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  • National Voter Registration Day

    Home Forums AskWoody blog National Voter Registration Day

    This topic contains 30 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  anonymous 8 months, 3 weeks ago.

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    • #219582

      Da Boss

      Those of you in the US… you’re registered to vote in November, yes? If you haven’t yet registered, a pox upon you and your kin — please visit the N
      [See the full post at: National Voter Registration Day]

      8 users thanked author for this post.
    • #219595

      AskWoody Lounger

      We have been registered to vote here for the last 19 years. That was one of the FIRST things we did after moving in here. Many thanks for the reminder to those that need to register.


    • #219657


      Sometimes the rest of the world sits back and shakes its head in wonder at the US system, which allows people to both not vote then complain about the result later.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #219668


        Wouldn’t have it any other way. Because every other way imposes one person’s opinion of right or wrong on another person’s opinion. And I am never sure that I will not disagree with that self-appointed person in the future.

      • #219703

        AskWoody Lounger

        I like that Australia fines you if you don’t vote in their system. The US should do something similar.  It doesn’t solve the issue of non voting completely but it is a step in the right direction.

        Group A | Windows 7 Pro 64-bit | Windows 10 Pro 1809 64-bit
        • #219720


          I am very interested in assuring the the full franchised vote of every citizen who wishes to partake in their guaranteed freedom. I have zero interest in increasing the signal to noise ratio by forcing people who do not want to vote to waste their time. Dictating a right is not our way.

          This is also why I like the non-voters to voice their opinion. As long as they are speaking, and exchanging views, they might be talked into voting the next time. If you say they cannot have an opinion, then they will likely never vote.

          It is amazing to me how people want to control others, in the name of democracy. There seems to be an inherent contradiction there.

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          • #219733


            Obviously meant increasing the noise and obscuring the signal.

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          • #219748

            AskWoody Plus

            Actually, as I see it, in countries like the USA, voting in elections is both a legal right and an obligation; not a legal obligation but a moral one. And I believe it is a moral obligation for the reasons I have already mentioned in another entry some postings below this one.

            But I don’t think that compulsory voting is the right way to shore up democracy, because I don’t see, comparing how things are in countries that do and do not compel voting, that it changes anything much whether voting is compulsory or not. So pushing people to vote does not seem to achieve very much.

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          • #219835

            AskWoody Lounger

            That is a valid point. I wouldn’t want an individual to vote just to vote. I’d hope that an individual no matter which side you are on, would choose to participate. The saying (that I’ll cleanup a little) if you don’t vote you can’t complain comes to mind.

            Group A | Windows 7 Pro 64-bit | Windows 10 Pro 1809 64-bit
        • #219750


          A tiny tax break, hypothetically ~$100USD going towards a tax refund if applicable, would be better than punishment. As a teaching tool rewards or even the promise of rewards work better than punishments, especially on groups/societies, unless the intent is to incite animosity or fear. Fear isn’t a long term solution and often backfires with anger, defeating the point. My opinion, low voter turnout is due to apathy or  nihilism.

          Those in charge need their subordinates to at least believe they have a chance to gain something. Those that need nothing tend to object to rewarding those that do need something, it’s a very complicated problem with solutions that only work on paper. Voter turnout is low, there’s very little incentive to change anything.

          How anyone could run for public office is beyond me, but I’m no salesperson for unknown future promises. I’d rather wait tables selling food I would actually eat myself.


          Edited for content.

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        • #219918


          And while one is at it, one could also fine voters for not voting the wanted party/candidate. Its a step into the right direction to get the right and most suitable candidate elected, and fights unjustified opposition and criticism.

          Or let the election repeat until one gets the wanted outcome. Very popular on EU levels, for example the Dictate of Lisbon treaty which was rejected by two nation’s people who then get called back to re-vote in favour of it again, threatening to even call them in a third time if they again would not obey.

          If they do not trust you, force them to trust you. That’s the way! We have had that twice in a row in Germany. Works great!


      • #219738


        I vote, mostly so I can complain, not about the results, but about those that don’t vote. Anyone has the right to not vote, and others have the right to give them an earful.

        However… I rarely like my choices, especially for local elections. Sometimes half the positions have only one person running, almost always a recumbent. Still, there’s always more on the ballot and something worth voting for or against.

