2012 U.S. Presidential Election

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bentheimmigrant
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby bentheimmigrant » Thu Nov 01, 2012 5:54 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:This is true...but it's less of a problem with mass shipments.


Further to what natraj said, consider that a shipment needs someone (maybe multiple someones) to sort through and catalogue, then work out what is and isn't helpful, then decide where and when the things are needed. These things also need to be stored, and the warehouses likely already had systems which didn't take this shipment of this and that into account. As things aren't arriving palleted, like everything else in the warehouse probably is, the goods need to be sorted by hand, stacked and palleted before they can be dealt with (assuming there's anywhere near significant quantities of similar things). I'm sure there are additional complications on top of all this, but it's pretty obvious if you've ever been anywhere near the inside of a warehouse that an ad-hoc delivery like this is a nightmare - a waste of time and labour that could be better spent doing what your organisation has streamlined itself to do.

Now, your point might stand if people were sending them mass shipments of single items, like pallets of spam or something. That wouldn't really be an issue. But mass shipments of we don't know what means a lot of work for otherwise much more useful people.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Heisenberg » Thu Nov 01, 2012 6:13 pm UTC

Sure, and all the busloads of unskilled volunteers who went down to Mississippi to rebuild after Katrina mostly didn't help at all. That doesn't make them assholes, they meant well.

This is simply a fundamental problem with being a charity. Turning away donations and volunteers makes people less likely to support you in the future, so you just have to grin and bear it and throw half of the donations in the garbage.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Nov 01, 2012 6:14 pm UTC

bentheimmigrant wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:This is true...but it's less of a problem with mass shipments.


Further to what natraj said, consider that a shipment needs someone (maybe multiple someones) to sort through and catalogue, then work out what is and isn't helpful, then decide where and when the things are needed. ...
Now, your point might stand if people were sending them mass shipments of single items, like pallets of spam or something. That wouldn't really be an issue. But mass shipments of we don't know what means a lot of work for otherwise much more useful people.


Yeah, I can't really say how diverse the collection was, I simply don't have that information...that said, the official red cross statement was that they were working with the campaign to handle the disbursement. So, some of that work might be being done by the campaign(and if that's what the red cross insists on, that's entirely fair. The campaign is benefiting from this).

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby DSenette » Thu Nov 01, 2012 6:28 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:Sure, and all the busloads of unskilled volunteers who went down to Mississippi to rebuild after Katrina mostly didn't help at all. That doesn't make them assholes, they meant well.

This is simply a fundamental problem with being a charity. Turning away donations and volunteers makes people less likely to support you in the future, so you just have to grin and bear it and throw half of the donations in the garbage.

well, to be fair, the busloads of unskilled volunteers who went down to mississippi to rebuild after katrina, that mostly didn't help, and more frequently got in the way, and then came home bragging about how much they helped.....were pretty much assholes.

just like someone claiming to be coordinating a massive relief effort that turns out to actually increase the burdon (if this is actually the case with the romney thing), could be called an asshole. not for "trying to help" but by trying to use their claim of assistance to further their cause.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Nov 01, 2012 6:36 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:not for "trying to help" but by trying to use their claim of assistance to further their cause.


Oh, I'm *certain* that Romney wants the claim of assistance to further his cause. That part was never in dispute. :D

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby sardia » Fri Nov 02, 2012 12:01 am UTC

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/01/us/po ... tml?ref=us
The GOP is poised to have a large numerical advantage in governorships this coming election. How do governors affect Congress? It's kind of hard to tease apart since parties are often elected together. I guess we can expect more states to pass local laws that weaken unions and immigrants rights.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Garm » Fri Nov 02, 2012 6:07 pm UTC

Convenient, that these computer glitches only disenfranchise the blacks and the browns:

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2012/11/01/glitch-held-up-absentee-ballots.html
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Nov 02, 2012 6:14 pm UTC

Garm wrote:Convenient, that these computer glitches only disenfranchise the blacks and the browns:

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2012/11/01/glitch-held-up-absentee-ballots.html


I don't see anything in your link that supports a statement of racial bias.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Garm » Fri Nov 02, 2012 6:23 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
Garm wrote:Convenient, that these computer glitches only disenfranchise the blacks and the browns:

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2012/11/01/glitch-held-up-absentee-ballots.html


I don't see anything in your link that supports a statement of racial bias.


