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Voters In Many States Must Register By October 6

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the there-is-no-late dept.

United States 182

Will F. Johnston writes "Voters in AK, AR, AZ, CO, DC, FL, GA, HI, IN, KY, LA, MI, MS, OH, PA, TN, TX, and VA must register to vote by tomorrow, October 6, in order to vote in November. Other deadlines coming up soon: IL and NM are October 7. MT is Oct. 6, but you can do same-day registration at the elections office. UT is also Oct. 6, but you can register in person until the 20th."

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182 comments

Register and consider the Green Party Candidate (3, Insightful)

Hulkster (722642) | more than 5 years ago | (#25270237)

Hulk for President! [komar.org]

Vote here [komar.org] for the SMASHING Big Green Guy because you don't want to make him angry - you wouldn't like him when he is angry ... ;-)

Re:Register and consider the Green Party Candidate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25270519)

I'm voting for Max [maxforpresident.org]. He's the only President that would terrify our enemies just as much as he would terrify the common citizenry (though I do have to note that he might just sell the country to Canada for some quick cash if he got bored).

Re:Register and consider the Green Party Candidate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25271623)

Oh God, you're back.

Of course... Halloween is coming up and you want to fake another event to drive up page views.

Please, stop.

Just... stop.

Please (2, Insightful)

Apple Acolyte (517892) | more than 5 years ago | (#25270243)

only register and vote if you have an intelligent vote to cast!

Re:Please (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25270259)

Alternative: find the stupidest person you know, find out who he or she is voting for, then register with the specific intent to counter that vote with your own.

Re:Please (2, Funny)

DrLang21 (900992) | more than 5 years ago | (#25271495)

This is poor logic. Stupid people do not vote based on any intelligable information, and therefore it can not be assumed that they are not voting for the most qualified candidate. Instead, you should make the decision for them. Find out who they are voting for, and if it is in opposition to your informed decision, hit them with your car right before election day. Since people with informed decisions will be voting for a variety of candidates, this line of reasoning has the benefit of simply removing all stupid people from the voting public.

Re:Please (3, Funny)

halcyon1234 (834388) | more than 5 years ago | (#25271839)

Since people with informed decisions will be voting for a variety of candidates, this line of reasoning has the benefit of simply removing all stupid people from the voting public.

But if you remove all the stupid people, you run into two problems:

  1. You won't have anyone left to run for office
  2. The two remaining people will be forced to run. They will have to vote for themselves, and thus deadlock the country

Re:Please (1)

DiniZuli (621956) | more than 5 years ago | (#25272381)

And who are you (or that other girl/guy) to say who's stupid and who is not ? For all you know, the one you think of as stupid, might think the exact same thing about you. That's one of the good things about democracy - it eliminates the danger of those that think they are the clever/right ones, but actually are the stupid/wrong ones, from ruling the country. Instead the ones who wins the election are the ones who's best at persuading the voters to vote for them. The persuading should be done by arguments. I know the ideal is an informed society, where the majority of people are educated, and thus can make informed choices (and the politicians are not bought by companies, but actually wishes to do their job for the people, and you don't have a thousand different rules that can make people uneligitable to vote - like for example that you have to register for voting - if you are a citizen it should be your right to vote at election day, without the hazle of registering yourself as a voter). In most western societies that is actually the case, even though there can be a big difference in how well educated people are. So instead of running anyone down, you should help your favorite politician in persuading the ones that you think are stupid or wrong. And who knows ? Maybe the stupid girl with the wrong opinions turn out to be right and ends up persuading you.
(I think the perfect example of this not working is USA electing Mr. Bush for President - there's always exceptions.)

Re:Please (1)

GFree678 (1363845) | more than 5 years ago | (#25270273)

only register and vote if you have an intelligent vote to cast!

While in many ways I'd prefer it not to be so, I have to disagree with your suggestion for one simple reason:

Democracy is such that everyone has the right to have their say and make their vote, even if it's an "unintelligent" vote. That's one of the core fundamentals of democracy, and you can't deny someone their right even if it's based on misinformation or dodgy logic. Otherwise... it isn't democracy, it's something else.

Re:Please (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25270357)

You can't deny someone else's vote because you can't know that he doesn't know.

But as a voter, you can know that you don't know, so you can refrain from voting and expect a better outcome that way. Totally different.

