2012 U.S. Presidential Election

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:52 pm UTC

nitePhyyre wrote: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.


Not really. The conclusion of some votes being better than others naturally would lead one to wonder at ways to focus on the better votes. There are other solutions besides disenfranchisement, true, but considering isn't that crazy from a rational standpoint, even if it's not a popular option. Hell, we disenfranchise felons right now in some states for exactly that reason.

As to the statistical thing...yeah, it's a pretty safe bet Obama wins it.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby iamspen » Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:11 pm UTC

Wrong thread - whoops.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby bentheimmigrant » Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:25 pm UTC

http://thinkprogress.org/election/2012/ ... -election/

The Ohio Attorney General has written a directive that all provisional ballots require the voter to record what form of ID they used, even though OH law states that it is the job of the local election officials. I don't know if this works retroactively (as in, could affect votes already cast), or if it's just a move to try and create more spoiled ballots (from people who might not know the official nomenclature to use for their ID, or don't realise it's their job to fill that in).

I wonder what party he could be in...
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby iamspen » Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:34 pm UTC

bentheimmigrant wrote:http://thinkprogress.org/election/2012/11/03/1134981/last-minute-ohio-directive-could-trash-legal-votes-and-swing-the-election/

The Ohio Attorney General has written a directive that all provisional ballots require the voter to record what form of ID they used, even though OH law states that it is the job of the local election officials. I don't know if this works retroactively (as in, could affect votes already cast), or if it's just a move to try and create more spoiled ballots (from people who might not know the official nomenclature to use for their ID, or don't realise it's their job to fill that in).

I wonder what party he could be in...


As an added bonus, this idea has already been nixed by a judge (two judges, IIRC, after an appeal, but I don't have time to verify that claim).

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Dark567 » Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:14 pm UTC

bentheimmigrant wrote:http://thinkprogress.org/election/2012/11/03/1134981/last-minute-ohio-directive-could-trash-legal-votes-and-swing-the-election/

The Ohio Attorney General has written a directive that all provisional ballots require the voter to record what form of ID they used, even though OH law states that it is the job of the local election officials. I don't know if this works retroactively (as in, could affect votes already cast), or if it's just a move to try and create more spoiled ballots (from people who might not know the official nomenclature to use for their ID, or don't realise it's their job to fill that in).

I wonder what party he could be in...
And people were telling me that elections are less chaotic than football games....
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Heisenberg » Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:19 pm UTC

iamspen wrote: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.

They had 8 days of early voting, plus tomorrow. If 9 days isn't enough time for you to vote, it must not be very important to you. You could vote absentee, which you could still do, at a polling place, on Saturday. It is not voter suppression.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby iamspen » Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:24 pm UTC

Changing the rules to limit a certain demographic that overwhelmingly votes against your interests is the TEXTBOOK DEFINITION of voter suppression. Any argument of that is willful ignorance, regardless of whether *you* think they had plenty of opportunity.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Heisenberg » Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:36 pm UTC

How many days do you need to vote? 50? 100?

Saying "They halved the time people could vote" is meaningless if everyone is still able to vote.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Soralin » Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:47 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:
iamspen wrote: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.

They had 8 days of early voting, plus tomorrow. If 9 days isn't enough time for you to vote, it must not be very important to you. You could vote absentee, which you could still do, at a polling place, on Saturday. It is not voter suppression.

It's not that people don't have enough time to vote, it's that they aren't able to process people fast enough now. Cutting the time for people to vote in half, means that you're going to have about double the number of people show up on the remaining days. And as a result, you have lines that in some cases are 9 hours long, or where they don't close down until everyone currently in line has had a chance to vote, some places haven't closed until 1 am.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/0 ... 73119.html
People are getting out to vote -- but many of them are having to wait in line for three or four hours to do so. One contributor to DailyKos claimed it took 9 hours to vote. In Miami-Dade on Saturday, people who had gotten in line by 7:00 p.m. were allowed to vote; the last person wasn't checked in until 1 a.m., meaning it took some individuals six hours to cast a ballot.

And about those absentee ballots?
Miami-Dade attempted to deal with the problem on Sunday by allowing voters to cast absentee ballots in person between 1:00 and 5:00 p.m. However, after just two hours, the Miami-Dade elections department shut down the location after too many people showed up. People outside the locked doors were reportedly screaming, "We want to vote!"