I made a few leaps, it's true. There's a line in there that says the majority of people affected by the glitch come from a democratic stronghold.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Heisenberg » Fri Nov 02, 2012 6:27 pm UTC

Yup, no white people in Cleveland. They all moved out when LeBron left.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Garm » Fri Nov 02, 2012 6:29 pm UTC

And here I thought that Cleveland's white flight problem was caused by the Indian's trading Thome in '02.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Nov 02, 2012 6:30 pm UTC

You mean that neighborhoods with funding problems have cheaply designed systems? I'm shocked, shocked, well not that shocked.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Dauric » Sat Nov 03, 2012 1:58 am UTC

Somewhat tangential, but the election isn't just about the presidency:

Frontline: Big Sky, Big Money

Whoever becomes president will have to deal with Congress, and Congress is made up of people from local elections. The Citizen's United decision is having an enormous effect on local elections by introducing D.C. political fundraising to state and local elections.

More troubling though is that in looking to keep their donors anonymous, the 501-C4 (nonprofit "issue advocacy" groups) groups have managed to prevent scrutiny in to their own practices.

A chance auto theft of the car belonging to organizer of Western Tradition Partnership (now American Tradition Partnership) resulted in papers getting to state investigators that shed some light on how "unaffiliated, Issue" groups organized through P.O. boxes in Washington D.C. may actually be coordinated with or even running local campaigns.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Wnderer » Sat Nov 03, 2012 7:26 pm UTC

Santa Claus has withdrawn his candidacy and has endorsed Jill Stein.

http://www.santaclausforpresident.com/

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby sardia » Sat Nov 03, 2012 7:31 pm UTC

http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.co ... ly-biased/
Anyone who says this race is too close to call isn't trying to inform you, just trying to get ratings. Plus, Romney needs miracle from god, hell breaking loose, or polling error on the scale of Dewey beats Truman to win now.

It's interesting that Silver is calling this out even as his own parent company is saying the race is "exceedingly close".

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby lutzj » Sat Nov 03, 2012 7:42 pm UTC

sardia wrote:It's interesting that Silver is calling this out even as his own parent company is saying the race is "exceedingly close".


Reminds me of this. There's often a silhouette of truth in The Onion.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby nitePhyyre » Sat Nov 03, 2012 7:49 pm UTC

How, the hell could Santa Claus even run? He's Canadian.

@DSenette:

How the hell do you get from:
DSenette wrote:but, isn't even the idea of voting for people whose names sound funny to you, still inherently democratic? i mean, what makes one reason to vote for someone better than another? like, objectively?
No, it isn't inherently democratic, it has absolutely nothing in common with the goals of democracy. Whichever reason best suits the goals of democracy, is objectively the best reason to vote. The goal of democracy is to allow eligible citizens to participate equally in the proposal, development, and creation of laws.

To:
DSenette wrote:so? we don't let stupid people vote? a "no-Bronies allowed" rule maybe?

not allowing people who want to vote just to be dicks to vote is similar to not allowing people who can't read to not vote. it's obviously not the same but it's similar. the reason that someone is voting shouldn't be what you're talking about here.
That isn't even setting up a strawman. Its like trying to set up a strawman, then your pants fell down, you tripped and shat yourself.

Seriously jumping from "Yes some reasons to vote are better than others" to "Let's disenfranchise undesirables" is litterally, no exaggerating, insane.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Dark567 » Sat Nov 03, 2012 8:05 pm UTC

sardia wrote:http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/03/nov-2-for-romney-to-win-state-polls-must-be-statistically-biased/
Anyone who says this race is too close to call isn't trying to inform you, just trying to get ratings. Plus, Romney needs miracle from god, hell breaking loose, or polling error on the scale of Dewey beats Truman to win now.
Well, the race still is too close to call. Romney still have something like 1-in-5 chance. If those are the odds of a football game, I would be waiting still for the game to call it. At the same time, calling the race a 'toss-up' is misleading. Its Obama's to lose at this point.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Tirian » Sat Nov 03, 2012 8:55 pm UTC

Dark567 wrote:
sardia wrote:http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/03/nov-2-for-romney-to-win-state-polls-must-be-statistically-biased/
Anyone who says this race is too close to call isn't trying to inform you, just trying to get ratings. Plus, Romney needs miracle from god, hell breaking loose, or polling error on the scale of Dewey beats Truman to win now.
Well, the race still is too close to call. Romney still have something like 1-in-5 chance. If those are the odds of a football game, I would be waiting still for the game to call it. At the same time, calling the race a 'toss-up' is misleading. Its Obama's to lose at this point.


