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#1 of 75 Stan

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Posted October 06 2012 - 04:28 AM

I know we're not supposed to discuss politics here, but this is just a simple question about voting, not debating or arguing for or against candidates. I live in Washington state (on the east side) and probably 99% of whatever comes out of this state is decided upon by the Seattle area. More and more I feel like my vote doesn't even matter. Other than a few local races, everything else is already decided by the west coast people. We're not a swing state and have already been written off by the national media, they're just assuming we'll go a certain direction. It just seems like it's not even worth the trouble to vote any longer, my little opinion just doesn't matter. If this thread is closed I understand, but it's not really about politics, it's more about "does the little guy count any more". When everything is controlled by one heavily populated section of the state, why should I even bother, it won't make a difference.
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#2 of 75 Steve Schaffer

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Posted October 07 2012 - 06:28 AM

Except for the Presidential race, which involves the electoral college, your vote counts as much as anyone else's in the state--especially in local races for city council, county supervisor, state legislators, etc. Please don't give up your voice.
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#3 of 75 TravisR

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Posted October 07 2012 - 06:41 AM

Please don't give up your voice.

I agree. Whether your candidate wins by a landslide and you're just a drop in the bucket or you're the only guy who votes for him, make your thoughts known.

#4 of 75 Stan

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Posted October 07 2012 - 10:02 AM

I will be voting, always have and always will, just so my opinion counts, no matter how small it may be. Still plenty of local races and even statewide races where my input may make a difference. Thanks for the little boost I needed to stay involved.
Stan

#5 of 75 Hugh Jackes

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Posted October 08 2012 - 02:06 AM

Agreed with all. In the presidential contest, my vote does not count. California last went for a Republican with Reagan, and there's no way Obama loses here. Not a political statement, just what is. But every congresscritter has an opponent that you may or may not like better, one of our senators is standing for reelection, there are local races (town councils, school boards), plus California has the direct propositions for things like taxes, food labeling, union politicking, among others. Frequently, our part of the state, while powerless in the presidential contest, decides the senator and ballot measures. Vote your conscience, even if you know that the guy (or gal) that you support is a shoe-in or doesn't stand a chance. Of course, if you support the guy (or gal) I don't like, I'm ok with you staying home :D
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#6 of 75 andrew markworthy

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Posted October 08 2012 - 02:28 AM

This is true across the world, I think. Here in the UK I have lived successively in electoral boroughs that have been overwhelmingly for one party or another. The great thing is that come election time you don't get bothered by people calling at your door trying to persuade you to vote for a particular party (I don't know if they do that in the USA, but it can be a pain in the proverbial here). Basically, in these so-called 'safe seats' there is little point in investing energy into the campaign, and the poor devil who is representing the party bound to lose is typically being given practice at campaigning before being allowed to try for a more competitive seat in a future election. However, there is always a point in voting, even in supposedly safe seats. Back in the 1990s, when the Labour party swept to power, the voters at the last minute unexpectedly swung towards Labour, and Labour candidates who thought that they were just in effect on a practice run found themselves elected MPs.

#7 of 75 Jason Charlton

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Posted October 08 2012 - 02:31 AM

I also strongly believe that it's important to get out and vote regardless of whether or not you think your vote will count or not (I've lived in states that are both solidly red and solidly blue, but I've ALWAYS voted).  In fact, since my boys' daycare is closed on election day, I'm planning on taking the day off from work (it was either me or my wife) and will take my 4 year olds with me when I vote.  They won't understand the politics part of it, but I think it's important that they understand not only that we get to help "pick" who the leaders in our country are, but also that it's an important and special privilege to do so.


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#8 of 75 Adam Gregorich

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Posted October 08 2012 - 03:58 AM

Stan-

As someone who also lives in Washington state (which leans pretty far left) I understand where you are coming from.  With the electoral collage your presidential vote really won't matter unless its for Obama.  To avoid politics I don't want to get into who you plan on voting for, but you could always vote 3rd party if you wanted to make a statement.  Ignoring the presidential race for a moment there are a lot of state initiatives and races on the ballot that will be very close.  Despite the fact that the state leans left there were three recounts on the last governors race, so I think that will be close and every vote will count.  There are a lot of interesting initiatives this year: gay marriage, charter schools, marijuana, etc that may be close.  So while you may have a point on the presidential election, I think its very important that you vote to be heard on the other issues.  Just my $.02


Jason-

Great idea.  Our county is now completely mail in (no polling places anymore) so I can't take the kids with me, but I do talk to them about it while I have my ballot out and am voting.



#9 of 75 Stan

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Posted October 08 2012 - 04:24 AM

Thanks for the replies. Kind of restores my belief that I can make a difference. Adam, thanks for the state info. Will definitely be voting on governor and the gay marriage issue, should be interesting to see which way things go. Never knew the last governor's race was so close, but looks a lot like this one will also come right down to the final votes counted. Sometimes it just feels like it's such a waste of time because of the population and power of the west side of the state, but I will also put in my $.02 worth.
Stan

#10 of 75 bryan4999

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Posted October 08 2012 - 04:27 AM

I think it is super important to always vote. There is a local elected Judge whose policies I disagree with vehemently. In the last election, he won - but only by a few votes, in fact, there was a recount because it was so close. Even though he won, I believe the message was sent loud and clear that a large percentage of those in his district do not support his policies. That election sparked a great deal of discussion on the matter. That message would not have been so clear had even a small number of those who voted stayed home on voting day.