"They didn't have the infrastructure," filmmaker Lucas Leyva, who was among those turned away, told The Huffington Post's Janie Campbell. "We read the press release and everything that went out this morning, promising we'd be able to get absentee ballots and vote. We got here and there was a line of hundreds of people all being told the same thing, that that wasn't true anymore. You could drop off [a ballot], but they could not issue one."

And if getting turned away from the polls weren't enough of an indignity, some of those 180 people ended up getting their cars towed from the parking lot across the street, according to a Miami Herald reporter.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Telchar » Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:49 pm UTC

Except people had to wait outside of a polling place yesterday in Dade County (shockface) for hours to vote after the polling place inexplicably locked their doors and wouldn't allow them to vote.

That will decrease the number of people allowed to vote, so....you know....your argument sucks.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Heisenberg » Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:54 pm UTC

Or they could just vote on Tuesday with everyone else. Or mail in an absentee ballot. As long as everyone has an opportunity to vote, there's no disenfranchisement.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Xeio » Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:38 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:Or they could just vote on Tuesday with everyone else. Or mail in an absentee ballot. As long as everyone has an opportunity to vote, there's no disenfranchisement.
What exactly is your point? Voter suppression is a thing. Prominent republicans have been on record saying it's explicitly to help Romney win. If you don't think making voting as inconvenient as possible to reduce turnout to win is not a vile and deceptive tactic I don't really have anything to say to you.

But, then, I wish the US was more like Australia, election day is a national holiday, and everyone must vote so the facilities would have to exist to provide for voter turnout.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Garm » Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:43 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:Or they could just vote on Tuesday with everyone else. Or mail in an absentee ballot. As long as everyone has an opportunity to vote, there's no disenfranchisement.


Except all those problems with having too few polling places and too few voting machines? Not gonna go away magically on Tuesday.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby faranim » Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:45 pm UTC

I tried to vote early in Maryland on Friday. People in the parking lot said there was a 1+ hour wait, so I just went home and decided to vote on Tuesday.

Apparently 11.6% of eligible voters in MD voted early in-person (does not include absentee ballots). 2010 had something like 6% Early Voting, and was the first year in Maryland where in-person Early Voting was even possible.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby iamspen » Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:47 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:Or they could just vote on Tuesday with everyone else. Or mail in an absentee ballot. As long as everyone has an opportunity to vote, there's no disenfranchisement.


Yeah, taking time out of your day to vote during hours when polling stations are open is feasible for 100% of everybody. Glad you cleared that up for us, thanks.

In case your sarcasm detector is as faulty as Florida's legislature: increasing the difficulty of voting of a certain demographic that votes overwhelmingly a certain way is called voter suppression. Again, it doesn't matter that YOU think it's easy enough. Whether or not it effects YOU, and even your opinions on the length if time one should have to cast a vote, is entirety irrelevant.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby omgryebread » Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:02 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:Or they could just vote on Tuesday with everyone else. Or mail in an absentee ballot. As long as everyone has an opportunity to vote, there's no disenfranchisement.
This is such a ridiculously narrow definition of disenfranchisement. If you can vote only after getting punched in the face by Bill Clinton, that's obviously okay with you. Obstacle courses in front of every polling place! In order to vote, you have to pass a test on 14th century Ayutthayan politics.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:03 pm UTC

omgryebread wrote:
Heisenberg wrote:Or they could just vote on Tuesday with everyone else. Or mail in an absentee ballot. As long as everyone has an opportunity to vote, there's no disenfranchisement.
This is such a ridiculously narrow definition of disenfranchisement. If you can vote only after getting punched in the face by Bill Clinton, that's obviously okay with you. Obstacle courses in front of every polling place! In order to vote, you have to pass a test on 14th century Ayutthayan politics.


Not being able to vote early /= disenfranchisement. Obviously.

Early voting didn't even exist in many places until quite recently. Improving voter access is well and good, but failure to do so to the fullest possible extent is not disenfranchisement.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby DSenette » Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:18 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
omgryebread wrote:
Heisenberg wrote:Or they could just vote on Tuesday with everyone else. Or mail in an absentee ballot. As long as everyone has an opportunity to vote, there's no disenfranchisement.
This is such a ridiculously narrow definition of disenfranchisement. If you can vote only after getting punched in the face by Bill Clinton, that's obviously okay with you. Obstacle courses in front of every polling place! In order to vote, you have to pass a test on 14th century Ayutthayan politics.


Not being able to vote early /= disenfranchisement. Obviously.