I love supplementing my knowledge of statistics by reading Nate Silver, but this whole metaphor of comparing a presidential election to a football game is inept. Scoring in football games is chaotic, and there is no way that Romney is going to find Ryan undefended and connect a long pass to bring in an electoral touchdown. As Mr. Silver says in the rest of his columns, the probability of Romney winning is almost entirely the probability of the vast majority of pollsters completely misunderstanding the dynamics of turnout this year, which seems particularly unlikely given that there has been so much early voting this year to factor into the models.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Silknor » Sat Nov 03, 2012 9:05 pm UTC

sardia wrote:http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/03/nov-2-for-romney-to-win-state-polls-must-be-statistically-biased/
Anyone who says this race is too close to call isn't trying to inform you, just trying to get ratings. Plus, Romney needs miracle from god, hell breaking loose, or polling error on the scale of Dewey beats Truman to win now.


That's overstating it a bit. Silver's numbers suggest a roughly 1 in 6 chance of a Romney victory. I put the odds of hell breaking loose at more like 1 in 60, tops.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Dark567 » Sat Nov 03, 2012 9:15 pm UTC

Tirian wrote:I love supplementing my knowledge of statistics by reading Nate Silver, but this whole metaphor of comparing a presidential election to a football game is inept. Scoring in football games is chaotic, and there is no way that Romney is going to find Ryan undefended and connect a long pass to bring in an electoral touchdown.
That's the beauty of the odds though, if both a football game and an election have 1-in-5 odds, they both have 1-in-5 odds. The chaotic scoring is already accounted for.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby ahammel » Sat Nov 03, 2012 10:59 pm UTC

Dark567 wrote:That's the beauty of the odds though, if both a football game and an election have 1-in-5 odds, they both have 1-in-5 odds. The chaotic scoring is already accounted for.

They're unpredictable for different reasons, though. The election is unpredictable almost entirely for statistical reasons. With perfect information, it could be called with almost 100% certainty right now. Football isn't like that: the uncertainty as to whether a goal will be scored in the final minutes of a game is real uncertainty.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby CorruptUser » Sat Nov 03, 2012 11:29 pm UTC

Umm, not really. Barack and Romney both have nonzero chances of dying in the next week. There's a nonzero chance Romney or Barack commits a felony and is arrested in the next week. There's a nonzero chance that a terrorist attack occurs, changing the election (it happened in Spain a decade ago).

The weather can swing the election; rainy days tend to cause counties to go Republican an extra 2%, and sunny days Democrat. Not because "Ugh I'm miserable so I'll vote Republican", but because poorer residents are less likely to wait in the rain to vote.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby sardia » Sat Nov 03, 2012 11:39 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Umm, not really. Barack and Romney both have nonzero chances of dying in the next week. There's a nonzero chance Romney or Barack commits a felony and is arrested in the next week. There's a nonzero chance that a terrorist attack occurs, changing the election (it happened in Spain a decade ago).

The weather can swing the election; rainy days tend to cause counties to go Republican an extra 2%, and sunny days Democrat. Not because "Ugh I'm miserable so I'll vote Republican", but because poorer residents are less likely to wait in the rain to vote.

Unfortunately for Romney, this is what he has left if the polls are accurate. He doesn't want to rely on that, so he has to hope that this is another "Dewey beats Truman" event.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Silknor » Sat Nov 03, 2012 11:46 pm UTC

@CorruptUser:
All of that is true, but I suspect the overwhelming source of uncertainty now is to what degree the actual turnout reflects the pollster's models and if the polls underrate one candidates support among some group. If under 30s turnout at a couple of points higher than expected, that will help Obama, for example. Likewise, if cell phone only households are more supportive of Romney than expected, that would give him a boost.

