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Old Jan 31, 2013, 11:56 AM   #26
rdowns
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Originally Posted by Moyank24 View Post
There's a difference between GOTV efforts and basically bribing those to vote who wouldn't normally, which is what you were implying.

If that was "pretty common", I'm sure there is plenty of documented evidence of such wrong doing.

Democrats don't bribe voters. They send new black panthers to intimidate voters.
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 11:57 AM   #27
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Because it should not something which is "mandatory", occurs automatically etc. Personal choice comes to mind. Our government reaches much to far into the personal lives of US citizens.
You'd still choose whether or not to even show up at the polls. There are worse and sillier things that are compulsory. Selective service comes to mind.
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 12:00 PM   #28
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I don't understand the whole voting concept in the US. Here in Switzerland, you are automatically a registered voter as a (naturalized) citizen from the age of 18. Of course, we vote at least three or four times a year on new or revised laws and once for new representatives - it's all included in the package of being a citizen. In fact, even expats get to vote from abroad as long as they have a Swiss passport.

Maybe if every US citizen born or naturalized would automatically be registered, your offices would have less work to gather the statistics and only have to tick the box on who voted and compare the lists. This would also put an end on voter fraud, and frankly, if you as the citizen have to go through hoops and loops just to fulfill your duties as a citizen your government is doing a ****** job at trusting you.
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 12:12 PM   #29
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I don't understand the whole voting concept in the US. Here in Switzerland, you are automatically a registered voter as a (naturalized) citizen from the age of 18. Of course, we vote at least three or four times a year on new or revised laws and once for new representatives - it's all included in the package of being a citizen. In fact, even expats get to vote from abroad as long as they have a Swiss passport.

Maybe if every US citizen born or naturalized would automatically be registered, your offices would have less work to gather the statistics and only have to tick the box on who voted and compare the lists. This would also put an end on voter fraud, and frankly, if you as the citizen have to go through hoops and loops just to fulfill your duties as a citizen your government is doing a ****** job at trusting you.

Voting is broken in the US. We need national standards so state and local governments don't pass all kinds of voter suppression laws, cancel or reduce early voting, limiting absentee ballots not to mention many places where people have to stand on line for hours to vote.
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 12:16 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by niuniu View Post
One less bit of tape for people to deal with. Works fine in parts of Europe already.
Exactly.

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Frankly, I have a feeling that if one is too lazy to get off their a** once a year or every other year to register, they're probably not going to get off their a** to actually vote.
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In my state, I can get the form online and print it (could do this at the library for $0.10) and then mail it. As far as I know they send me prepaid stuff in the mail after that to ensure my registration is current. So they only have to get off their duff once to register. Lazy lazy people.
Obviously, this thread is about the US, but I would like to point out that - even in the US within living memory (the inglorious history of some of the Southern States on such issues comes to mind) - the issue of voter registration has come down to much more than 'lazy, lazy people' unwilling to get up and register to vote. Sometimes, it has been made quite difficult for individuals to vote, even in the First World (the southern States of the US with their sorry history of racial exclusion come to mind; Northern Ireland until the late 1960s also offers a depressing and disgraceful example), especially if those who seek to register come from less powerful, or excluded, social, racial, ethnic or religious groups (to mention just a few examples).

For what it is worth, I have worked in a lot of countries as an election observer and/or monitor over the past decade and a half. These countries are mostly ex communist and war torn (or civil war or post revolutionary societies), and have included a few dictatorships. Anyway, the very first step in the process of attempting to run free, fair, and fraudulent-free elections is to establish a voters' register that the population feel comfortable with and have trust in. Without a proper register, you cannot run a free and fair election. It is as simple as that.

I have seen cases of incredible intimidation, and situations where astonishing attempts were made to keep names off the register. Examples include: situations where names from minorities had to be excised, because mysterious acts of arson occurred, houses having burned down, all by themselves, depriving the would be voter of the means of meeting, say, a residency requirement; or, I have seen cases where opposition activists suddenly found that their names have been excluded from lists which included them days earlier; or the printer's works which printed them had lists & lorries seized, which were then re-written, oddly omitting many names......and so on.

One might argue that these particular problems do not apply in the First World, and, were our societies even more egalitarian, and fairer, I might concur. However, even in the first world, we have problems of poverty, social exclusion, and sometimes, a surprising degree of illiteracy.