Early voting didn't even exist in many places until quite recently. Improving voter access is well and good, but failure to do so to the fullest possible extent is not disenfranchisement.

preventing people from voting early in places where voting early isn't possiblly a thing is not disenfranchisement.

removing access to early voting (or making it damned difficult) when that process was previously available could be. especially if you have to coordinate in advance a time for you to vote. if you have to take time off from work, or arrange child/elder care, travel to/from voting place, etc... etc... and you've already lined up coverage for all of those variables, and all of a sudden you can't do that because the times have shifted.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:24 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:preventing people from voting early in places where voting early isn't possiblly a thing is not disenfranchisement.

removing access to early voting (or making it damned difficult) when that process was previously available could be. especially if you have to coordinate in advance a time for you to vote. if you have to take time off from work, or arrange child/elder care, travel to/from voting place, etc... etc... and you've already lined up coverage for all of those variables, and all of a sudden you can't do that because the times have shifted.


Here's your key...the expectations. If you have a reasonable expectation of lines far enough in advance that you can make arrangements, no disenfranchisement is occurring. A one hour line sucks...I've certainly waited that long to vote before, but the increasing popularity of early voting cannot reasonably be laid at the feet of legislature, and reduced locations have generally been publicized pretty far in advance, so the whole surprise issue should not be a concern there.

Garm wrote:
Heisenberg wrote:Or they could just vote on Tuesday with everyone else. Or mail in an absentee ballot. As long as everyone has an opportunity to vote, there's no disenfranchisement.


Except all those problems with having too few polling places and too few voting machines? Not gonna go away magically on Tuesday.


Early voting locations and regular voting locations are frequently not at all the same. A shortage in one does not imply or require a shortage of the other.

Generally, there's a LOT more places open on tuesday. So no, not magic. But yes, it does go away to some degree.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby iamspen » Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:32 pm UTC

That's a bit ridiculous. Just because voters should expect longer lines doesn't at all mean the legislature didn't fuck them, and, in fact, indicates EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE. Just because they hell you, hey, early voting hours have been reduced doesn't somehow magically make it right, especially when they cause eight-hour lines, which, speaki's ng of expectations, are entirely unreasonable by anyone's standards.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:38 pm UTC

iamspen wrote:That's a bit ridiculous. Just because voters should expect longer lines doesn't at all mean the legislature didn't fuck them, and, in fact, indicates EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE. Just because they hell you, hey, early voting hours have been reduced doesn't somehow magically make it right, especially when they cause eight-hour lines, which, speaki's ng of expectations, are entirely unreasonable by anyone's standards.


It's unfortunate, yes. Longer lines are always worse.

That doesn't make it disenfranchisement. Long lines at the DMV are not the same as being denied the ability to get a drivers license, either. Suppression is a reasonable word to use. And sure, you can point out that such long lines are kind of unreasonable, but I am getting a bit tired of people equating "you can't vote" with "it's inconvenient to vote".

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Heisenberg » Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:45 pm UTC

Xeio wrote:If you don't think making voting as inconvenient as possible to reduce turnout to win is not a vile and deceptive tactic I don't really have anything to say to you.

I agree with you entirely. And if I was limited to a short window Tuesday afternoon I'd be pissed. But I think 9 days is more than enough time to find a few hours to go to the polls, and I don't think turnout is going to be affected by extending that to 16 days.
Garm wrote:Except all those problems with having too few polling places and too few voting machines? Not gonna go away magically on Tuesday.
The polls should be equipped to handle more voters on Tuesday, that's a basic necessity of an election. If they have problems on election day, Florida should toss its Governor and elect one who will put competent people in charge of elections.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Garm » Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:46 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:
omgryebread wrote:
Heisenberg wrote:Or they could just vote on Tuesday with everyone else. Or mail in an absentee ballot. As long as everyone has an opportunity to vote, there's no disenfranchisement.
This is such a ridiculously narrow definition of disenfranchisement. If you can vote only after getting punched in the face by Bill Clinton, that's obviously okay with you. Obstacle courses in front of every polling place! In order to vote, you have to pass a test on 14th century Ayutthayan politics.


Not being able to vote early /= disenfranchisement. Obviously.

Early voting didn't even exist in many places until quite recently. Improving voter access is well and good, but failure to do so to the fullest possible extent is not disenfranchisement.

preventing people from voting early in places where voting early isn't possiblly a thing is not disenfranchisement.

removing access to early voting (or making it damned difficult) when that process was previously available could be. especially if you have to coordinate in advance a time for you to vote. if you have to take time off from work, or arrange child/elder care, travel to/from voting place, etc... etc... and you've already lined up coverage for all of those variables, and all of a sudden you can't do that because the times have shifted.


