Author Topic: Should Some US Voters Not Be Allowed To Vote?  (Read 4483 times)

robartsd

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Re: Should Some US Voters Not Be Allowed To Vote?
« Reply #50 on: July 25, 2017, 10:39:11 AM »
It's unconscionable to require people to take off work on a Tuesday (why on Earth is election day still on Tuesday?) and drive 270 miles to wait in line for hours at a poll to vote.
Where does this happen? There should be many more polling places if anyone lives 270 miles from their polling place and the polling place has hours long wait lines.

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-pol-nevada-ballot-journey-20161028-story.html
The article did not state anything about waiting times at the poling place assigned to residents of the Duckwater Shoshone Reservation. Also the way you stated it, it sounded like 270 miles each way. In actuallity the longest distance to a poling place is 135 miles each way (probably still to far - but they do have the option to vote by mail). Poling place waiting lines are also a problem in some places, but not the same places that have long travel distances to the polls. The article you linked to indicated at least one resident who might not register to vote even if there was a local poling place because as a registered voter, she might be called up for jury duty - which would require that 135 mile each way trip to the courthouse. While my home state of California exempts potential jurors who do not have reasonable transportation to court (distance generaly defined as 1 1/2 hours travel time), in Nevada residents can only claim a distance hardship after they reach age 65.

Poundwise

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Re: Should Some US Voters Not Be Allowed To Vote?
« Reply #51 on: July 25, 2017, 11:28:37 AM »
On the subject of ex-felons, just Friday I was passing out voter registration forms and I met a man on the street who said he couldn't vote because he is a felon.  He was so sad when he told me this. He just plopped down on a park bench in despair, wrung his hands together, and tears came into his eyes. I think other things in his life were terrible also, but this just reinforced his feeling of helplessness. I don't know who he was or what he did (my guess is a drug offense) but I don't think the vote should be taken away from this man forever.

The worst part was that because I had never encountered this situation before, I hadn't read so well up on the law, and was unable to inform him that once his parole is over, he WILL be able to re-register and vote in NYS. I could have given him a form to fill out later. I have been kicking myself ever since.  I screwed up and left him feeling worse than before.

Anyway, some might argue that maybe this fellow didn't bother to inform himself about his rights so he shouldn't vote. Also he's screwed up his life, why should he screw up ours with his dumb vote?  All I can say is that he represents some part of the American experience, so if he decides to vote for a candidate based on, for instance, that candidate's promise to fund treatment for addicts, or end unfair bail practices, that doesn't seem to be any less valid than an upstanding citizen's choice of a candidate who is more business friendly or promises to protect the environment.



Poundwise

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Re: Should Some US Voters Not Be Allowed To Vote?
« Reply #52 on: July 25, 2017, 11:35:11 AM »
One idea on the subject of voter franchisement... mail in votes and registrations ought to require no stamp. 

lost_in_the_endless_aisle

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Re: Should Some US Voters Not Be Allowed To Vote?
« Reply #53 on: July 25, 2017, 06:49:57 PM »
We call it "compulsory voting" in Australia, but no one is actually compelled to vote. Australian citizens are required to attend and get the name crossed off the electoral roll and receive a ballot... what they do from that point forward is totally up to each individual. There are a lot of rude pictures drawn on ballots here.  I think knowing that you have to participate keeps you more plugged in to the issues of the day.

No votes for gingers? Hmmm... how is that going to be measured?  How much ginge can one have before they get stripped of their vote?


My $0.02 as the OP:

1. I think compulsory voting is a great idea. I think it forces people to vote for their own interests (emotional or financial). I agree with AlliElli that they can simply vote "none of the above" if they don't care.

People demonstrably do not vote in their own self-interest.

I know we are all financial geeks here on MMM Forum, but I would like to remind everyone that Financial Interests are not the same as someone's EMOTIONAL Interests. You can vote for your emotional interests (Pro-Gun, Pro-Life, Pro-Religion, Pro-Freedom), while at the same time voting against your financial interests (Tax Cut for the rich at the expense of Healthcare, Medicaid, Medicare, SSI, etc...). One reason for voting, in my opinion, is no less valid than the other.
Good point, I don't know if we disagree on the actual issue or on just the definition of self-interest. This is a contrasting concept to the self-interested voting hypothesis that might account for some of the tranches of emotionally motivated voting you mention. Hopefully that clarifies the distinction I'm trying to make (which is more between selfishness versus altruism than it is about emotions versus economics).