Re:Please (1)

easyTree (1042254) | more than 5 years ago | (#25270363)

Democracy is such that everyone has the right to have their say and make their vote, even if it's an "unintelligent" vote. That's one of the core fundamentals of democracy

Real democracy requires that everyone who's eligible to vote keeps themselves fully informed so that they are able to play an active part in the process. In a real democracy, every vote would be worthwhile. Of course neither US nor UK citizens live in a real democracy.

Re:Please (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 5 years ago | (#25270393)

Real democracy is not about electing officials with unlimited power. Democracy means the people have the power, hence we don't need representative government. Let everyone vote on every single thing that government wants done, and require that 51% of ELIGIBLE VOTERS vote yes for it to pass. That way, staying home is the equivalent of voting no, rather than not being counted at all.

Then again, I want to end suffrage rights [unanimocracy.com] entirely.

Re:Please (1)

easyTree (1042254) | more than 5 years ago | (#25270451)

Then again, I want to end suffrage rights entirely.

Me too; in the sense of the last paragraph..

Of course, who has the time to fully involve themselves in every issue? There would be noone to keep the country running if everyone were fully-immersed in politics. What we really need is to find people who genuinely care about the fellow men as a whole and are sufficiently robust of character to resist the corrupting influence of power then elect them to political office.

Re:Please (1)

socsoc (1116769) | more than 5 years ago | (#25270429)

Of course neither US nor UK citizens live in a real democracy.

That's because those of us in the states live in a republic and our UK mates live in a constitutional monarchy.

Re:Please (2, Insightful)

TheLink (130905) | more than 5 years ago | (#25270809)

"That's because those of us in the states live in a republic and our UK mates live in a constitutional monarchy"

And so what if you in the USA don't live in a "Real Democracy"?

The last I checked in USA 2004, 99% of the voters voted for either of "The Two" AND Bush got _reelected_ AND this time round his party still has a fighting chance, rather than say "Not One of the Two" party.

So unless the elections got completely diebolded it sure smells like DEMOCRACY to me. It's not perfect, but that's a good enough representation of the People's Will for me.

If you don't like the results, go take it up with the voters.

If you voted for a candidate you actually didn't want, well that's your problem. There ARE other candidates, it's not just the Two that the media and voters keep assuming.

At the rate the USA is going, it's not so different from China which has only One Party ;). Just think of McCain and Obama as candidates of rival factions in the same Party that has ruled the country for decades.

Ummmm (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 5 years ago | (#25270455)

That's a rather stupid statement in a number of ways. For one, of course the US isn't a pure Democracy. It was never set up that way. It is a Constitutional Federal Republic. There are a lot of democratic traditions, but the US is a Republic, not a Democracy. So whining that the US isn't a "real" Democracy is dumb. Of course it isn't. It never has been, and never will be barring the replacement of the Constitution.

As for the fully informed part, well that's what the grandparent was talking about, where you start your dangerous slide in to denying the right to vote. What constituents "fully informed"? You can never know everything about a candidate, so how much do you have to know to be "fully informed"? There is no good way to measure it and you'll find that in history such things like voter tests were used to prevent minorities form voting.

The other problem with that it a lot of it comes down to opinion. Many people seem to think that if you learn all about McCain and Obama, there is no way you could consider voting for McCain. Same thing was brought up with Bush/Kerry. I believe it was Janeane Garofalo who said "I believe anyone who would vote for Bush has a brain defect." Well, if you hold that belief that when someone is "informed" they could only vote one certain way, that means that you've just taken away the freedom to vote for who you want. "Oh sorry, you can't vote because you don't want to vote for candidate X. Anyone who's fully informed would want to vote for candidate X so we can't let you vote."

Freedom implies a lot of things, and one of those things is the freedom to make the wrong choice. If you truly have freedom of choice in your candidates, that freedom must extend to choosing one who isn't good. This is especially true since often what is "good" or "right" is largely a matter of opinion. I may believe something is good and you may disagree.

Re:Ummmm (1)

easyTree (1042254) | more than 5 years ago | (#25270813)

You can never know everything about a candidate,

I'm really arguing that ideally there would be no need for candidates. The people would maintain full awareness of the issues. After all, that's what it's all supposed to about, right, issues? As it is, voting is meaningless, even if the votes were correctly counted (yet another level of misdirection/red-herring). We should be voting on the issues; then some administrative branch should carry out the will of the people.

that means that you've just taken away the freedom to vote for who you want.