Literacy problems (and statistics) in some first world countries are still a disgrace, and mostly found amongst the poorest, most deprived and most alienated in society, which should come as no surprise. To expect those who have received little but contempt from the institutions of the state, those who feel alienated, to actively seek out registration (when they can hardly write their name) may be to ask a bit much.

Indeed, it may well be in the interests of those political groups or parties that represent some of the elites that the alienated, excluded, and unemployed do not actually actively seek to exercise their franchise, (for, as is well known, their votes rarely go to the parties which represent vested elite, or conservative interests). Put plainly, most of the poorer social classes, and groups, do not, say, vote Conservative in the UK, or Republican in the US. And, strange to relate, one of the best ways of ensuring this (lowish turnouts in poorer areas) is to be, perhaps, less than proactive, in ensuring comprehensive voter registration, especially in deprived regions.

Hence, to use a topical US example, this is the reason why the Democrats went on voter registration drives in black slum areas in the elections of 2008 and (undoubtedly) did the same this past year, too.

If we are serious as a society in seeking to include potentially excluded groups in the democratic process, in seeking to have Governments that can legitimately claim to be accountable and that have a full mandate, then the obligation lies on us, as citizens, to ensure that obstacles (no matter how trivial) are not put in the way of those less advantaged - or, indeed, of anyone who can claim citizenship - which may serve to prevent them from casting a ballot at an election. And that includes making access to the voters' register an automatic right, rather than an extra obstacle to be negotiated, even if it may be seen as a trivial one.


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Originally Posted by ugahairydawgs View Post
Right....that's the point. If something like this bill were to ever pass (which I can't imagine it will even come up for a vote), then all those operative would have to do is go door to door in one of their target rich environments.
And?

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I think it's one less obstacle. Personally, I think when you turn 18, you should automatically be registered to vote. The whole concept of registering is a bit antiquated.
I agree.

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Works for us.
And for us, too. Indeed, every year, the municipal authorities (with appropriate identification) seek to confirm the names on the voters' register, and, armed with the list, check the names on it by physically going from dwelling to dwelling.

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Old Jan 31, 2013, 12:54 PM   #31
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Right....that's the point. If something like this bill were to ever pass (which I can't imagine it will even come up for a vote), then all those operative would have to do is go door to door in one of their target rich environments.
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and?
Citizens get to vote. Something wrong with that?
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 01:18 PM   #32
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I think that's a bad idea.
You're also then against the Selective Service, the IRS, school registration for kids, etc, etc?


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Originally Posted by ugahairydawgs View Post
You're right....they probably wont on their own. But when some political operative comes to their door on election day with a bag full of shiny stuff or the promise of a free this or that (along with a ride to their polling place), what do you think ends up happening there?
Oh, you must be referring to Citizens United where the USSC stated that corporations have unlimited rights to influence elections in the US. Yeah, that is a problem. What about all the republican owners of companies who forced their employees to give up a day of work or contribute to republican candidates? Are you as outraged about them?

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Voting is broken in the US. We need national standards so state and local governments don't pass all kinds of voter suppression laws, cancel or reduce early voting, limiting absentee ballots not to mention many places where people have to stand on line for hours to vote.
The idea that the states control the laws surrounding federal elections is ludicrous. Voting times and absentee voting need to be expanded to meet the needs of a modern society. One week day to vote disenfranchises millions.
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 01:29 PM   #33
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The idea that the states control the laws surrounding federal elections is ludicrous. Voting times and absentee voting need to be expanded to meet the needs of a modern society. One week day to vote disenfranchises millions.

It's kind of absurd to vote on a random Tuesday in November, a work day, where it's often very cold in a good part of the country and it's not even a federal holiday (and many would still have to work).

Expanding hours isn't the answer, polls are open in most places from 6am-9pm already and you may be on line until 11 or 12. We need to vote over a weekend or series of days in addition to expanding absentee and early voting.
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 01:33 PM   #34
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It's kind of absurd to vote on a random Tuesday in November, a work day, where it's often very cold in a good part of the country and it's not even a federal holiday (and many would still have to work).
It's not absurd. I can't travel on Sunday because it's the Sabbath and so I can only leave on Monday. My horse and buggy takes a day to get to the polling place.