More than that: If early voting was opened as a panacea to poorly organized, staffed, equipped polling locations that couldn't handle the normal volume of voters on an Election Tuesday, then curtailing those hours is disenfranchisement.

My logic is thus:

1. Everyone who wants to vote and shows up to the polling on a Tuesday and is turned away because of Reasons, is being disenfranchised.
2. Early voting is/was largely instituted as a budget friendly solution to problem number 1.
3. If voter demand is not being met (meaning those who want to vote are still be turned away), then any reduction in early voting will result in disenfranchisement because it's just reducing everything to the first problem.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Xeio » Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:51 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:That doesn't make it disenfranchisement. Long lines at the DMV are not the same as being denied the ability to get a drivers license, either. Suppression is a reasonable word to use. And sure, you can point out that such long lines are kind of unreasonable, but I am getting a bit tired of people equating "you can't vote" with "it's inconvenient to vote".
Of course, then the question becomes, when does it become too inconvenient to vote? Can any level of inconvenience lead to disenfranchisement?

Clearly a single polling place for the entire state of New York would be over the line (to use an absurd example). But changing the rules to reduce early voting oppertunities? Reducing voting hours? Requiring more restrictive ID? Closing the poll place due to it being too busy? Reducing available polling places? Last minute ballot rules changes that could invalidate votes (that are already cast, no less)? All of them in the same election (like is happening now)?
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Heisenberg » Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:52 pm UTC

Garm wrote:1. Everyone who wants to vote and shows up to the polling on a Tuesday and is turned away because of Reasons, is being disenfranchised.

Is requiring voter registration disenfranchisement? Is requiring voters to vote at a specific polling place disenfranchisement?

This isn't a gotcha, I'm just curious how open you want the elections to be.

Edit: I also assumed that early voting was for folks who couldn't make it on a Tuesday, not for folks who would be turned away on Tuesday. Which is probably why I think that early voting is dumb.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Garm » Mon Nov 05, 2012 8:04 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:
Garm wrote:1. Everyone who wants to vote and shows up to the polling on a Tuesday and is turned away because of Reasons, is being disenfranchised.

Is requiring voter registration disenfranchisement? Is requiring voters to vote at a specific polling place disenfranchisement?

This isn't a gotcha, I'm just curious how open you want the elections to be.

Edit: I also assumed that early voting was for folks who couldn't make it on a Tuesday, not for folks who would be turned away on Tuesday. Which is probably why I think that early voting is dumb.


I'm sorry... I should have stated in my list that every voter who shows up and wants to vote is also able to vote (meaning registered and in the correct location). I think voter registration is very reasonable (it's sooooooooooo easy to register). I think polling places can be reasonable, by which I mean the polling place should be easily accessible to those that live in the precinct. Now, that's kind of a wide open definition because of things like urban vs. rural districts. If I were to say something like "all polling places should be easily walkable by those in the precinct," I'd be getting myself into trouble. It's open-ended and unsatisfactory because my old precinct location was a 3 minute walk from my house (now it's more like 10 minutes.... or 45 if I decide to bring my kid) but in a place like Montana, the polling place might be an hour drive away. Setting up the polling places to be a hinderance, however, is not cool. Examples of this are putting the polling location outside a precinct or putting it in the most lightly populated portion of a precinct. Both of those examples, of course, rely on there being a better location for the polling place that is not being used in order to maximize voter effort and minimize ease of voting.

Does that answer your question?
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Sheikh al-Majaneen » Mon Nov 05, 2012 8:27 pm UTC

yurell wrote:Well, a public holiday would mean that those damned working-class people can more readily vote, and we can't have that!

Most working class people don't get public holidays off. It's the people who work in management and above who do.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Diadem » Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:03 pm UTC

From all these talks about different states, I gather that each state is free to set its own rules regarding voting.

But how much leeway do they have in that? I presume there are national rules regarding voting as well? States probably aren't allowed to take away voting rights from specific groups (women, or prisoners, people who don't pay income tax). But could states move the election dates? Decide voting can only be done between 03:00 AM and 04:00 AM? What kind of rules are there?