For my mind you pay far too much consideration to the candidate. The way I see it, in the current system, the candidate is supposed to be an agent, entrusted to deal with the issues in a way that sits comfortably with the voter, rather than the sham we have at the moment where every powermonger has their own tame politicians. I feel dirty just thinking about the levels of corruption. What happened to the wise, right-thinking politican who would be a parent to the populace? Invading a foreign country as a favour to your business buddies and calling it foreign policy should and does make many people around the world sick to the bottom of their souls. Oooh, gotta nip this rant in the bud..</rant>

At what point in time did the candidate become the focus of voting-decisions? Who cares what the candidate is like as long as they do what they say they'll do? Remember the issues! Of course, most people, myself included, are too lazy to take time to track the issues so we try to find someone like ourselves to do it for us, hence a foolish descent into personal-popularity contest. Bah. People suck.

That's how a Republic works (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 5 years ago | (#25270867)

People do not vote on the laws directly. Rather, they elect a body of people who then vote on the laws. It's fine to like a different system, but you have to understand that the US is a Republic and is working as intended. It was never set up to be a direct Democracy and as I said, you'd have to replace the Constitution before that could happen. You'll note that people don't even elect the president, rather each state votes for which candidate they'd like, then sends electors to actually vote for the president.

Regardless, if you don't like the system, you probably need to go find another country. I'm not sure if there are any direct Democracies out there, but the US isn't one and it would be almost impossible to turn it in to one. As I noted it is a Constitutional Federal Republic, meaning that there is a constitution which is higher than any other law. Since the Constitution specifies that it is a Federal Republic, well you'd basically have to eliminate the Constitution to change it and that would be extremely difficult.

The US was specifically designed to that people don't directly vote on the big issues, and so that it takes more than just a simple majority, of people or representatives, to make changes to the Constitution. It's fine to not like that system, however it is important to understand it, if you live in the nation governed by it.

Re:That's how a Republic works (1)

easyTree (1042254) | more than 5 years ago | (#25271135)

'Fortunately', I live in the UK/am English; although, as you can see, USAnian foolishness is spreading like wildfire so the disctinction is somewhat unnecessary.

You know, it's fine explaining how things are and how it would be difficult to enact change. My question to you is do you think change would be beneficial? Surely there must be a better way of ensuring that everyone is collectively involved in shaping the societies in which they live. Oh wait, that's not to the benefit of those in power; is it?

Re:That's how a Republic works (1)

fbjon (692006) | more than 5 years ago | (#25271455)

IMHO, direct democracy couldn't possible work in practice, it requires too much work by the average guy. It's the same as everyone farming their own food, it becomes terribly inefficient. Instead, we specialize: politicians are specialized in making decision for the people the same way farmers make basic raw materials for food for the people. The only difference is that the benefits of corruption are greater, and oversight is more difficult. We have a group of specialized people to do that - the media - but it's just not working as well as it should.

Instead of smarter politicians, or smarter people (ha ha!), a democracy needs smarter media.

Re:Please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25271497)

Real democracy requires that everyone who's eligible to vote keeps themselves fully informed so that they are able to play an active part in the process.

Who the fuck are you, pompous asshole, to define reality for anyone?

Would you be willing to tell us how long it took you to read and understand the USA PARROT Act so as to be "fully informed" the same day it came out? Did you "actively" share your deep insights with both of your senators, your representative and the President?

Call back when you're out of high school, you posturing twit.

Re:Please (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 5 years ago | (#25270371)

He is not denying anyone anything. He's suggesting "If you don't know what you're voting for, either learn what you're voting for or please don't vote."

Re:Please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25270309)

So unintelligent people don't deserve representation, even though they're apparently a sizable population?

Re:Please (1)

n3tcat (664243) | more than 5 years ago | (#25270343)

He didn't say that. He told them to make the choice to not vote, should they have nothing to vote for.

This is completely different than being forbidden to vote, or even worse, voting for something without actually being represented.

Actually now that I say that, it sounds an awful lot like our current system. I can understand how a hundred years ago we could get by with so few representatives. Our population was much smaller. But we're bigger now. We have more people. Why do we still have so few representatives?

Re:Please (1)

wronskyMan (676763) | more than 5 years ago | (#25270909)

The number could be changed - constitutionally the smallest ratio is 1/30K so with 300 million we'd have about 10K representatives. The logistics of 10K vs. 435 are up for debate. Does anyone know if any other country has this many reps/parliamentarians/etc? Certainly would make bribing more expensive.