Oh wait... :\

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/hr4183

At least somebody tried.
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 01:47 PM   #35
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Citizens get to vote. Something wrong with that?
Is that a response to me?
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 02:15 PM   #36
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Is that a response to me?
No. The other guy. I think we're in agreement.
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 03:12 PM   #37
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No. The other guy. I think we're in agreement.
Ok, that's what I thought but I wanted to make sure
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 03:21 PM   #38
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Voting is a very important thing and a right that I am glad to have. But it isn't something to be taken lightly and I feel that signing up the folks who are too lazy to get off their backside to do it on their own cheapens the value of the whole process.
I would actually like to see MORE of the "lazy" involved in voting. Instead of cheapening it, I think they would enrich the institution. These days I see a lot of candidates get further and further from center, and I feel it's because they're trying to appeal to the highly active partisans who are more likely to vote. With more "lazy," run-of-the-mill voters, I'd hope candidates will have to appeal to a broader range of voters. We may get more "let's get sht done" politicians, rather than "gotta win for my party" types.
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 03:31 PM   #39
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I think they should make every drivers license renewable every two years, and the way you get it is to register to vote, and then when you pick it up, you are required to vote or no license. We should encourage, nay, insist on more participation, not less.
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 03:55 PM   #40
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Actually, before we try new things, we need to fix the current system. This year, I attempted to early register in Illinois. As part of that, one could start the process online, and then have a paper mailed that had to be signed. When I got my paper, I was dismayed to find that they sent me another persons registration info, that had their full name, address, phone number, drivers license number, last digits of social security, etc... I called the POS election board, and they casually said that they had a bit of an error, and that get this, they would rectify the issue by asking all affected people to send the wrong paper back... Yeah, massive identity theft in the making, but who cares. Someone probably has my entire identity now, but that isn't a big issue, huh?


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I think they should make every drivers license renewable every two years, and the way you get it is to register to vote, and then when you pick it up, you are required to vote or no license. We should encourage, nay, insist on more participation, not less.
Oh bull***. Not everyone wants to vote, and it isn't just because we are lazy. For example, lets look at the last time I voted, on November 6th. I am not going to rant about the electoral college, but as you should know, our vote doesn't matter, so that is more a less a wasted "vote". Next on the ballot was for house and senate members, which was also a joke. In my district, nearly all of the idiots running should have been in jail, so what should I have done? In one case, my vote could have gone to a politician who was repeatedly sued for not paying for things, and running away from paying child support, or alternatively, an even bigger idiot who stole money from the VA and went out of their way to hide it. 3rd on the ballot was for judges, 95% of which ran unopposed, so no need to even vote on that. 4th was for smaller positions, such as water district people, 90% of which didn't even bother to start a website, or ever campaign, so again, no reason to even vote. Given that I refused to pick any of the above candidates and more, and left them all blank, I only "voted" on 5-10% of the ballot, which was a waste of time. I should have stayed home, and will next election...

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Old Jan 31, 2013, 04:01 PM   #41
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Oh bull***. Not everyone wants to vote, and it isn't just because we are lazy. For example, lets look at the last time I voted, on November 6th. I am not going to rant about the electoral college, but as you should know, our vote doesn't matter, so that is more a less a wasted "vote". Next on the ballot was for house and senate members, which was also a joke. In my district, nearly all of the idiots running should have been in jail, so what should I have done? In one case, my vote could have gone to a politician who was repeatedly sued for not paying for things, and running away from paying child support, or alternatively, an even bigger idiot who stole money from the VA and went out of their way to hide it. 3rd on the ballot was for judges, 95% of which ran unopposed, so no need to even vote on that. 4th was for smaller positions, such as water district people, 90% of which didn't even bother to start a website, or ever campaign, so again, no reason to even vote. Given that I refused to pick any of the above candidates and more, and left them all blank, I only "voted" on 5-10% of the ballot, which was a waste of time. I should have stayed home, and will next election...
^^ A perfect example of how parties that don't represent the will of the people manage to win a majority of the minority that bother to vote.
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Old Feb 2, 2013, 10:09 PM   #42
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That's generally the basis of my problem with it and the overall nanny state type mentality that goes into a bill like this.

Voting is a very important thing and a right that I am glad to have. But it isn't something to be taken lightly and I feel that signing up the folks who are too lazy to get off their backside to do it on their own cheapens the value of the whole process.
In Australia voting is considered an obligation of citizenship and people are fined $20 Australian (unless it has gone up) if they fail to vote.


