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As we gear up towards Election Day in the US, if you are of age and legally able, please vote! Exercise your civic right and duty! MAKE IT COUNT and BE SAFE OUT THERE!

I dropped off my ballot and my wife's ballot at our local Board of Elections and they gave me stickers!

Election day is Nov. 3

New York (NY)

Registration deadlines

Online: Oct. 9

By mail: Postmarked by Oct. 9

In person: Oct. 9

Absentee ballot deadlines

Request: Received by Oct. 27

Return by mail: Postmarked by Nov. 3

Return in person: Nov. 3 by 9:00 p.m.

Early voting

Oct. 24 - Nov. 1, but dates and hours may vary based on where you live

201006 - I Voted.jpg

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My state leans so far one direction that it doesn't matter who I vote for, or that I vote at all.

I still vote anyway every election, because why not? Mailing it makes my life easier.

I won't send in the ballot that arrived for the husband of the previous owner of my house who died before 2015, when I purchased the house. I'm sure everyone else in the same position will respect the process and just shred it as well.

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So... Call me a stick in the mud, but since there has been so much misinformation regarding voter fraud, and since faith in the process of free and fair elections is the first requirement in a peaceful transfer of power... ...maybe jokes about voter fraud aren't funny right now...?  maybe... could be that I am a middle-aged prude. (I used to be cool, and have the pics to prove it.) 

...But there is a non-zero chance that I am right... and even if the chance that I am right is as low as the percentage of actual measured voter fraud in the US, it is still worth considering...

I am ashamed that I even mentioned it... nuance, sarcasm, and all sorts of other fun things are the first to die in a post truth age.

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Ballot harvesting is mostly legal, so if someone was to be unethical (or simply believe that they are morally justified in doing so) - it would not be difficult to commit fraud (for either side).

Edited by KShine
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I have a question but I don't want to offend or seem like I'm taking the piss. I see every democratic country the world over with multiple political parties and independent candidates running on differing policies and positions. In the US I see 2 parties separated by little more than the colour and animal on their logo. Why are there no other alternatives?

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15 minutes ago, CrabslayerT said:

I have a question but I don't want to offend or seem like I'm taking the piss. I see every democratic country the world over with multiple political parties and independent candidates running on differing policies and positions. In the US I see 2 parties separated by little more than the colour and animal on their logo. Why are there no other alternatives?

Money. 

You may see others on the ballot when you go to vote, but you may not have heard of them due to the lack of money.  There is a libertarian candidate running for President but unless they poll high enough I don't believe they can get in the debates.

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11 minutes ago, CrabslayerT said:

I have a question but I don't want to offend or seem like I'm taking the piss. I see every democratic country the world over with multiple political parties and independent candidates running on differing policies and positions. In the US I see 2 parties separated by little more than the colour and animal on their logo. Why are there no other alternatives?

That's a GREAT QUESTION!

The short answer is that given our current US electoral system, it's based on a winner-take-all model. There is no reward for winning 20% or 30% of the vote in an election so third parties in the United States do not get far. Hence, each of the two major political parties tries to broaden its appeal to half the electorate, ideally. Furthermore, third parties do not have the same funding appeal as the two major parties.

The long answer is that since the start of US history, there generally have been two parties. Since the 1850s, it's been the Democrats and the Republicans competing in elections. Before that, you had the Democrats and the Whigs. And if you want to go back further to the 18th century, you have the Democratic-Republicans and the Federalists. The American electoral system is based on a first-past the post voting system, which has led to the rise of two parties in this country.

This means that whomever wins the most votes out of a number of candidates generally wins the election, even if they do not get a majority of all the votes cast! This happened in the US in 1992 for example. In this situation, Bill Clinton won the highest number of electoral votes and became president.

image.png.c6d556e3a32f290b66e4679c64bc034c.png

Now, the US Presidency itself is decided by the winner of the Electoral College, which is a whole different can of worms and I won't go into unless someone asks.

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7 hours ago, CrabslayerT said:

I have a question but I don't want to offend or seem like I'm taking the piss. I see every democratic country the world over with multiple political parties and independent candidates running on differing policies and positions. In the US I see 2 parties separated by little more than the colour and animal on their logo. Why are there no other alternatives?