Re:Please (1)

fbjon (692006) | more than 5 years ago | (#25271625)

Finland has 200, that's a ratio of 1/26500. More reps in the US would perhaps be a good idea, say up to twice the amount? 800 is still barely within reasonable limits, I would say. They'd still fit in an A380, too.

Re:Please (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 5 years ago | (#25271937)

There's a unit of measurement to be found here...

Represented constituents per Airbus?

Airbuses per proportion of representation?

We might have to use a derivative...

Re:Please (4, Funny)

powerlord (28156) | more than 5 years ago | (#25272321)

There's a unit of measurement to be found here...

Represented constituents per Airbus?

Airbuses per proportion of representation?

We might have to use a derivative...

Sorry ... we use Boeings here. Can you give me the conversion rate?

Re:Please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25270433)

Personally, I think only Libertarians should be allowed to vote. How very libertarian of me!

Re:Please (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 5 years ago | (#25271187)

Looking at the options[0], it looks like, to paraphrase Joshua, the only intelligent move is not to vote.

[0]Term used very, very loosely.

Re:Please (1)

halcyon1234 (834388) | more than 5 years ago | (#25271903)

Looking at the options[0], it looks like, to paraphrase Joshua, the only intelligent move is not to vote.

Or to paraphrase Henry Rollins, "You're never going to be able to vote for your president the way you'd vote for your favorite rock star. It just isn't going to happen. Instead, you need to use your vote against the guy you don't like. Maybe the next guy will be good, maybe he won't, but at least you're working to changing what's wrong now."

Don't Listen to him! (3, Funny)

scenestar (828656) | more than 5 years ago | (#25272143)

Mccain 08!

Re:Don't Listen to him! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25272299)

No way! Vote for Barack Hussein Obama II [wikipedia.org] today!

Not sure how the Democrats managed to find a Candidate with a background more at odds with their constituency (and then actually get him nominated). Just goes to show their as much sheeple as the Republicans.

And just one other reminder (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25270255)

A vote for the lesser of two evils is still a vote for evil.

Your vote is not restricted to just two candidates, and your vote is not like a bet on a sporting event. If you pick the winner, you don't get anything.

Re:And just one other reminder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25270277)

Says the guy without an election pool at his office.

Re:And just one other reminder (3, Funny)

Kandenshi (832555) | more than 5 years ago | (#25270281)

In fact, if I pick the winner I LOSE when it comes to politics.

All that self-righteous "Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos/another guy" that I love so much goes out the window if I actually voted for the shmuck. That's why I try to make sure I pick someone who's unlikely to win, but still seems like the sort of guy I like.

Usually, I do a write-in vote for Santa. Sure /. might harp on his love for surveillance that goes beyond regular wiretapping... but he brings me presents!

Re:And just one other reminder (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#25270369)

"Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos/another guy" that I love so much goes out the window if I actually voted for the shmuck.

I see this a lot. Who's Kodos?

Re:And just one other reminder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25270635)

A big green alien from The Simpsons.

http://www.snpp.com/episodes/4F02.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kang_and_Kodos

Re:And just one other reminder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25270637)

It's a Simpsons reference. Kang and Kodos are diabolical space aliens who make regular appearances in the Halloween specials. In the 1996 special, they abduct Bill Clinton and Bob Dole and masquerade as them, ensuring that one of them will win the election; Kang wins. At the end, as we see the planet dominated by a totalitarian regime using humans as slave labor, Homer says "Don't blame me; I voted for Kodos".

Re:And just one other reminder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25270647)

I see this a lot. Who's Kodos?

Kodos is evil. He will crush your pathetic earth civilization and eat your babies for breakfast. You don't want that, do you?

Well DO you?

The government of Kang is committed to merely trampling on your babies, leaving them every chance of survival.

*hides book entitled "How to cook and eat 40,000 babies"*

Vote 1 Kang.

Re:And just one other reminder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25270895)

BZZZT!

1) You don't know the Simpsons.
2) You don't know how to use Google and/or are too lazy to just fucking use it [justfuckinggoogleit.com].

Hand in your geek certificate now.

Re:And just one other reminder (1)

residieu (577863) | more than 5 years ago | (#25271633)

That's the beauty of secret ballot's. It doesn't matter who you vote for, you can ALWAYS say "I voted for the other guy" and no one can tell you you're lying.

Re:And just one other reminder (1)

DrLang21 (900992) | more than 5 years ago | (#25271525)

A vote for the lesser of two evils is still a vote for evil.

Why vote for the lesser of two evils?

I tried to register... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25270323)

... but the lady kept asking for my name.