WhiteTrashCash

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Re: Should Some US Voters Not Be Allowed To Vote?
« Reply #54 on: July 25, 2017, 07:32:47 PM »
I've kind of lost faith in the idea of voting for national elections or state representatives to Congress after the 2016 election. The party that got fewer votes for President and both Houses of Congress controls all three branches of government. With the Presidential election, it wasn't even close. Trump lost by 2.8 million votes. However, it didn't matter because the USA is not a democracy and some people's votes matter more than other people's votes.

Honestly, I don't really even feel all that patriotic anymore, because I know that my voice doesn't matter when it comes to US politics, so why should I care? The will of the people is not dictating the choices made by the US government, so why should anybody bother to follow this country's laws? I'm having a lot of trouble justifying it.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2017, 07:38:14 PM by WhiteTrashCash »

infogoon

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Re: Should Some US Voters Not Be Allowed To Vote?
« Reply #55 on: July 26, 2017, 02:29:01 PM »
I've kind of lost faith in the idea of voting for national elections or state representatives to Congress after the 2016 election. The party that got fewer votes for President and both Houses of Congress controls all three branches of government. With the Presidential election, it wasn't even close. Trump lost by 2.8 million votes. However, it didn't matter because the USA is not a democracy and some people's votes matter more than other people's votes.

Not to pile on, but in that 50-50 MTR vote in the Senate yesterday, the "winning" side represents tens of millions fewer citizens than the "losing" side.

Our system has flaws, and they're only magnified by a society with massive cultural differences along geographic lines.

dougules

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Re: Should Some US Voters Not Be Allowed To Vote?
« Reply #56 on: July 26, 2017, 03:37:17 PM »
I've kind of lost faith in the idea of voting for national elections or state representatives to Congress after the 2016 election. The party that got fewer votes for President and both Houses of Congress controls all three branches of government. With the Presidential election, it wasn't even close. Trump lost by 2.8 million votes. However, it didn't matter because the USA is not a democracy and some people's votes matter more than other people's votes.

Not to pile on, but in that 50-50 MTR vote in the Senate yesterday, the "winning" side represents tens of millions fewer citizens than the "losing" side.

Our system has flaws, and they're only magnified by a society with massive cultural differences along geographic lines.

I was in Ecuador during their elections, and I tried to explain to a taxi driver there how the US electoral college works and that popular vote doesn't matter.  He was in disbelief. 

One idea on the subject of voter franchisement... mail in votes and registrations ought to require no stamp.

In Oregon all voting is done by mail, so is the cost of the stamp unconstitutional under the 24th amendment?
« Last Edit: July 26, 2017, 03:39:32 PM by dougules »

Grog

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Re: Should Some US Voters Not Be Allowed To Vote?
« Reply #57 on: July 27, 2017, 12:43:22 AM »


We call it "compulsory voting" in Australia, but no one is actually compelled to vote. Australian citizens are required to attend and get the name crossed off the electoral roll and receive a ballot... what they do from that point forward is totally up to each individual. There are a lot of rude pictures drawn on ballots here.  I think knowing that you have to participate keeps you more plugged in to the issues of the day.

No votes for gingers? Hmmm... how is that going to be measured?  How much ginge can one have before they get stripped of their vote?


My $0.02 as the OP:

[...]

4. Switzerland has a system in which there are elected professional politicians on one side, and then compulsory and temporary "house of citizens" on the other side where citizens who qualify are basically conscripted to due their duty for a term of 2 years. I like this idea. Any Swiss out there that can explain this system better?

Swiss guy here, and lol this is not how it works at all.

I think it may be the new constitution of Iceland after their financial crisis.

In Switzerland you elect the legislative like in US, identical (we have states and based our system on yours). Executive is not elected, but is a collegium of 7 people of different parties elected by the legislative. So we cannot directly vote the "president", which is chosen by our politicians. This is actually not bad at all because you get usually competent people up there, that maybe are lacking charisma to win a popular vote. They are often criticized in public because they seem "weak" , and "burocrates" but in reality has been working out quite well.

