidential election. Wouldn't mind seeing the comparison between GH-Clinton vs Obama McCain.
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akaCG
post Oct 11 2010, 08:44 AM
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QUOTE(scubatim @ Oct 10 2010, 10:30 PM) *
... The campaigns have become more and more expensive without an equal increase of voters. The question there is 'why'?

Some excerpts from a paper that addresses your question (bolding mine):
QUOTE
...
Taking inflation into account, the rise in spending over the past century has been much gentler than contemporary Capitol Hill rhetoric suggests.
...
Economic historian Niall Ferguson makes a similar point about recent history:
Those . . . figures from the FEC are rather less impressive when allowances are made for inflation and economic growth. Adding together presidential campaign receipts and the disbursements of congressional candidates, the nominal cost of the federal electoral process has indeed doubled since 1987–88. But in real terms, the increase has been 39 percent; and as a proportion of GNP a mere four percent.7
...
Finally, but most important, there is the growth of government. As government does and spends more, individuals try to influence it, both to advance their causes and to protect themselves from abuse. As Bradley Smith argues:
The more that government has the power to bestow benefits on the populace, or to regulate human endeavors, the greater the incentive for citizens to attempt to influence the government and the election of persons to fill government offices. . . . It is only natural that groups and individuals will find it worthwhile to spend increasing amounts in an effort to influence who holds office.13
...
Yale economist John Lott Jr. found that 87 percent of the rise in federal campaign spending between 1976 and 1994 was attributable to the $1,101 per capita rise (in real terms) in federal government spending.36 Lott found that this causal relationship also obtains for increases in gubernatorial and state legislative campaign spending. Government spending increases at the state level drive campaign spending increases at the state level. Lott’s findings are consistent, for example, with those of economist Filip Palda, who has also found that the rise in campaign spending closely parallels the rise in government spending.37
...

Lots more data and graphs here: http://www.cato.org/pubs/briefs/bp64.pdf


QUOTE(CruisingRam @ Oct 10 2010, 10:51 PM) *
...
Also- I believe we are comparing a mid-term election to a hotly contested presidential election. ...

1896 was not a mid-term election year. It was Presidential election year. And a hotly contested one, at that. McKinley vs. Bryan.
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AuthorMusician
post Oct 11 2010, 01:23 PM
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Why I feel it is important that I vote.

Because I can. Now what kind of person would I be for letting other people die to defend my right to vote and then not exercise that right? I'm not talking about our current wars but all the wars in defense of this country. There had to have been some of them in direct defense of this country. I mean, no matter how jaded one might be on this issue, people have died for this right.

Also I feel it's my duty as a citizen to cast a vote no matter how crummy the selections might be.

On top of this, there seems to be a political force out there trying to discourage me from voting. Oh yeah? Well, just out of spite I'm voting. Ha, take that.

Furthermore, sometimes my side wins! Yay and all that. For a while there it seemed hopeless, but still I voted.

This season I even changed my registration from unaffiliated to Democratic. The time had come for this good man to come to the aid of the party. Got to vote in the primary as a result, which was really just one vote. Everyone else on the ballot were running unopposed, which was not true about the Republicans. That is something people will write about down the road.

A major change has taken place in this country. I can see how and why this has occurred. Now it's a question if the trend will keep on going, which I believe it will.
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Dontreadonme
post Oct 11 2010, 01:33 PM
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Of course I intend to vote. It's my duty. If you don't exercise your rights, do you really deserve them?

I will once again make a futile effort to stem the tide of ignorance, apathy and intellectual devolution that continues to spread like a venereal disease throughout the American polity.
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Amlord
post Oct 11 2010, 02:03 PM
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I don't intend to vote but I do intend to stand outside of my local polling station in a black beret and jumpsuit with a night stick. Just in case undesirables show up... rolleyes.gif

I will vote. I always vote. And I don't own a night stick...
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Ted
post Oct 11 2010, 02:30 PM
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Not only will I vote, as I always do, but it will be my pleasure to do so with my oldest son who will be voting for the first time. thumbsup.gif


I may even let him drive us to the polls……. biggrin.gif


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BoF
post Oct 11 2010, 03:35 PM
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I voted last week by mail.
QUOTE(Ted @ Oct 11 2010, 09:30 AM) *
Not only will I vote, as I always do, but it will be my pleasure to do so with my oldest son who will be voting for the first time. thumbsup.gif

I may even let him drive us to the polls……. biggrin.gif

Congratulations to your son, Ted, but be afraid.