Tomorrow? (1)

easyTree (1042254) | more than 5 years ago | (#25270337)

"Voters in AK, AR, AZ, CO, DC, FL, GA, HI, IN, KY, LA, MI, MS, OH, PA, TN, TX, and VA must register to vote by tomorrow, October 6, in order to vote in November.

What kind of shitty vote-rigging software are they using?! November is over three weeks away ffs!

Re:Tomorrow? (2, Funny)

SpacePunk (17960) | more than 5 years ago | (#25270459)

In most states, you can still vote Republican even if your address is a cemetary.

Re:Tomorrow? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25271791)

In most states, you can still vote Republican even if your address is a cemetary.

Hahahaha! I get it. The joke is on you. It is funny because you have confused Republican with Democrat.

Re:Tomorrow? (1, Interesting)

Artraze (600366) | more than 5 years ago | (#25270705)

The only sympathy I have is for people who turn 18 between now and then. People who are just registering now (again, unless then just came of age) are demonstrating a clear lack of interest in politics in general and are voting only because of the hyped campaign and the "get out the vote" efforts. Hell, they didn't even register to vote in primary. I registered to vote less than a month after I turned 18 because I care about these things (including primaries). Did you know that primaries frequently decide a large portion of local positions? Most people don't because they only vote every four years when the media tells them to. I'm not saying all late registrations are going to vote uninformed, but I'd be surprised if most didn't. Though luck to those who are so apathetic that they didn't bother to register by now.

Re:Tomorrow? (2, Informative)

icebrain (944107) | more than 5 years ago | (#25271225)

Err, you can register to vote before you turn 18, so long as you register within 6 months of your birthday and you will be 18 by or on election day.

I know because I did it several years ago.

Re:Tomorrow? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25271503)

I sympathise more for the 18 years olds being told they cant vote because they live in dorms

Re:Tomorrow? (1)

residieu (577863) | more than 5 years ago | (#25271647)

Who told them that? I just got an absentee ballot when I lived in the dorm and wanted to vote. (I sure wasn't going to drive all the way home to vote)

Re:Tomorrow? (1)

fbjon (692006) | more than 5 years ago | (#25271681)

A lot of people can't vote because of whatever life situation or work. That's what absentee voting is for.

Re:Tomorrow? (1)

DrLang21 (900992) | more than 5 years ago | (#25271553)

I used to feel this way, but this year I have observed that Presidential elections are a great way to get people who were until then completely uninterested in politics to genuinely be interested. This is most effective with people who turned 18 between now and the last Presidential election. I know of at least one person who has flip-flopped on their general interest in politics and is now actually looking up what the candidates for local office are saying.

Re:Tomorrow? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25271583)

Though luck to those who are so apathetic that they didn't bother to register by now.

You all-knowing, pompous ball of shit! You're so goddamned narrow-minded you can't see beyond the end of your extremely short dick. How about my friend who just moved here from a different state. Should he have run directly from the jetway to the nearest post office to register?

God, you fatheads make me feel like puking.

North Dakota Doesn't Require Registration (5, Insightful)

jarrettwold2002 (601633) | more than 5 years ago | (#25270345)

We may be labeled ass backwards, but I think we have this one right. Registration seems to really screw with potential voters.

Re:North Dakota Doesn't Require Registration (4, Interesting)

inKubus (199753) | more than 5 years ago | (#25270405)

If you look at the history of the American democracy, there have been hyjinx in literally EVERY election since the start. There are stories of candidates sending wagons to the barrooms, and giving whisky to anyone who would vote for him. Registration is meant to curb the old "wheel them across town to vote again" trick. The problem isn't registration, it's general voter apathy. The thing about democracy is that the system only works if everyone votes. Luckly, we have layered upon the democracy a representative government, wherein you pick a good guy from your local area to represent you. The problem of course is that the good guy is most likely going to be more than 50% financed by corporations rather than individuals. Not always the case but often. Such is the state of affairs. 99% of the money in the hands of 1% of the population does that. The Republicans have moved from favoring the representatives to blantant corporatism--making corporations the government. It has been pointed out that this is exactly what happened in the 30's in Italy. It's affected the balance of America, because previously the subjugation of democracy has led to smaller government. Now, with democracy down AND a larger government (specifically homoland security), the political stability of the country is much lower. Now, we still have the 3 tiers, and not everyone in congress and senate has been bought by the immortality lobby yet. And really, the most important thing to you should be your local area. So, if you're going to worry about it, worry about local issues first, and move up as you go. Local can also mean on the internet, in your local network area (IE, your regular habitat). Be a leader and see the world change around you. Be a follower, and you'll see it change, but probably not to your liking.