In Switzerland we vote more than anybody else in the world; every three months on a variety of subjects. The last word on any important decision is left to the people. Health care, army spending, energy strategy, large infrastructure projects are always subjected to popular vote.
 Participation is on average 45% per session, but interestingly enough in a 4 year period at least 90% of legal voters voted at least once.

We don't think we should limit the right.
We are actually discussing it to give right to vote starting from 16 years old. If you are old enough to sign a contract and work and legally drink alcohol you should be able to vote

Sent from my YD201 using Tapatalk


JustGettingStarted1980

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Re: Should Some US Voters Not Be Allowed To Vote?
« Reply #58 on: July 27, 2017, 06:46:27 AM »
Oh, Thanks Grog, appreciate the correction!

A Definite Beta Guy

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Re: Should Some US Voters Not Be Allowed To Vote?
« Reply #59 on: July 27, 2017, 07:26:47 AM »
I've kind of lost faith in the idea of voting for national elections or state representatives to Congress after the 2016 election. The party that got fewer votes for President and both Houses of Congress controls all three branches of government. With the Presidential election, it wasn't even close. Trump lost by 2.8 million votes. However, it didn't matter because the USA is not a democracy and some people's votes matter more than other people's votes.

Not to pile on, but in that 50-50 MTR vote in the Senate yesterday, the "winning" side represents tens of millions fewer citizens than the "losing" side.

Our system has flaws, and they're only magnified by a society with massive cultural differences along geographic lines.

Senate distribution cannot be changed, not even by amendment. It's with us until we decide to toss out the Constitution. Best off making your peace with it, and changing your strategy to include it.

Inaya

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Re: Should Some US Voters Not Be Allowed To Vote?
« Reply #60 on: July 27, 2017, 08:03:53 AM »
I've kind of lost faith in the idea of voting for national elections or state representatives to Congress after the 2016 election. The party that got fewer votes for President and both Houses of Congress controls all three branches of government. With the Presidential election, it wasn't even close. Trump lost by 2.8 million votes. However, it didn't matter because the USA is not a democracy and some people's votes matter more than other people's votes.

Honestly, I don't really even feel all that patriotic anymore, because I know that my voice doesn't matter when it comes to US politics, so why should I care? The will of the people is not dictating the choices made by the US government, so why should anybody bother to follow this country's laws? I'm having a lot of trouble justifying it.
I've been cynical about elections for longer than I've been allowed to vote. I didn't vote until several years after my 18th birthday. And I feel even more cynical now. And it's not just the whole Electoral College/popular vote issue. Because even if Trump had won the popular vote, it is pretty clear that our "representatives" aren't interested in representing their constituents. They only represent themselves and their corporate patrons.

Back on topic. I think before voting being allowed to vote, everyone should be able to pass the US citizenship exam at the very least. (I helped my husband study for his--admittedly, I don't think I could pass it without studying.)
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jim555

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Re: Should Some US Voters Not Be Allowed To Vote?
« Reply #61 on: July 27, 2017, 08:05:36 AM »
Anyone south of the Mason–Dixon line should not be allowed to vote.  They should have put that in after the Civil War.

A Definite Beta Guy

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Re: Should Some US Voters Not Be Allowed To Vote?
« Reply #62 on: July 27, 2017, 08:17:19 AM »
Anyone south of the Mason–Dixon line should not be allowed to vote.  They should have put that in after the Civil War.

That would defeat the purpose of the Civil War. If they aren't citizens, why bother trying to conquer them?

jim555

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Re: Should Some US Voters Not Be Allowed To Vote?
« Reply #63 on: July 27, 2017, 08:20:34 AM »
Anyone south of the Mason–Dixon line should not be allowed to vote.  They should have put that in after the Civil War.

That would defeat the purpose of the Civil War. If they aren't citizens, why bother trying to conquer them?
They declared themselves no longer to be US citizens when they left.  So when they loose they shouldn't expect any rights.  Maybe make them 3/5 of a person.