Also, can someone explain all this 'voting before election day' to me? I thought this was just for people who couldn't show up to vote, for example Americans living abroad. But the articles I'm reading talk about people showing up at polling stations to fill in absentee ballots. That sounds ...weird.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby sardia » Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:04 pm UTC

I always wondered what republicans thought of the low voter turnout in the US, I've only heard them complain of voter fraud.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Yakk » Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:10 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:Also, can someone explain all this 'voting before election day' to me? I thought this was just for people who couldn't show up to vote, for example Americans living abroad. But the articles I'm reading talk about people showing up at polling stations to fill in absentee ballots. That sounds ...weird.
Predictable huge lineups the election day, with most of the hours being while you have to work.

So you vote early instead, on a day when you don't have to work.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Heisenberg » Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:23 pm UTC

Garm wrote:Does that answer your question?
Yup. So you don't want to open up eligibility, you just want to open up time and access.
Sheikh al-Majaneen wrote:Most working class people don't get public holidays off. It's the people who work in management and above who do.
Some unions, like the Auto Workers, have the day off as part of their contract. The white collar workers have to work a full day.
Diadem wrote:States probably aren't allowed to take away voting rights from specific groups (women, or prisoners, people who don't pay income tax). But could states move the election dates? Decide voting can only be done between 03:00 AM and 04:00 AM? What kind of rules are there?
Women, no. Prisoners, yes. There's some variations in whether convicted felons can vote, and what sort of ballot access prisoners get, I believe. In Bush v. Gore, the Supreme Court ruled that American citizens do not have the right to vote for President. The States vote for President, and can allocate their votes however they choose. The States let the citizens vote to choose how the State votes, but some States allocate all of their votes to one candidate, and others allocate them proportionally.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Iulus Cofield » Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:30 pm UTC

Bush v Gore didn't set precedence though, since the Supreme Court was pretty aware that what they were doing was wrong.

Sheikh al-Majaneen wrote:
yurell wrote:Well, a public holiday would mean that those damned working-class people can more readily vote, and we can't have that!

Most working class people don't get public holidays off. It's the people who work in management and above who do.


I thought it was only the service industry that traditionally worked holidays, with double pay of course. A Federal holiday would still help though, since a provision could be made requiring employers that operate on election day to provide absentee ballots in states that don't already have reason-free absentee ballots.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby LaserGuy » Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:33 pm UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:Bush v Gore didn't set precedence though, since the Supreme Court was pretty aware that what they were doing was wrong.

Sheikh al-Majaneen wrote:
yurell wrote:Well, a public holiday would mean that those damned working-class people can more readily vote, and we can't have that!

Most working class people don't get public holidays off. It's the people who work in management and above who do.


I thought it was only the service industry that traditionally worked holidays, with double pay of course. A Federal holiday would still help though, since a provision could be made requiring employers that operate on election day to provide absentee ballots in states that don't already have reason-free absentee ballots.


Are there any rules as far as election day is concerned for work purposes in the United States? Here in Canada, you are legally required to have a minimum of three consecutive hours of time to vote. If your work hours do not allow for such a period, then your employer is mandated by law to provide a 3 hour window for you to go vote.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby DSenette » Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:35 pm UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:Bush v Gore didn't set precedence though, since the Supreme Court was pretty aware that what they were doing was wrong.

Sheikh al-Majaneen wrote:
yurell wrote:Well, a public holiday would mean that those damned working-class people can more readily vote, and we can't have that!

Most working class people don't get public holidays off. It's the people who work in management and above who do.


I thought it was only the service industry that traditionally worked holidays, with double pay of course. A Federal holiday would still help though, since a provision could be made requiring employers that operate on election day to provide absentee ballots in states that don't already have reason-free absentee ballots.

i work in manufacturing and we don't get all of federal holidays off (washington's bday, columbus day, veterans day specifically)
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:39 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:From all these talks about different states, I gather that each state is free to set its own rules regarding voting.

But how much leeway do they have in that? I presume there are national rules regarding voting as well? States probably aren't allowed to take away voting rights from specific groups (women, or prisoners, people who don't pay income tax). But could states move the election dates? Decide voting can only be done between 03:00 AM and 04:00 AM? What kind of rules are there?


States do in fact have the right to take away voting rights from prisoners/previously convicted citizens(usually felons). This has been upheld at the supreme court, and I believe some states still do.

Sufficiently significant voter restriction would fall to the courts, and would have to be found to violate the 14th amendment(or one of the more specific, later amendments). A probable outcome of reducing the pool of voters would be having electoral seats, etc diminished accordingly. There'd probably have to be quite severe cases to get to this level.

Moving the election date is possible, within reason. Early voting is one such example. You don't have to vote on tuesday from a federal standpoint.