Looking at the difference between 538's projection and now-cast (prediction for if the election were held today) should shed some light on the question. At the moment the now-cast is only 2% higher, suggesting the uncertainty is largely based on the known unknowns (turnout, weather, etc) versus the unknown unknowns (zombie attack, major scandal).
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby sardia » Sat Nov 03, 2012 11:56 pm UTC

It's also based off historical data of how often a candidate wins when he is behind by x percent. Just like his football comparison.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby addams » Sat Nov 03, 2012 11:58 pm UTC

Be carefull. That is what I thought in 2000.

It was a nice night in most of the mid south. Fuck. I was there.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby ahammel » Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:00 am UTC

I don't mean to suggest that there's no real uncertainty in an election, just that there's much less than in a football game. Unless I'm badly misunderstanding Nate Silver's methods, almost all of the uncertainty in his model is based on sampling error and historical bias in the polls. The "zombie apocalypse" term is pretty small.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby CtrlAltDel » Sun Nov 04, 2012 3:32 am UTC

ahammel wrote:I don't mean to suggest that there's no real uncertainty in an election, just that there's much less than in a football game. Unless I'm badly misunderstanding Nate Silver's methods, almost all of the uncertainty in his model is based on sampling error and historical bias in the polls. The "zombie apocalypse" term is pretty small.


well, there's uncertainty in both situations. While the play-by-play of a football game has considerable variation, there are other things that are known with certainty, such as the time remaining and the score. It's just other things that are unknown with regard to polling and elections. The "score" at any given moment, as it were, is precisely the issue here.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Tirian » Sun Nov 04, 2012 3:59 pm UTC

Right. If this were a football game, Obama would be up by ten and have the ball and the officials upstairs would be reviewing an Obama touchdown to see if they were going to reverse them but allowing play to continue while they thought about it.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Wnderer » Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:38 pm UTC

Here's some more fun with polls.

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/ ... el-g-franc

Spoiler:
Last week, the Gallup Organization provided more fodder for the debate over whether this year’s polls are skewed due to a systematic over-representation of Democrats in the samples. If Gallup has it right, Governor Romney’s lead may be several percentage points greater than the most recent round of polls suggests.

Gallup reviewed all of its interviews with “likely voters” conducted since October 1. Its conclusion: “The composition of the electorate for the 2012 presidential election is looking quite similar to what it was in 2008 as well as 2004.” Indeed, whether the sample is broken out on the basis of race, gender, level of education, or geographic location, the percentage of likely voters in each subset is no different than it was four years earlier.

But Gallup uncovered one very significant shift in this year’s voting electorate. There has been a remarkable movement toward the Republican party. As Gallup reports:

The largest changes in the composition of the electorate compared with the last presidential election concern the partisan affiliation of voters. Currently, 46% of likely voters identify as Democrats or lean Democratic, compared with 54% in 2008. But in 2008, Democrats enjoyed a wide 12-point advantage in party affiliation among national adults, the largest Gallup had seen in at least two decades. More recently, Americans have been about as likely to identify as or lean Republican as to identify as or lean Democratic. Consequently, the electorate has also become less Democratic and more Republican in its political orientation than in 2008. In fact, the party composition of the electorate this year looks more similar to the electorate in 2004 than 2008.

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If anything, Gallup understates the case. In 2008, Democrats enjoyed a decisive ten-point advantage in partisan affiliation, 39 percent to 29 percent. When undecided voters were pushed to choose a party, the Democrats’ edge grew by another two points, to 54 percent to 42 percent. Yet in the Gallup polls conducted since October 1, the two parties have pulled even, with Republicans actually ahead by a statistically insignificant percentage point, 36 percent to 35 percent. After being pushed to choose a party, likely voters give the Republicans a further boost, resulting in an overall three-point advantage of 49 percent to 46 percent.

If you are keeping score, in slightly less than four years President Obama has presided over an eleven-point decrease in his party’s standing with the American people, 15 points if you include those voters who “lean” one way or the other.