PoutineLover

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Re: Should Some US Voters Not Be Allowed To Vote?
« Reply #64 on: July 27, 2017, 08:45:51 AM »
I've kind of lost faith in the idea of voting for national elections or state representatives to Congress after the 2016 election. The party that got fewer votes for President and both Houses of Congress controls all three branches of government. With the Presidential election, it wasn't even close. Trump lost by 2.8 million votes. However, it didn't matter because the USA is not a democracy and some people's votes matter more than other people's votes.

Honestly, I don't really even feel all that patriotic anymore, because I know that my voice doesn't matter when it comes to US politics, so why should I care? The will of the people is not dictating the choices made by the US government, so why should anybody bother to follow this country's laws? I'm having a lot of trouble justifying it.
I've been cynical about elections for longer than I've been allowed to vote. I didn't vote until several years after my 18th birthday. And I feel even more cynical now. And it's not just the whole Electoral College/popular vote issue. Because even if Trump had won the popular vote, it is pretty clear that our "representatives" aren't interested in representing their constituents. They only represent themselves and their corporate patrons.

Back on topic. I think before voting being allowed to vote, everyone should be able to pass the US citizenship exam at the very least. (I helped my husband study for his--admittedly, I don't think I could pass it without studying.)
I think campaign financing and super pacs is one of the major reasons us democracy has gone off the rails. Limiting political contributions and only allowing them from individuals would probably help. Pay to play is a huge problem that distorts the real issues faced by regular citizens in favour of the few people with enough money to buy influence. And this systems limits who can run for office to those who can afford to finance a campaign, so representation is skewed in favour of the rich. I highly doubt that this will ever change though. Democracy is broken and there's no will to fix it from the people who have already rigged and won the system

A Definite Beta Guy

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Re: Should Some US Voters Not Be Allowed To Vote?
« Reply #65 on: July 27, 2017, 09:16:35 AM »
Anyone south of the Mason–Dixon line should not be allowed to vote.  They should have put that in after the Civil War.

That would defeat the purpose of the Civil War. If they aren't citizens, why bother trying to conquer them?
They declared themselves no longer to be US citizens when they left.  So when they loose they shouldn't expect any rights.  Maybe make them 3/5 of a person.
We didn't recognize their right to secession, which is why we suppressed the rebellion. Perhaps you can argue that those who took up arms against the Union should have been deprived of rights, but that's not the call that Lincoln made, and Lincoln made the correct call.

Making them account for 3/5 of a person would not be constitutional, which, again, would defeat the purpose of the Civil War.

GreenEggs

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Re: Should Some US Voters Not Be Allowed To Vote?
« Reply #66 on: July 27, 2017, 09:40:31 AM »
Voting just pacifies the masses.

 


dougules

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Re: Should Some US Voters Not Be Allowed To Vote?
« Reply #67 on: July 27, 2017, 10:29:26 AM »
Voting just pacifies the masses.

It's like that little button at an intersection you push to get the walk light.  It's just there to make you feel better. 

dougules

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Re: Should Some US Voters Not Be Allowed To Vote?
« Reply #68 on: July 27, 2017, 10:34:13 AM »
Anyone south of the Mason–Dixon line should not be allowed to vote.  They should have put that in after the Civil War.

That would defeat the purpose of the Civil War. If they aren't citizens, why bother trying to conquer them?
They declared themselves no longer to be US citizens when they left.  So when they loose they shouldn't expect any rights.  Maybe make them 3/5 of a person.

If you didn't want us voting, why did y'all go so far out of your way to get us back in the first place?

dividendman

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Re: Should Some US Voters Not Be Allowed To Vote?
« Reply #69 on: July 27, 2017, 10:37:43 AM »
Anyone south of the Mason–Dixon line should not be allowed to vote.  They should have put that in after the Civil War.

That would defeat the purpose of the Civil War. If they aren't citizens, why bother trying to conquer them?
They declared themselves no longer to be US citizens when they left.  So when they loose they shouldn't expect any rights.  Maybe make them 3/5 of a person.

If you didn't want us voting, why did y'all go so far out of your way to get us back in the first place?