        • #219779

          AskWoody Plus

          Anonymous (  #219738  ) wrote: ” I rarely like my choices, especially for local elections. Sometimes half the positions have only one person running, almost always a recumbent.

          Maybe he really meant ‘incumbent’ and ‘recumbent’ is a typo. Whatever its true origin, this is (or came out as) a deliciously ironic remark. ‘Recumbent’ can be used to describe many would-be representatives of the people mostly occupied with making themselves comfy in their benches and their private offices, trying to stay there for as long as possible, but also happy in the thought that if everything goes south and they get voted out or have to renounce their positions “to spend more time with their families”, at least they’ll have some nice pensions guaranteed for life.

          • #219809


            Freudian slip?

      • #219868

        AskWoody Plus

        Anonymous ( #219657  ):

        Sometimes the rest of the world sits back and shakes its head in wonder at the US system, which allows people to both not vote then complain about the result later.

        As I see it, it’s not the system, but the people.

        • #219887


          I’m the replying anon219668, and a couple of others, call me a’68 for now. I see your adjustment here and like where you put the burden for change.

          Like Woody’s prodding in the OP, I want to encourage the change without enforcing the change. Because I think that kind of overreach leads toward a different style of government that should be avoided. Sorry for the vague reading here, I am desperately avoiding labeling -isms.

          I like the individual seeking change because they want it. I am unfriendly to a group changing an individual for their own well being. Because altruism is rare. Darn it, there’s an -ism after all.

    • #219671


      Total objection.

      Shame on You, Voter! A Case for Not Voting from Jason Brennan

      Hurting Low-Information Voters’ Wittle Feelings

      I leave it to that. This is no political forum, and it is not my place.

    • #219683


      I’m reminded of the saying that if voting really changed anything, they’d ban it.

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    • #219706



    • #219713

      AskWoody Plus

      There are a number of different electoral systems, roughly divided into those closer to the principle of “first past the post” and those closer to “proportional representation.” Some tend to produce very stable — some times too stable — governments. Others, on the contrary, tend to produce shaky and unstable ones. But looking at how prosperous and well taken care their citizens are, the differences between them are not that big.

      Looking at how differently the governments and politics of today’s democracies, with all those systems, have performed since the last world war, and not counting breaks in the constitutional order, I see no huge differences in outcome, as far as the citizens of these countries are concerned, over all. With a few exemptions of some countries where significant changes for the better have actually been accomplished that may or may not endure, mostly what I see, particularly in recent decades, is a progressive paralysis of politics and governments, where important problems rarely are tackled seriously enough to solve them. Perhaps one significant (but, by far, not unique!) contributor to this is the higher per capita representation in legislatures and national parliaments usually given to country vs. urban areas. This often ends in a confrontation of country vs. city and the result tends to be a standoff and greater political stagnation.

      However, in most democracies, their citizens owe much to their country, to the extent that it helps them live like humans and not savage animals, enjoying the conveniences of: roads, water systems, post offices, public health systems, clean and safe to eat food and fit to use medicines and medical procedures, public transport, schools, universities, libraries, armies, police, courts of law, and more, to serve and protect them. And because they owe that to their countries, they must, in return, perform their proper duties. So, regardless of what I just wrote, citizens should inconvenience themselves, go out and do their one essential job come election day: vote. As if it really mattered. Because, who knows? It just might.

    • #219781

      AskWoody Lounger

      I’m concerned about people who don’t vote because they have been successfully discouraged or even prevented from doing so (in various ways) by others who feel they would vote “the wrong way.”

      • #219933


        And how did you get to you know this exactly? Have you ever cared to deal and think about the very strong and reasonable arguments in favour of not voting? Could you counter just anything in the examples given by Brennan in the two links I provided somewhere above?