Also, can someone explain all this 'voting before election day' to me? I thought this was just for people who couldn't show up to vote, for example Americans living abroad. But the articles I'm reading talk about people showing up at polling stations to fill in absentee ballots. That sounds ...weird.


It used to be for absentees, but as a convenience, many states allow voting in advance. Nothing wrong with it, really. The concept of a single election day is probably unnecessary.

Yakk wrote:
Diadem wrote:Also, can someone explain all this 'voting before election day' to me? I thought this was just for people who couldn't show up to vote, for example Americans living abroad. But the articles I'm reading talk about people showing up at polling stations to fill in absentee ballots. That sounds ...weird.
Predictable huge lineups the election day, with most of the hours being while you have to work.

So you vote early instead, on a day when you don't have to work.


A great many states mandate that time off be given to vote. Note that this is often just however much time it takes you to vote, not necessarily the entire day. Florida lacks such a law, but Ohio does not. You can find a map here. It should also be noted that polls are typically open longer than a normal workday, though of course, showing up just after you get off shift might involve a longer line.

Xeio wrote:Of course, then the question becomes, when does it become too inconvenient to vote? Can any level of inconvenience lead to disenfranchisement?

Clearly a single polling place for the entire state of New York would be over the line (to use an absurd example). But changing the rules to reduce early voting oppertunities? Reducing voting hours? Requiring more restrictive ID? Closing the poll place due to it being too busy? Reducing available polling places? Last minute ballot rules changes that could invalidate votes (that are already cast, no less)? All of them in the same election (like is happening now)?


I have no objection to any of those(within reason), save for attempting to invalidate votes that have already been properly cast. That's dirty pool. After the fact rules changes are not something a voter can reasonably comply with.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Nordic Einar » Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:36 am UTC

Something to check out: http://www.havingtroublevoting.com/

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:25 am UTC

I am unable to vote this election; my new job started last week, so I had to move to a different state. But I didn't find out I got the job in enough time to change my address for voting purposes, and I was unable to obtain an absentee ballot for my previous state, so no vote for me.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Sheikh al-Majaneen » Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:47 am UTC

Heisenberg wrote:
Garm wrote:Some unions, like the Auto Workers, have the day off as part of their contract. The white collar workers have to work a full day.

It doesn't feel right to me to suggest that people who make over 30 dollars per hour to be "working class". Or more specifically, not lower class. IIRC, wages of unionized auto workers can get over 60 $/hr. "Working class" has a connotation of living paycheck to paycheck. If you are making 125k a year and living paycheck to paycheck then it is because you or a family member got sick or died, or [EDIT: generic] you are an abject moron.

Has anyone noticed how Mitt Romney had been referring to "middle income earners" (and hardly anyone of lesser income) or something like that in the debates, and not referring to class at all?

Iulus Cofield wrote:I thought it was only the service industry that traditionally worked holidays, with double pay of course. A Federal holiday would still help though, since a provision could be made requiring employers that operate on election day to provide absentee ballots in states that don't already have reason-free absentee ballots.

Double pay. LOL!

Around here in the Southeast, careless talk like that can get you fired.

On my last few weeks at Subway, when the owner of the franchise walks in, I am going to "accidentally" casually refer to how we are unionising(we aren't). I want to see him squirm. It will be magical. Maybe he will fire me. Maybe I will have to have a talk with the ACLU, though they probably don't care about such things as much as they should.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Dark567 » Tue Nov 06, 2012 5:33 am UTC

Sheikh al-Majaneen wrote:It doesn't feel right to me to suggest that people who make over 30 dollars per hour to be "working class". Or more specifically, not lower class. IIRC, wages of unionized auto workers can get over 60 $/hr. "Working class" has a connotation of living paycheck to paycheck. If you are making 125k a year and living paycheck to paycheck then it is because you or a family member got sick or died, or [EDIT: generic] you are an abject moron.
There is only slight correlation between wealth and income, meaning there must be a large number of abject morons out there. There's a surprising number of people out there who live paycheck to paycheck by choice.
Sheikh al-Majaneen wrote:Has anyone noticed how Mitt Romney had been referring to "middle income earners" (and hardly anyone of lesser income) or something like that in the debates, and not referring to class at all?
Hardly just Romney, politicians in general fetishize the middle class over the truly poor.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Iulus Cofield » Tue Nov 06, 2012 5:45 am UTC

I think Romney prefers "middle-income" to "middle-class" because middle class already has a definition and Romney wants to mean something more akin to "people earning more than $250k/year and less than a million".


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