Manifest destiny was all the rage at the time.

golden1

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Re: Should Some US Voters Not Be Allowed To Vote?
« Reply #70 on: July 28, 2017, 07:46:50 AM »
This thread sucks.  The cynicism is exactly what the people running things want and count on in order to keep screwing us back into the Stone Age.

MORE people should vote.  If we redistricted in good faith, and had a voting holiday, and had automatic voter registration, the politics in this country would be vastly different.

Any system, like service for voting rights would be exploited like crazy.  I believe in encouraging public service, not trading it for the basic rights of citizenship in a democracy. Tie public service to student loan forgiveness, or some other benefit, but not basic participation in a democracy.

WhiteTrashCash

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Re: Should Some US Voters Not Be Allowed To Vote?
« Reply #71 on: July 28, 2017, 08:46:52 AM »
This thread sucks.  The cynicism is exactly what the people running things want and count on in order to keep screwing us back into the Stone Age.

MORE people should vote.  If we redistricted in good faith, and had a voting holiday, and had automatic voter registration, the politics in this country would be vastly different.

Any system, like service for voting rights would be exploited like crazy.  I believe in encouraging public service, not trading it for the basic rights of citizenship in a democracy. Tie public service to student loan forgiveness, or some other benefit, but not basic participation in a democracy.

If you want to make a difference in the world, get a whole lot of money. Look at Elon Musk. The guy is reshaping the world's energy policy because he has billions of dollars. He's like Tony Stark from Iron Man. Most billionaires just want to screw the world hard instead.

Look at Betsy DeVos. Made billions of dollars running Amway's pyramid scheme and now she gets to set Education policy for the entire United States even though she has absolutely no experience in education. That's what money does for you.

This will never ever change. What's going to happen? Have a revolution like all the other revolutions throughout history? Things will go crazy for a while. Ordinary people will lose property and money and perhaps even their lives. Then, in the end, we'll just have another group of super-wealthy people calling the shots.

The only solution for a sane person is to withdraw from all this political nonsense as much as possible, gather your resources, keep your nose clean, and get as much money as you possibly can. If you work hard enough and make the right choices, maybe you can end up being like Elon Musk. That's about all we can hope for.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2017, 09:23:08 AM by WhiteTrashCash »

A Definite Beta Guy

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Re: Should Some US Voters Not Be Allowed To Vote?
« Reply #72 on: July 28, 2017, 09:00:45 AM »
People who are wealthy have a disproportionate impact. That doesn't mean you have NO impact.

JustGettingStarted1980

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Re: Should Some US Voters Not Be Allowed To Vote?
« Reply #73 on: July 28, 2017, 10:13:39 AM »
I agree that Citizen's United simply took the Wealthy 1%'s disproportionate amount of political power and added some rocket fuel to it.

I'm not sure how to reverse Citizen's United, but the addition of the most recent Supreme Court Justice probably put a squash to that for a while (unless Roberts changes his mind).

How about a constitutional amendment making the presidential vote a "popular vote" instead of an "electoral vote" as well as making gerrymandering illegal?

I think it's a good idea, but I don't think the current political party in power has any incentive to change a system it is currently winning with.

I think the solution is similar to what happened in 2008. Revolutionary cycles occur when enough normal people get destroyed, walked on, humiliated, bankrupted, or otherwise shat on to motivate them to actual vote in droves.  This is often followed by a period of time in which all the radical reform is slowly buckled bit by bit.

thesvenster

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Re: Should Some US Voters Not Be Allowed To Vote?
« Reply #74 on: July 28, 2017, 10:34:10 AM »
Your elections can only be as good as your voters, so the idea that greater voter participation would lead to better government implies that the non-voters out there are excellent people or at least better people.

If you're too lazy to go through the already very simple process to register to vote, you're already lazy or apathetic.

thesvenster

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Re: Should Some US Voters Not Be Allowed To Vote?
« Reply #75 on: July 28, 2017, 10:35:57 AM »
Anyone south of the Mason–Dixon line should not be allowed to vote.  They should have put that in after the Civil War.

That would defeat the purpose of the Civil War. If they aren't citizens, why bother trying to conquer them?
They declared themselves no longer to be US citizens when they left.  So when they loose they shouldn't expect any rights.  Maybe make them 3/5 of a person.