#11 of 75 Scott Merryfield

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Posted October 08 2012 - 04:35 AM

I agree with the general statement here that you should make your voice heard, regardless of whether you think the person or issue you are voting on will be a landslide winner or loser. The county I live in leans heavily in the opposite direction of my views, so my preferred candidates for county positions rarely win. However, that doesn't stop me from voting. There are usually several proposals on the ballot that deserve consideration, too. If you do not exercise your right to vote, you have no right to complain about political issues, IMO. For this November's election, I will be doing something for the first time -- submitting an absentee ballot. My wife will be out of town the previous weekend, and I have to pick her up at the airport after work on election day, which may prevent us from making it to the polls before they close.

#12 of 75 Jason Charlton

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Posted October 08 2012 - 04:41 AM

Originally Posted by Scott Merryfield 

There are usually several proposals on the ballot that deserve consideration, too.


So true.  Here in Maryland, there are several VERY highly charged and contentious referendums on the ballot as well.


Even if you feel your vote for president won't make a difference, the significance of your single vote on a state and local level is substantially magnified.


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#13 of 75 Adam Gregorich

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Posted October 08 2012 - 04:44 AM

Originally Posted by Stan 

Thanks for the replies. Kind of restores my belief that I can make a difference.

Adam, thanks for the state info. Will definitely be voting on governor and the gay marriage issue, should be interesting to see which way things go. Never knew the last governor's race was so close, but looks a lot like this one will also come right down to the final votes counted.

Sometimes it just feels like it's such a waste of time because of the population and power of the west side of the state, but I will also put in my $.02 worth.

We feel it on this side of the state too Posted Image Seattle seems to get things its way.  Seattle is located in King County.  A large portion of the county is still what I consider rural.  Folks in Seattle thought it would be a good idea a few years ago to limit development in the county on large land parcels to "preserve open space".  Very nice of them considering they live in a city and don't have any.  The folks out in the rural portions of the county didn't appreciate that there ability to develop their own land was greatly reduced by people who lived in the city and wouldn't feel the economic impact.  There is a reason why I live just over the county line Posted Image.



#14 of 75 Adam Gregorich

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Posted October 08 2012 - 04:46 AM

Originally Posted by bryan4999 

I think it is super important to always vote. There is a local elected Judge whose policies I disagree with vehemently. In the last election, he won - but only by a few votes, in fact, there was a recount because it was so close. Even though he won, I believe the message was sent loud and clear that a large percentage of those in his district do not support his policies. That election sparked a great deal of discussion on the matter. That message would not have been so clear had even a small number of those who voted stayed home on voting day.

This is saying a lot as most people don't usually pay any attention to the judicial races.  For an election to be that close even though you won, the electorate is saying you are NOT popular.



#15 of 75 bryan4999

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Posted October 08 2012 - 05:43 AM

This is saying a lot as most people don't usually pay any attention to the judicial races.  For an election to be that close even though you won, the electorate is saying you are NOT popular.

Yes, you're correct, and in this case the Judge in question made some rulings in a touchy local case that had people riled up, so it was probably an exception to the rule. However, it does illustrate the value and power of voting.

#16 of 75 DaveF

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Posted October 08 2012 - 07:34 AM

Originally Posted by Stan 

If this thread is closed I understand, but it's not really about politics, it's more about "does the little guy count any more". When everything is controlled by one heavily populated section of the state, why should I even bother, it won't make a difference.

Does your vote matter? Nope.


http://www.nytimes.c...ne/06freak.html




Quote:

The odds that your vote will actually affect the outcome of a given election are very, very, very slim. This was documented by the economists Casey Mulligan and Charles Hunter, who analyzed more than 56,000 Congressional and state-legislative elections since 1898. For all the attention paid in the media to close elections, it turns out that they are exceedingly rare. The median margin of victory in the Congressional elections was 22 percent; in the state-legislature elections, it was 25 percent. Even in the closest elections, it is almost never the case that a single vote is pivotal. Of the more than 40,000 elections for state legislator that Mulligan and Hunter analyzed, comprising nearly 1 billion votes, only 7 elections were decided by a single vote, with 2 others tied. Of the more than 16,000 Congressional elections, in which many more people vote, only one election in the past 100 years - a 1910 race in Buffalo - was decided by a single vote.


But there is a more important point: the closer an election is, the more likely that its outcome will be taken out of the voters' hands - most vividly exemplified, of course, by the 2000 presidential race. It is true that the outcome of that election came down to a handful of voters; but their names were Kennedy, O'Connor, Rehnquist, Scalia and Thomas. And it was only the votes they cast while wearing their robes that mattered, not the ones they may have cast in their home precincts.


:)



#17 of 75 Stan

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Posted October 08 2012 - 08:42 AM

Does your vote matter? Nope. http://www.nytimes.c...ne/06freak.html :)

Well thanks Dave, that was certainly depressing. But I'm going with the rest of the opinions on this thread and will do my "civic duty". Like people have said, even if my candidates lose, it does send a message to the winner that they're not necessarily all that well liked.
Stan

#18 of 75 DaveF

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Posted October 08 2012 - 08:44 AM

You're the one that asked. ;)



#19 of 75 Jason Charlton

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Posted October 08 2012 - 08:47 AM

Originally Posted by DaveF 

[article quote]
The odds that your vote will actually affect the outcome of a given election are very, very, very slim.





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#20 of 75 bryan4999

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Posted October 08 2012 - 09:02 AM

Well, sorry, I am not going to take the cynical route based on one smug op-ed piece. Some valid points, perhaps, but the more people show apathy toward voting, the more apathy toward government in general. But as I do not want to start a political discussion I will stop here and say no more.




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