        Did you guys know how it was in ancient Greece, the claimed cradle of democracy? A “deme” was the smallest adminstrational unit the Greek thinking new, it could be even just a lonely farm of small village already. You know the reference to  it in the word DEMocracy. But a polis (city) claimed the land around its wall that could be overlooked form the top of the highest hill (that in itself could be seen from the city walls or their highest tower). The visible land from that highest hill was “our land”. Decisions over this land and the affairs of city administration where decided on by majority vote, to which every “citizen” was eligible. But what is a “citizen”? In old ancient Greek language, the term “citizen” refers to a group of armed people. Citizens are soldiers, warriors, groups of fighters. But who was allowed to carry arms? 1. Men. Women were prohibited to carry arms. 2. FREE men. Unfree men, servants, slaves, were prohibited to carry arms. 3. WEALTHY free men. Because taxes usually were not collected (would have been a symbolic submission to a tyrannic authority of enemy), so free men had to pay by their own means for weapons, armour, horses and the like. This leads to the fact that only 5-15% of the population in the city states of most of ancient Greece’S history indeed were citizens eligible to raise their voice in the assembly and to carry arms. WE ARE TALKING ABOUT A FEUDAL ELITE. Democracy – is a feudal government system, comparable to the feudal societies of the Middle Ages.Member of this class however were mot automatically allowed o raise their voice in the assembly and cast their votes for decisions, first they had to prove their worthiness and loyalty, by good record and witnesses’S reports regarding their sacrificing and praying to the city’s deities, and that they honoured father and mother and their deceased forefathers. Multi-culti and social experiments were completely unwanted.

        To allow every unknowing Peter and every clueless Paul to influence the city’s affairs – that is like giving travellers aboard a Boeing 737 a right to a say in the acts and decisions made by the pilot flying the plane.

        H.L. Mencken said this: “Democracy (today) is the pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.” And: ” Every election is sort of an advance auction sale of stolen goods.”

        I say: nobody has the right to demand others to live for them sake of himself, and must serve his interest. But today, that is right what it gets down to.

        Do you still think non.voters are as simple.minded as you imply? I knew many non-voters over here. And I saw them as people who made very educated decisions. A non-voter who just stays away due to laziness, is imaginable and certainly such people exist. Not even few. But personally I did never know any such person.

        I ask all voters the Kenobi question: “Who is more foolish? The fool or the one following him?” If you vote, you give away the right to complain about what you get, because you really should by now  know very well what to expect from politics and what you get from those you elect, and if you gave your legitimization for that, you have no right to complain that you got what you voted for. Only non-voters have a right to complain, because nevertheless they warned and objected and refused the moral legitimation of the to-be-victim, they get called to pay the bill of your inapt decisions and the policies they never wanted to pay for, but must, because the mob is patrolling the street and threatens violence and prison on those who do not pay their protection money.

        And if people still believe corrupt political babble and career politicians who promise the blue down from heaven to get elected and pay for the voter bribers with the money they steal from the herd of cattle called tax payer, then this is another argument to argue that an undiscriminatory right to vote and to allow just every Peter and Paul a say should not be allowed. Elections today are the golden calf media and public dance around. But they are not the heart of democracy, are not even close to the centre of it. They are just a tool of decision building, preferably in an educated, competent, limited group. What today is called democracy – is just socialist redistribution to pay for the next round of voter bribery, it is what the ancient Greeks called the tyranny of the many over the few.

        I post this as a German here only because the problem I point at is not specifically American only, but is true for all “democratic” states today – Europe and Germany included. Subtle aromes may vary from here to there, but the general taste and smell remains the same. There are specific problems with the American system, however:

        Massive gerrymandering. Apparently more serious than anywhere else in the Western world world.

        Questionable handling of dial-in machines, and vulnerable IT infrastructure.

        Implicit problems of a two-party-system that make it dubious and questionable due to its very own nature.

        Electoral college disregarding the voter will.

        Massive monetarian lobbyism.

        Campaigns lasting so liong that they put every day parts of the nation of all of the nation into campaign mode. The last election campaign for POTUS lasted 600 days. Then there are elections for one third of the senate every two years. Every two years for congress. Then a multitude of smaller, regional, local elections for public offices. Day for day for day politicians are prone to campaign demands and opportunities, are tempted to raise promises (they pay for with other people’S money…) and get made to accept costly compromises over this and that just to not alienate hoped-for voter groups. Most of these bills again get paid by the public, directly or indirectly.

        There are so very, very many very very good reasons not to express your legitimization for any or all of this.

        And last but not least: integrity, honour. You owe it to yourself not to play their game, by their rules designed to help them living at your cost.

        Why I take the time to type in all this? Because I am convinced that our political system(s) lead us all into the abyss. Either we end professional and centralised politics, or politics will end us. I tell Germans and Europeans absolutely the same like my American friends.


        No, I am no Russian or Chinese hacker. 😀

        • #219968


          Marc, you have a deeply held and well researched point of view on ancient democracy and how it has evolved to modern representative government. I will grant that it is a horrible system. So terrible it is an amazing thing that so many wish to emigrate towards these territories or emulate their design at home. I believe your response would be that corrupt people admire corruption and seize on a good idea when they see one.