By that token wouldn't most Native Americans not be allowed to vote?

PoutineLover

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Re: Should Some US Voters Not Be Allowed To Vote?
« Reply #76 on: July 28, 2017, 10:45:47 AM »
Your elections can only be as good as your voters, so the idea that greater voter participation would lead to better government implies that the non-voters out there are excellent people or at least better people.

If you're too lazy to go through the already very simple process to register to vote, you're already lazy or apathetic.
I think there are a lot of people who would like to vote but are prevented either because of work obligations, lack of ID, long lines, etc. Plus rules that are designed to make it more difficult for certain people to cast their vote. It takes a certain amount of money, know how and time to vote, and the system should make it as easy as possible while ensuring the security of the vote of course.

dougules

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Re: Should Some US Voters Not Be Allowed To Vote?
« Reply #77 on: July 28, 2017, 10:47:11 AM »
Anyone south of the Mason–Dixon line should not be allowed to vote.  They should have put that in after the Civil War.

That would defeat the purpose of the Civil War. If they aren't citizens, why bother trying to conquer them?
They declared themselves no longer to be US citizens when they left.  So when they loose they shouldn't expect any rights.  Maybe make them 3/5 of a person.

By that token wouldn't most Native Americans not be allowed to vote?

You know that they weren't until 1924, right?

A Definite Beta Guy

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Re: Should Some US Voters Not Be Allowed To Vote?
« Reply #78 on: July 28, 2017, 12:27:50 PM »
I agree that Citizen's United simply took the Wealthy 1%'s disproportionate amount of political power and added some rocket fuel to it.

I'm not sure how to reverse Citizen's United, but the addition of the most recent Supreme Court Justice probably put a squash to that for a while (unless Roberts changes his mind).

How about a constitutional amendment making the presidential vote a "popular vote" instead of an "electoral vote" as well as making gerrymandering illegal?

I think it's a good idea, but I don't think the current political party in power has any incentive to change a system it is currently winning with.

I think the solution is similar to what happened in 2008. Revolutionary cycles occur when enough normal people get destroyed, walked on, humiliated, bankrupted, or otherwise shat on to motivate them to actual vote in droves.  This is often followed by a period of time in which all the radical reform is slowly buckled bit by bit.

Some states are already successfully implementing anti-Gerry-mandering measures. I don't see any reason that we need to have a Constitutional Amendment for it, or what that Constitutional amendment would be. Placing redistricting permanently in the realm of unelected commissions does not seem like a good idea to me.

Presidents aren't supposed to be elected a plurality of popular vote, but even if so, many recent elections have not had Presidents that exceeded 50%, which should be treated as a dead-lock (and sent to the House).

thesvenster

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Re: Should Some US Voters Not Be Allowed To Vote?
« Reply #79 on: July 28, 2017, 06:37:29 PM »
Anyone south of the Mason–Dixon line should not be allowed to vote.  They should have put that in after the Civil War.

That would defeat the purpose of the Civil War. If they aren't citizens, why bother trying to conquer them?
They declared themselves no longer to be US citizens when they left.  So when they loose they shouldn't expect any rights.  Maybe make them 3/5 of a person.

By that token wouldn't most Native Americans not be allowed to vote?

You know that they weren't until 1924, right?

Um the southerners weren't allowed to vote for a while after the Civil War. What's your point? Jim555 implies that the ban would be into perpetuity (seems like Jim would be the type who would approve the treay of versailles).

libertarian4321

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Re: Should Some US Voters Not Be Allowed To Vote?
« Reply #80 on: July 29, 2017, 02:36:49 AM »
Actually, I've given it more thought and I think the following people shouldn't be allowed to vote:

1) Anyone who donates to a campaign, PAC, Super-PAC, etc.
2) Anyone who is an officer or director of a corporation that does 1)
3) Anyone running for any office
4) Any member of the judiciary
5) Anyone who has been convicted of a hate-crime (had a harsher sentence due to hate crime)
6) Any political appointee
7) Anyone who works for any political campaign, PAC, super-pac, etc.
8) Dual citizens
9) Anyone who donates to, or works for, a foreign government

Don't take this the wrong way, but this proposition is a really, really bad idea.