There are actually about a dozen political parties in the USA.  They sometimes have the same candidates nominated for Pres/VP.  I.E. in 2016 the Socialist Party in the USA had Bernie Sanders for pres.  In addition to Socialist Party, some others are: Green Party, Libertarian party, Labor Party, and various off-shoots of the Republicans and Democrats.  Each party needs to acquire the necessary number of signatures on a petition in each state in order for their candidate to be listed on the ballot for that state's presidential election.

Candidates are elected by popular vote by state.  So for instance in 2016, when 2/3 of CA's 9 million votes went for Hillary Clinton, then Hillary Clinton received all 55 electoral votes for president (the same number of representatives CA had in the house in 2016).  However, even if she had received only 4.5 mil + 1 of the 9 mil votes, she still would have received all 55 electoral college votes. 

This is why each state in the USA lobbies so hard to determine their population because it determines how many representatives they get in the House of Representatives and their impact on the Presidential election.  As a comparison, Iowa has a total population just over 3 mil and has only 6 electoral votes and representatives in the house.  So in order to overcome CA's voting power for president, another candidate would need to win 10 more states the size of Iowa just to overcome CA.  That is basically how Trump won in 2016.  Hillary won the most populous states, but Trump won the majority of states.  He ended up with the Electoral College win.  Hillary could have won all 9 million votes in CA and Trump zero, she would still only receive 55 electoral votes from CA.  I say that because if you remove CA from the equation in 2016, Trump won the popular vote as well as the electoral college.

CA (42 mil population) is almost twice as populous as either NY or FL.  Using just those three states, if candidate 1 running for president won CA (53 votes in 2020) and candidate 2 won both TX (27) and FL (27,) then candidate 2 would win the electoral college by 1 vote.

Today, the only way the media will give a non-Rep/Dem candidate the time of day is if they can gain around 5 or 6% of the polls early in an election year.  However, the only way you can get that much attention is if the press will cover your candidate.  So unless you're Joe Moneybags as an independent it is near impossible to ever make it onto a debate stage.  This is why Bernie Sanders (Independent) keeps running as a Democrat.  He knows he wouldn't get the time of day otherwise.

History lesson for those who care:

When Abraham Lincoln was elected president in 1860 there were four candidates running for President.  Three of them were from various Democratic Parties.  Lincoln was from the newly formed Republican party, which was anti-slavery.  The Republican party was so new (and not popular in the southern states) that Lincoln did not gain enough signatures to even show up on the ballot for president in seven southern states.  Lincoln finished dead last of the four candidates in another three states (all slave-owning).  Lincoln easily won the electoral college and popular vote in a land-slide (Lincoln's totals were greater than the other three candidates added together).  So you can imagine the shock of the seven southern slave-owning states when someone who wasn't even on their ballot was pronounced the President of the USA.  This is why they seceded from the union before Lincoln was even sworn into office saying, "He's not my president".  The other three states seceded shortly after the first seven.  Those 10 states made up the confederacy.

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My state (ME) is the first to implement Ranked Choice voting even though the Repubs are hell bent on getting rid of it. All of our state elections have been this way since 2017, but this will be the first presidential election to use this system. I am starting to like this system better as it requires a candidate to receive at least 50% of the vote to be declared a winner. If no one receives 50% then the lowest candidate is removed and the votes recounted and repeated until there is a clear winner.

Under this system, voters rank each candidate based on preference. If only 3 candidates then you vote them by 1st choice, 2nd choice, and lastly 3rd choice.   

 

Speaking about parties, I have been a green party member ever since signing up Freshman year in college.  I am happy not be associated with the Dems or Repubs, but sadly, the green party will never be taken seriously on their current path.

As many have said before, all the other smaller parties do not have the funding or logical platforms needed for them to succeed.  

 

https://ballotpedia.org/Ranked-choice_voting_(RCV)

Edited by BricksBrotha
typo
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3 minutes ago, BricksBrotha said:

My state (ME) is the first to implement Ranked Choice voting even though the Repubs are hell bent on getting rid of it. All of our state elections have been this way since 2017, but this will be the first presidential election to use this system. I am starting to like this system better as it requires a candidate to receive at least 50% of the vote to be declared a winner. If no one receives 50% then the lowest candidate is removed and the votes recounted and repeated until there is a clear winner.

Under this system, voters rank each candidate based on preference. If only 3 candidates then you vote them by 1st choice, 2nd choice, and lastly 3rd choice.  If no candidate receives 50% of the 1st choice.