          I disagree. I do see many of the hazards. But to my way of thinking, every time we institute a new protection of freedom, we lose some freedom. The optimal balance is an ever shifting and elusive goal. The only hope of approximating the best condition for all members of society, including our temporary guests, is to speak to persuade and vote to be counted.

          I think rick41, might be speaking of a more recent period in a peculiarly US context of history. Many restrictions on the right to vote were legitimately codified in many jurisdiction levels. Collectively described as Jim Crow laws, they could be used against many categories of ‘undesired’ voters. The main thrust was against minorities defined by race. They were also loosely applied to poor and less educated as well, without regard to melanin.

          All such restrictions are now forbidden. But the memory, and the associated suspicion that it is still possible, remains. I strongly suggest taking advantage of a free consultation with an appropriate attorney to anyone who feels they have been affected by this. First point of contact might be your local bar association or nearest American Civil Liberties Union office. I am less familiar with resources available in the Federal Republic of Germany.

    • #219805


      I was employed to count votes (paper votes in national elections) for several years. All of us had to pass a background test before given the post. We were also given strict instructions on how to count the votes. The ballots were sent to the local bank for counting on election night and one bench would count the votes and place them in a pile. The next bench recounted for accuracy.

      I was surprised at how many ballots were spoiled. If you spoil a vote it is not counted. Citizens were not aware that they can not write anything on a paper ballot. Some would write comments, insults, draw smiley faces, hearts or whatever they felt represented their mood. This is a vote wasted and that is one of the reasons why exit polls are so often wrong – citizens sabotaging their rights.

      There are candidates who will say that there must have been some voter fraud involved because they were obviously in the lead – the polls said so. It is more than likely a significant number of spoiled ballots were the culprit. This is becoming more and more an issue where paper ballots are still used. Most voting is now done electronically, but there are still individuals who manage to spoil their votes – it is not easy, but they manage to do it. The voting machines are sometimes to blame, but more so it is human ignorance and arrogance that spoils a vote. We have freedoms and rights and with that comes responsibility. Personal responsibility involves some degree of effort.

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      • #219822


        Why do voters take selfies of themselves in the voting booth with their ballot in clear view and then post it on social media? Does this void their vote? I am not sure how that plays out legally. We have this ‘it is all about me’ in our culture for some bizarre reason.

        • #219828

          Da Boss

          Yeah, the ‘MM+I’ generation but, in reality, it’s no different from a candidate voting.
          Are they likely to vote for someone else?

          ********** Peng/Wins x86/x64 **********

          - µfix

    • #219806


      It doesn’t matter who or how many vote because the same shadow government runs the US anyway.

    • #219832


      It doesnt matter which side of the isle you are on both parties are an embarrassment.Thats why some do not vote.

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    • #219843


      Amazing how many anonymous posters there are on a topic like this.

      I’m registered to vote. Always have been, always will be. Everytime I have moved, one of the first things I do is register to vote in my new location.

      Hopefully a few non-voters will now register and vote because of your post, Woody.

      Group "L" (Linux Mint)
      with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
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      • #219854


        Your comment, on it’s face, refers to anonymity on the internet and has been discussed, refuted, and supported many times.

        If you intend a deeper meaning on the subject of voting, I would like to offer an observation that is often lost on people who have always had the privilege of free elections. The ballot cast in secret is the last peaceful line of defense in a representative government. Once they attach identity to the ballot all kinds of intimidation become possible. And that can only be resisted by methods not considered peaceful.

      • #219861


        Frankly, in most places it’s so easy to register, if they don’t bother…, not sure who needs them.

        Here in VA there is a huge potential fraud problem. When you apply for a driving license, there is a check mark for automatic voter registration. The DMV is only interested in proof of residency and prior driver documentation, not birth certificates or naturalization documentation. UGH…

        In a recent cross database audit of just two counties around DC it was discovered that 3,200+ “Green Cards” had been registered by the DMV. TWO COUNTIES! In a statewide race two elections ago, my candidate for AG lost by 200 votes vs 2,300,000+. Had he won, things in VA today would have be a lot different… 🙁

        VA also registers a fair number of tombstones. A few have been caught and prosecuted but I dare say not the majority.

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