Re:North Dakota Doesn't Require Registration (1)

visible.frylock (965768) | more than 5 years ago | (#25271071)

The problem of course is that the good guy is most likely going to be more than 50% financed by corporations rather than individuals.

Well, that is one part of the problem. Another huge problem IMO is that we don't have a house that's more proportional/based on consensus. 90% rule. 90% of the population is just dumb. What's more, this is distributed geographically evenly. (And for anyone who wants to chime in with a comment about the hippie blue states vs. the redneck red states, I'd like to remind you that blue states can be just as dogmatic.) [youtube.com] Which means that in any house based on geography (use that word loosely *cough* districting *cough*) you're generally going to have to appeal to idiots.

One thing we need is a, say, 500 seat 3rd house. Nationwide vote. Approval voting or somesuch. 500 guys with the most votes get in. Then, to sweeten the deal, we could institute a 95% passing rule. If the bill doesn't have 95% affirmative votes, it dies the death it deserves. Actually, that'd be a good rule for the other 2 houses as well.

Then we could really vote for someone we want. Rather than some guy we just settle for because he happens to live (supposedly) nearby us. I understand the desire to have geographical based representation, and I'm not advocating removing that. But it isn't enough on its own.

This won't ever happen in our current system. But we need to start thinking about this stuff. Once our current system crashes, we're gonna have to replace it with something. And how did our current system start? By a lot of smart guys sitting around talking about their wishlists for government.

Re:North Dakota Doesn't Require Registration (1)

BenoitRen (998927) | more than 5 years ago | (#25271183)

The thing about democracy is that the system only works if everyone votes.

I'm glad that everyone has to vote in Belgium by law. Now if only the politicians would cooperate...

Re:North Dakota Doesn't Require Registration (1)

rve (4436) | more than 5 years ago | (#25271581)

Voter apathy isn't necessarily the problem.

Western European democracies routinely have an election turnout percentage in the 80's or 90's.

One of the result is a large representation for socialist, extreme left-wing and extreme right wing parties. In the US, this segment of the population by and large doesn't bother to vote.

I'm not saying the poor, angry, permanently unemployed or xenophobic segments of the population should be prevented from voting, but before you actively start encouraging them, be sure you know what you're getting into.

In my opinion, the voter turnout isn't the biggest problem, but the reputation of the voters' representatives. Congress is almost universally despised by the electorate, and this more than anything else is undermining democracy.

Something needs to be done to fix this, both in the behavior of congress (get rid of all lobbyists for example), and in the rhetoric of the media and certain politicians, who blame everything that's wrong, of perceived to be wrong on congress,

Re:North Dakota Doesn't Require Registration (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25270461)

That probably works ok for a state with such a small population, but would not work for any state with more than one congressional representative.

Re:North Dakota Doesn't Require Registration (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25270469)

I always thought the bigger barrier was the poll hours. Washington is mostly mail ballot now. I usually mail in my vote a couple weeks early.

Re:North Dakota Doesn't Require Registration (1)

2t (102432) | more than 5 years ago | (#25270491)

We may be labeled ass backwards, but I think we have this one right. Registration seems to really screw with potential voters.

Wow, I did not know this and I just thought that the whole USA requires this registration.
Which I have never really understood due to the following reason:

Here in Finland, the only thing you need to do to be able to vote, is to bring some kind of identification with you when you go to vote.( You are notified in advance by mail of your right to vote. )

In my opinion, every obstacle which one can take away from the voting process is a good thing.

Re:North Dakota Doesn't Require Registration (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25271523)

The situation is different in the US, because people in the US are not required to have a unique ID card or tell the government where they live. Since votes are secret, once someone has voted you can't retract the vote when it is found that they voted at more than one polling place. Consequently there has to be some form of registration beforehand to make sure that nobody can vote more than once. In Europe you're typically assigned to a polling place by address and the poll workers have a list of all voters who can vote at that polling place. Considering the implications of personal ID cards and registration requirements and that you have to register whenever you move in Europe, the American system is neither more work nor more bureaucratic.

Re:North Dakota Doesn't Require Registration (1)

fbjon (692006) | more than 5 years ago | (#25271747)

You don't need a personal ID card, just any valid identification. Driver's license is fine.