 

https://ballotpedia.org/Ranked-choice_voting_(RCV)

Ranked choice voting and/or  open primaries, where the top two vote getters, regardless of party, go on to the general election,  will cool off the political climate in the US.

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3 hours ago, BricksBrotha said:

My state (ME) is the first to implement Ranked Choice voting even though the Repubs are hell bent on getting rid of it. All of our state elections have been this way since 2017, but this will be the first presidential election to use this system. I am starting to like this system better as it requires a candidate to receive at least 50% of the vote to be declared a winner. If no one receives 50% then the lowest candidate is removed and the votes recounted and repeated until there is a clear winner.

Under this system, voters rank each candidate based on preference. If only 3 candidates then you vote them by 1st choice, 2nd choice, and lastly 3rd choice.   

 

Speaking about parties, I have been a green party member ever since signing up Freshman year in college.  I am happy not be associated with the Dems or Repubs, but sadly, the green party will never be taken seriously on their current path.

As many have said before, all the other smaller parties do not have the funding or logical platforms needed for them to succeed.  

 

https://ballotpedia.org/Ranked-choice_voting_(RCV)

I love this system. really maximizes the value of a vote and gives voters more empowerment...I'd like to hear an objective argument for it (other than being a bit more complicated) because all I see are partisan reasons to not adopt it nationwide. 

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3 hours ago, BricksBrotha said:

My state (ME) is the first to implement Ranked Choice voting even though the Repubs are hell bent on getting rid of it. All of our state elections have been this way since 2017, but this will be the first presidential election to use this system. I am starting to like this system better as it requires a candidate to receive at least 50% of the vote to be declared a winner. If no one receives 50% then the lowest candidate is removed and the votes recounted and repeated until there is a clear winner.

Under this system, voters rank each candidate based on preference. If only 3 candidates then you vote them by 1st choice, 2nd choice, and lastly 3rd choice.   

 

Speaking about parties, I have been a green party member ever since signing up Freshman year in college.  I am happy not be associated with the Dems or Repubs, but sadly, the green party will never be taken seriously on their current path.

As many have said before, all the other smaller parties do not have the funding or logical platforms needed for them to succeed.  

 

https://ballotpedia.org/Ranked-choice_voting_(RCV)

Awesome. 

Ranked choice voting opens empowers people to vote for the best candidate, and not worry that it could contribute to a worst-case scenario of an ideological polar opposite being elected. (e.g. Republicans voting for Perot or Democrats voting for Jill Stein.) As a result, 3rd party becomes more viable and, even if they don't win, the format/viability applies policy pressure and accountability to the current leading parties.

The 2nd step is something like "Democracy Dollars", where every eligible voter receives, say, a voucher of $100 per election cycle that can be given in increments of $25 to candidate(s) in the primary and/or general election - effectively making the voice of the people louder than the corporations.

Andrew Yang, BTW, was a strong proponent of both of these policies.

 

 

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Edited by brickvoyeur
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5 minutes ago, $20 on joe vs dan said:

I love this system. really maximizes the value of a vote and gives voters more empowerment...I'd like to hear an objective argument for it (other than being a bit more complicated) because all I see are partisan reasons to not adopt it nationwide. 

I think it would work well as long as there are only two candidates (among all political parties, including independents).  Once you go beyond two candidates, if multiple candidates came in first or second in various states, the electoral college could end up split in such a way that here was no majority winner.  Then it would require a run-off between the top two.  God help us if we had to put up with another month of political adds *ugh*!

Ironically, if I use CA as an example, using Maine's system would have actually given Trump an even larger electoral college win.

Think about it this way, Trump's popular vote 2016 (nation wide) was under Hillary by only 2.86 million (only 2% difference).  (I was mistaken earlier re: CA votes, there were actually 13 mil+ votes cast in CA alone in 2016).  Hillary won CA 8,753,788 (61%) to Trump's 4,483,810 (31%) - (diff of 4.3 mil. votes - in other words, if you take out CA's popular vote, Trump won the popular vote nation-wide by over 1.5 mil. people).

Under Maine's system, Hillary would have lost 18 electoral votes to Trump.  Admittedly, there are a lot of states that they basically would have split the electoral delegates, but the majority always gets more than the minority so it would never be a tie.  Trump took 30 states while Hillary took only 20.  So in the end Trump's electoral collage win would have been even greater with a Maine type system used nation-wide.

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