Basically, you are saying that the people who are likely the most aware, the most educated, the most successful, the most dedicated to civics, should not be allowed to vote?

Why?

You'd also be getting rid of most of the political volunteers and small donors, and leave even more of the process in the hands of the rich and powerful than it already is.  Losing the vote isn't going to have much effect on George Soros or the Koch brothers- they can win by donating millions.  But if it keeps that college student or housewife volunteer out, it will have a real negative impact on our already dismal system.

Why take away the vote of that person who donates $25?  Or the college kid who volunteers for a phone bank?  Or the veteran who donates a few bucks to veteran's organization?  Or the senior who donates to AARP or other organization that has a political arm?

You take away votes of "any political appointee" and you'd be leaving cities all over the country with unfilled volunteer slots- cities, especially small ones, already have enough trouble finding qualified volunteers for these often unpaid (or minimally paid) positions. 

You'd also destroy third parties- most of their candidates are "regular folks," not professional pols like you get from the major parties- further strengthening the death grip the major parties hold on what passes for politics and elections in this country.

I don't support taking votes away from people in general, but taking the vote away from the kind of people WHO ACTUALLY PAY ATTENTION would be tragic.

libertarian4321

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Re: Should Some US Voters Not Be Allowed To Vote?
« Reply #81 on: July 29, 2017, 02:46:09 AM »
I've kind of lost faith in the idea of voting for national elections or state representatives to Congress after the 2016 election. The party that got fewer votes for President and both Houses of Congress controls all three branches of government. With the Presidential election, it wasn't even close. Trump lost by 2.8 million votes. However, it didn't matter because the USA is not a democracy and some people's votes matter more than other people's votes.

Honestly, I don't really even feel all that patriotic anymore, because I know that my voice doesn't matter when it comes to US politics, so why should I care? The will of the people is not dictating the choices made by the US government, so why should anybody bother to follow this country's laws? I'm having a lot of trouble justifying it.

Because of the electoral college system, your vote NEVER MATTERED for President unless you live in a "swing state." 

This is not something that started in 2016.

If you live in NY, CA, TX, MA, OK, and dozens of other states, your vote for President doesn't matter (that's why the candidates spend 98+% of their money in a dozen swing states, and ignore the other 38).  For that same reason, judging the "winner" based on total popular vote is ridiculous, because the candidates realize that it's IRRELEVANT, and if they are smart, they spend accordingly (give Trump credit where it is due- he outsmarted Hillary in a big way on this- he spend strategically, Hillary just spent).

If you live in FL, OH, PA, MI, etc (swing states), your vote matters a lot.

And because of Gerrymandering, your vote for US House, State Senate, and State Assembly/House also likely doesn't matter.  Most districts in the USA are set up as "one party rule" where the party currently not in office has essentially no chance of winning.  I can tell you right now, with near 100% certainty, which party will win in 35 of the 36 congressional districts in Texas in 2020.

Ain't our system grand?

Villanelle

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Re: Should Some US Voters Not Be Allowed To Vote?
« Reply #82 on: July 29, 2017, 04:17:19 AM »
I've kind of lost faith in the idea of voting for national elections or state representatives to Congress after the 2016 election. The party that got fewer votes for President and both Houses of Congress controls all three branches of government. With the Presidential election, it wasn't even close. Trump lost by 2.8 million votes. However, it didn't matter because the USA is not a democracy and some people's votes matter more than other people's votes.

Not to pile on, but in that 50-50 MTR vote in the Senate yesterday, the "winning" side represents tens of millions fewer citizens than the "losing" side.

Our system has flaws, and they're only magnified by a society with massive cultural differences along geographic lines.

I was in Ecuador during their elections, and I tried to explain to a taxi driver there how the US electoral college works and that popular vote doesn't matter.  He was in disbelief. 

One idea on the subject of voter franchisement... mail in votes and registrations ought to require no stamp.

In Oregon all voting is done by mail, so is the cost of the stamp unconstitutional under the 24th amendment?

I live in Japan and my students were incredibly shaken the day after the election.  Trying to explain the electoral college system--especially with a significant language barrier--was painful, and we never really got there.  They eventually get the basics of the system, but not even close to the "why". 