Re:North Dakota Doesn't Require Registration (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25271985)

A unique ID would enable "unregistered" voting without a residence database. A residence database with assigned polling places is the other option. No unique ID and no residence database means you have to take other measures to ensure no double-voting. In the US that is done by voter registration and purging duplicates and ineligibles before the election. In third world countries they mark a finger of the people who have voted, using an ink which cannot be washed off.

Re:North Dakota Doesn't Require Registration (1)

powerspike (729889) | more than 5 years ago | (#25270567)

Because, well you know, nobody would show up with 100 of their mates at every voting booth in the county/state to stack an election would they ?

discrimination against young voters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25270351)

sneaky politicians!

Battleground States (1)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 5 years ago | (#25270481)

Lots of big battleground states.I know its cliche, but you can't bitch if you don't get involved.

Re:Battleground States (1)

Atriqus (826899) | more than 5 years ago | (#25271971)

Really? Now I assume you mean "shouldn't" rather than "can't" since I've met plenty non-voters with the ability to do so.

But even then, isn't voicing criticism in itself getting involved? True apathy would be not voting and being indifferent of the outcome.

Don't vote (0, Flamebait)

StealthyRoid (1019620) | more than 5 years ago | (#25270507)

Why not?

* It's an endorsement of democracy and small-r republican government, systems which have clearly failed in that they promote majoritarian tyranny and lowest-common-denominator rule.

* Your vote doesn't matter, no matter how much Puffy says it does. No single vote does. Sure, in the aggregate, they count, but the actual implication to one person not voting is non-existent.

* Even if enough people don't vote, enough to alter the outcome of an election, that's a good thing. People pay a lot of attention to turnout numbers. If there's a significant drop in the number of voters over previous elections, that structural criticism is worth more than your vote would likely be.

* When you vote, you're accepting the idea that everyone's vote is, and should be, equal, when clearly it's not. Think about it this way: 1/2 the people in this country are, definitionally, of below average intelligence, and even the average isn't that great. We wouldn't let those people make decisions about science or technology, because they simply don't have the necessary knowledge base to do so. Why let them on political matters? Are they less effected by science and tech matters than they are politics? Few enough people have put enough effort into forming a coherent personal political philosophy, fewer still have gone beyond that to keep abreast of what's going on in the world around them. That's not necessarily a criticism, not everyone has time for keeping up on whatever dumbass thing Biden or Obama say on any given day, they have lives to lead and kids to raise and bills to pay and shit. Some people's votes are worth more than others. They just are. We recognize that not everyone's opinions are equal in every other facet of our existence. That we don't in politics is to the detriment of us all.

* If you don't vote, I will give you $20 (offer is void where prohibited).

Re:Don't vote (1)

o'reor (581921) | more than 5 years ago | (#25270667)

Sounds like a Stephen Colbert rant mocking a neocon point of view. Only trouble is, I fail to see any humor or second degree in that one.

Re:Don't vote (1)

giorgist (1208992) | more than 5 years ago | (#25270673)

"26% of Americans agreed that we should bomb Switzerland if the sanctions don't work"

A simple question posed a decade ago, goes to show that 26% of Americans could do with a lobotomy

I hope they are not that dumb any more ...

G

Re:Don't vote (1)

StealthyRoid (1019620) | more than 5 years ago | (#25271295)

And I hope that Lindsay Lohan gets a hot lesbian girlfriend and comes over to let me watch them eat whipped cream out of eachother's assholes, but I think we'll both be disappointed.

Re:Don't vote (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 5 years ago | (#25271329)

Your second bullet point negates your third one. The very same vote that doesn't matter is the same non-vote that doesn't matter as well.

Besides, here's another way to look at it: If you don't vote, everyone else's votes are worth more.

Or maybe that was the plan? Get people not to vote so that your vote means more?

Re:Don't vote (0, Flamebait)

StealthyRoid (1019620) | more than 5 years ago | (#25271359)

Right, that's why it's a conditional. My assertion is that one vote doesn't matter. However, even if I'm wrong about that, and one vote DOES matter, it'd be better if someone didn't cast that vote than if they did, so my core argument that people shouldn't vote isn't damaged by a negation of the 2nd or 3rd bullet point independently of the other. To defeat my claim, you'd have to prove (or, since this is stupid /. comment threat politics arguing, assert) that both points are false. It's just a way of covering my bases.

Re: making my vote mean more, I live in Texas. My vote is less valuable than that of people who live in California.