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Because it should not something which is "mandatory", occurs automatically etc. Personal choice comes to mind. Our government reaches much to far into the personal lives of US citizens.
When I was young, voting was described as one of the duties of citizenship. Do you believe citizens have duties, but, voting is not one, or, is this a Libertarian thing where you are happy to move to whatever country if the taxes are low enough?

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Right....that's the point. If something like this bill were to ever pass (which I can't imagine it will even come up for a vote), then all those operative would have to do is go door to door in one of their target rich environments.
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GOTV efforts are pretty common. Some are more on the up and up than others, but both parties do it.
Someone else pointed this out, but, I have to say that I am a little disturbed that you think that GOTV efforts are somehow bad. I guess you are young and/or able-bodied and assume it is easy for everyone to get to the polls. May you live long and prosper, and, live long enough to need help going to vote.
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Old Feb 2, 2013, 11:49 PM   #43
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The North Dakota system is the best: no voter registration, just show your ID and vote. Simple, no paperwork, minimum voter fraud, and most importantly, no political shenanigans.

It works really well.
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Old Feb 2, 2013, 11:51 PM   #44
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The North Dakota system is the best: no voter registration, just show your ID and vote. Simple, no paperwork, minimum voter fraud, and most importantly, no political shenanigans.

It works really well.
I like that, but for some reason people have a problem with presenting ID to vote.
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Old Feb 3, 2013, 02:04 AM   #45
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I disagree. I think it's a nuisance to deal with. To me it seems pretty clear that people should automatically be registered, it removes inefficiency in the voting system, and may encourage more people to vote since now all they have to do is show up. We don't need the government to pay people to sit around and register people, it's a waste.
One of the very few times I fully agree with eric/. If wasn't a part of something else, I don't think I've ever gone out of my way to register to vote. It's always been a matter of convenience.

And why shouldn't everyone be automatically registered? Why shouldn't being a citizen of a country in itself be enough reason to get to vote on the people who run your country's/locality's affairs?

This is how I read this: "I think that a lot of the people who aren't registered to vote would probably vote for the other candidate, and I want to reduce that possibility".

If you removed the whole registration qualification process, then you remove all the political gaming of the voting registration process, like wrong dates on Spanish election flyers, all sorts of stringent ID requirements which always seem to target low-income people, etc.
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Old Feb 3, 2013, 12:46 PM   #46
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The people that complain the most about government being ****ed up and nobody is listening to me are the ones that most likely don't vote in the first place. It's no wonder that we have the same 80 year olds in Congress getting reelected by the minority of America when the majority of people don't care to vote for a change.
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Old Feb 3, 2013, 01:11 PM   #47
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The people that complain the most about government being ****ed up and nobody is listening to me are the ones that most likely don't vote in the first place. It's no wonder that we have the same 80 year olds in Congress getting reelected by the minority of America when the majority of people don't care to vote for a change.
You don't believe that limited voting times, long lines and restrictive registration requirements have anything to do with it?

The act of voting needs to keep pace with the reality of 21st century life. I think mail in voting is the best option. I haven't voted in a poll booth in the last 11 years. Blue states increasingly make voting easier and red states as difficult as possible. Although I've seen no figures, it would be interesting to know who has the higher voter turnout.
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Old Feb 3, 2013, 01:30 PM   #48
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You don't believe that limited voting times, long lines and restrictive registration requirements have anything to do with it?

The act of voting needs to keep pace with the reality of 21st century life. I think mail in voting is the best option. I haven't voted in a poll booth in the last 11 years. Blue states increasingly make voting easier and red states as difficult as possible. Although I've seen no figures, it would be interesting to know who has the higher voter turnout.
People don't care to vote not because of long lines but they just don't want to be bothered with it. When is the last time we had over 90% turnout.
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Old Feb 3, 2013, 01:31 PM   #49
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People don't care to vote not because of long lines but they just don't want to be bothered with it. When is the last time we had over 90% turnout.
I'd say it's a mix. The first problem is our two party system, it discourages people. The second problem is the inconvenience of going to vote.
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Old Feb 3, 2013, 01:48 PM   #50
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I'd say it's a mix. The first problem is our two party system, it discourages people. The second problem is the inconvenience of going to vote.
Is it really inconvenient? One day out of the year to go to a building and vote. I consider putting gas into my car to be more inconvenient and I do that at least once a week.
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