As for disenfranchising voters, I'd support something that prevented anyone who legally was not responsible for his or her how affairs to be denied the right to vote.  If you are so unwell or unstable that you can't make decisions for yourself, I don't think it's unreasonable to surmise you are also unable to responsibly vote.

I do think that every state should have to allow absentee voting.  I don't think we should ever try to force to vote people who aren't interested.  But I think we should absolutely enable to vote those who actually want to but have to prioritize work or childcare or gas money or things of that nature. 

On a related hypothetical note, I'd actually support dividing the US up in to 5-8 countries bound together by a common currency and common baseline of laws. (I'd say, "..like the EU", but maybe that's not the best example.) Let the people of Oklahoma ban abortion.  Let the people of NY ban large sodas.  And perhaps then we can free ourselves of much of the gridlock. 

BlueMR2

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Re: Should Some US Voters Not Be Allowed To Vote?
« Reply #83 on: July 29, 2017, 10:17:40 AM »
The places where felons can't get back the right to vote is something that really disturbs me. All it takes is slipping in a few laws that make common practices for a group that's not liked into felonies and you effectively kill their representation.

Other than that, I have so very mixed feelings on who should be able to vote and the value of their votes.  We like to think that everyone is worth the same amount, so should be able to vote and have it count the same.  However, some people clearly do not do as much for society as others.  The people dragging us down must not be as good at making choices, so should their votes count less?  I fear for a total meritocracy though as it tends to optimize for a local maximum,  eliminating so many possible future paths that might really be better.  Still, seems like there should be a line *somewhere*.  History shows that a full democracy does not work either.  Democratic Republics seem to be the most stable overall, but they all seem to have finite life spans too as abuses end up overcoming the controls.

As an aside, the electoral college really doesn't bother me.  It is one of the safety checks that keeps the large masses of people that live in the big cities from going out of control and wiping out the low population/great expanses way of life.  Sometimes it fails too far in that direction, but without it we would be much worse off.

Leisured

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Re: Should Some US Voters Not Be Allowed To Vote?
« Reply #84 on: July 30, 2017, 06:21:55 AM »
In Australia, we have to vote, to avoid a fine. We have the phenomenon of the 'donkey vote', where switched off voters just mark the ballot from the top, 1,2,3 etc. We have preferential voting In Australia, so that if in a particular electorate, one party does not win outright, then the preferences of the least popular party are 'distributed.' If there is still no clear winner, then the new least popular party has its preferences 'distributed', and so on. Candidates have their place on the ballot determined by lot.

If a voter is unimpressed by any party, that voter is free to 'spoil the ballot' by either depositing a blank ballot, or writing some comment on the ballot paper. I did this at our last Federal election, the first time I have ever done it. This is also known as a 'no dams vote', referring to a State plebiscite in Tasmania in the seventies. Voters were given a choice of a lot more dams, or more dams, and many wrote across the ballot paper 'no dams.' The number of spoilt ballots was high enough to make the State government pay attention.

During our last Federal election, last year, the US ambassador to Australia reached the end of his term, and returned to the US. He talked to a journalist at the airport, and said that he was impressed by three things about our electoral process: short election campaigns; compulsory voting, and a Federal commission to determine electoral boundaries, to stop gerrymandering.

We have elections on a Saturday, of course! Why on a weekday?




tyort1

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Re: Should Some US Voters Not Be Allowed To Vote?
« Reply #85 on: July 31, 2017, 11:37:50 AM »
In PA, I had to wait in line to vote in person. Old people or folks who couldn't get off work or couldn't make it to the polls for whatever reason would have to request an absentee ballot and make sure to send it in. They also made me show ID at the polling place, even though by law they shouldn't have done so.

In CO, my ballot arrives in the mail, and I have several weeks to fill it out, read all the referendum questions, and drop it off or mail it back. There are also polling places you can go to in person if you want, and you can register to vote right there.

I believe all US states should be like CO. Mail-in ballots keyed to registered voters are far harder to tamper with, and it ensures that it's super easy for everyone who wants to vote to be able to do so.

Yet another reason CO is the best state in the US.  :)
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