Re:Don't vote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25271711)

Re: making my vote mean more, I live in Texas. My vote is less valuable than that of people who live in California.

Well, sure -- didn't anyone tell you votes are weighted proportionally to the IQ of the voter?

Re:Don't vote (1)

Yosho (135835) | more than 5 years ago | (#25271795)

Think about it this way: 1/2 the people in this country are, definitionally, of below average intelligence, and even the average isn't that great.

No, half of the people in this country are at or below median intelligence. It's entirely possible for more than half the people to be above or below average. For example, if we take four numbers -- 10, 9, 8, 1 -- the average of those is 7. Three of those (75%) are above average. Only one is below average. Understand now?

DON'T VOTE (0, Flamebait)

mqduck (232646) | more than 5 years ago | (#25270573)

It only encourages them.

Re:DON'T VOTE (1)

apathy maybe (922212) | more than 5 years ago | (#25270703)

If voting changed anything, it would be illegal...

Don't be fooled this election won't change anything.

----

Let's have a looked at some of the differences between the parties shall we?
Republicrats, want to bomb Iraq, bomb Afghanistan

Democans, want to bomb Iraq (but say they won't do it for quite so long), and bomb Afghanistan

Republicrats, want to keep the same shitty capitalist system which oppresses the vast majority of people, and want to keep making the rich richer
Democans, want to keep the same shitty capitalist system which oppresses the vast majority of people, and want to keep making the rich richer

And to make the point even clearer,

For all the "Obama is the lesser evil, McCain is the devil!" people:
During the debate, Obama went out of his way to state his agreement with John McCain no less than 11 times. On issue after issue, whether it be foreign policy, the economy, Obama concurred with the "evil Republican" McCain repeatedly ad-nauseum.

http://www.revleft.com/vb/all-obama-lesser-t90625/index.html [revleft.com]

Pick one, I don't care. But don't start crying because the one you picked got elected and is screwing you over. (And don't start crying that the one you picked didn't get elected either, by voting you agree to support whomever got elected.)

Re:DON'T VOTE (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 5 years ago | (#25271335)

Knowing how many times he agreed means nothing if you don't know how many times he disagreed.

All people agree on some basic things, and disagree on others.

Privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25270903)

Is there a way to use RockTheVote without having to give them my email (that they admit they will spam)?

So you need to register? (1)

Findeton (818988) | more than 5 years ago | (#25271001)

Here in Spain we don't have to register anywhere to vote, you are automatically registered to be able to vote in your nearest electoral college. Of course, elections are on saturday or sunday, so everyone can go and vote.

Also, we don't use any kind of voting machines, and votes are counted by randomly selected people, who, in exchange, are paid about 70â by the state for their services.

Re:So you need to register? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25271719)

Similar in Germany, at least the registration part. Even if you DON'T get your voting info slip, you can still show up with your ID.

Some places do use voting machines, though, but I think the Nedap and Voting Pen scandals kinda took care of that threat.

DTV switchover reminders vs register to vote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25271119)

Isn't it interesting as the newsmedia carries thousands of reminders each month about the DTV switchover that is half a year away, they only do a handful of register-to-vote reminders, usually only during the last week before it's too late?

Gotta love priorities in this country.

Blatantly partisan story! (0, Flamebait)

EWAdams (953502) | more than 5 years ago | (#25271683)

It was clearly written by a Democrat. A good Republican should be doing his or her best to discourage or even prevent new voters from registering. That trick of using recent mortgage foreclosures to challenge voter registrations on the grounds that the voter no longer has a clear home address... sheer genius, my hat is off to whatever GOP'er thought up something that low.

How does US registration work? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25272011)

Okay, I live in another country (Canada) also in the midst of a federal election. It was called a few weeks ago, and it will be over before the US election has finished (Oct. 14th). How does the US voter registration thing work? Here in Canada we typically get a "voter registration card" mailed to our home with our identification information on it and the address and date of the poll and advance polls. The personal information is obtained from our tax returns, although it is something you have to opt-in to by checking a box at the time the tax form is submitted. Then we show up at the polls on election day or advance polls with that paper card in hand. But if we don't have a card, all we need is some government-issued photo ID (e.g., drivers license) and some proof of residence (e.g., a power bill with our name and address printed on it), and then you can vote. It's a different, slower line at the poll, but routine.

Are you telling me that in the US, if people don't do this "registration" thing a month in advance and they show up the day of the election, they won't be allowed to vote in some states? Huh?

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