Teens do have a drive for independence. You may have carefully taught him, but in the privacy of the ballot box, he may just cancel your vote. Now that would be a thigh slapper.
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CruisingRam
post Oct 11 2010, 04:18 PM
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QUOTE(akaCG @ Oct 10 2010, 11:44 PM) *
1896 was not a mid-term election year. It was Presidential election year. And a hotly contested one, at that. McKinley vs. Bryan.


Sorry- I read that as 1986, not 1896 LOL


I have voted in every election since 1984, when I was first eligible to do so.
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akaCG
post Oct 11 2010, 04:39 PM
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QUOTE(CruisingRam @ Oct 11 2010, 12:18 PM) *
...
I have voted in every election since 1984, when I was first eligible to do so.

1984, the year after I became a U.S. citizen, was my first time, too.

Friends and I had a doozie of a rooftop party that election night and into the morning, 'til it was time to coffee up and head to work.
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CruisingRam
post Oct 11 2010, 04:53 PM
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QUOTE(akaCG @ Oct 11 2010, 07:39 AM) *
QUOTE(CruisingRam @ Oct 11 2010, 12:18 PM) *
...
I have voted in every election since 1984, when I was first eligible to do so.

1984, the year after I became a U.S. citizen, was my first time, too.

Friends and I had a doozie of a rooftop party that election night and into the morning, 'til it was time to coffee up and head to work.



I was in Panama, in Reagan's army at the time. It was during that time that I stopped being a "party" (political type) person. I actually joined in 1982, turned 18 in 1983 and was able to vote in my first election in 1984
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ConservPat
post Oct 11 2010, 05:03 PM
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I'll be voting absentee, as I have every year in Boston. I'm doing so because we have a particularly important gubernatorial race here as well as a few ballot measures which could have disastrous effects if not defeated/supported respectively. This may be the first year I will vote for someone who will win election (or in this case re-election). So, there's that.

CP
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Maybe Maybe Not
post Oct 11 2010, 11:59 PM
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Anyone who takes the time and effort to participate on this board, but who doesn't vote ... is just weird.
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post Oct 12 2010, 06:57 PM
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QUOTE(BoF @ Oct 11 2010, 11:35 AM) *
I voted last week by mail.
QUOTE(Ted @ Oct 11 2010, 09:30 AM) *
Not only will I vote, as I always do, but it will be my pleasure to do so with my oldest son who will be voting for the first time. thumbsup.gif

I may even let him drive us to the polls……. biggrin.gif

Congratulations to your son, Ted, but be afraid.

Teens do have a drive for independence. You may have carefully taught him, but in the privacy of the ballot box, he may just cancel your vote. Now that would be a thigh slapper.

Don’t bet on it BoF. My son raised money for Scott Brown as a member of his college Young Republicans club, long before I ever thought the man has a snowballs chance.

Yes he has his own ideas but if you think he is a lefty like you are …………..Don’t bet on it. wink2.gif

This post has been edited by Ted: Oct 12 2010, 06:57 PM
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Paladin Elspeth
post Oct 13 2010, 12:01 AM
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I cast my absentee vote today. thumbsup.gif
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Curmudgeon
post Oct 13 2010, 12:07 AM
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I really enjoy absentee voting.

We went together today to City Hall and picked up our ballots. Then we went to a local restaurant, found a nice booth, sat and enjoyed a prime rib dinner, and cast our votes.

We went back to City Hall just before closing! I took our ballots in, turned them into the City Clerk's office, and as I left...A solenoid clicked and the door was locked behind me.

But coffee, steaks, potatoes...that's a nice voting booth!
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