The Pew Research Center has posted party identification data going all the way back to 1929. The data series suggests that this deterioration in the Democrats’ standing with American voters is nearly unprecedented. The only comparable meltdown occurred during the tumultuous years of the Vietnam War and the birth of the Great Society under LBJ, when the Democrats also suffered an eleven-point loss relative to their Republican rivals.

If you are wondering which president defied the odds and steered his party forward during his time in office, try Ronald Reagan. From 1981 to 1988 the Gipper’s principled conservative leadership whittled the Democrats’ initial 14-point edge down to a mere five points.

To be sure, the most recent spate of national polls include more Republicans than did the surveys conducted earlier in October. Nevertheless, they still give more advantage to the Democrats than Gallup’s aggregate data suggest should be the case. ABC/Wall Street Journal’s most recent poll, for example, includes 34 percent Democrats and 30 percent Republicans, the Investors Business Daily poll sets the Democrats’ advantage at seven points (38 percent to 31 percent), and an Associated Press survey comes in two percentage points more Democratic than Republican.

Correcting these polls so that there was a Republican edge in the sample of voters consistent with Gallup’s finding would hand Romney a lead between five to ten points. Imagine the run on smelling salts at Mother Jones and MSNBC if that were to happen?

— Michael G. Franc is vice president of government studies at The Heritage Foundation.


These polls are more like predicting the weather than a football game. After they collect the data they use different models of the electorate to process them. This is just like the different models of what hurricane Sandy would do. It's an added degree of complication. Statistics are like using dice to measure stuff, in the sense the model is like the knowledge that a die thrown a 1000 times will come up fours one sixth of the time. The measurement is like saying that if fours come up more or less the one sixth the time; it means something. Your using randomness and your knowledge of the model to find some hidden data. The problem is that there is a real probability that number of fours rolled might come up low or high naturally without the under lying cause you are looking for. So there is a real finite probability that the polls are wrong. Now the model of the electorate is much more complicated than the model of a die. So there is a probability that the model is wrong too. I admit polls work very well and they are probably right, but there is a real chance they are wrong.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby LaserGuy » Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:06 am UTC

Florida early voting turns into a gong show. Wait times up to six hours.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Lucrece » Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:18 am UTC

I can vouch for that. Lines were so long, people had to be sectioned in different sidewalks.

I blame the fact that they assigned so few voting sites per area. The nearest two sites for me were still half an hour or more away. The rest easily an hour.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Xeio » Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:22 am UTC

Isn't voter suppression grand?

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Iulus Cofield » Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:57 am UTC

But it's not voter suppression. Everyone and their mother has the time to spend a whole day in line to vote, especially since they know their one individual vote makes all the difference and they don't have anything else going on in their lives.

My dad pointed out that it's really strange that Election Day isn't a Federal holiday.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby yurell » Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:07 am UTC

Well, a public holiday would mean that those damned working-class people can more readily vote, and we can't have that!
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Derek » Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:09 am UTC

Xeio wrote:Isn't voter suppression grand?

They still have the normal election day. It sounds to me more like a case of underestimating how many people would want to vote early. They were probably expecting something like 1% of voters but actually getting something like 10%. Lucrece's anecdote would seem to support that.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby sardia » Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:11 am UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:But it's not voter suppression. Everyone and their mother has the time to spend a whole day in line to vote, especially since they know their one individual vote makes all the difference and they don't have anything else going on in their lives.

My dad pointed out that it's really strange that Election Day isn't a Federal holiday.

It's not strange, this is obviously an agrarian farming society where farmers need several days from the weekend to travel by horse drawn carriage to get to town in order to vote. Oh, you mean why it's not a holiday by now? Republicans, bureaucratic inertia, tradition?

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Iulus Cofield » Mon Nov 05, 2012 12:01 pm UTC


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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby iamspen » Mon Nov 05, 2012 12:05 pm UTC

Derek wrote:
Xeio wrote:Isn't voter suppression grand?

They still have the normal election day. It sounds to me more like a case of underestimating how many people would want to vote early. They were probably expecting something like 1% of voters but actually getting something like 10%. Lucrece's anecdote would seem to support that.


Early voting won Florida for Obama in 2008.

Florida's Republican legislature cut early voting time almost in half.

Florida's Republican governor, despite unprecedented wait times, refused to order polling places to open on Saturday.

It is voter suppression.


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