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Number of eligible voters who did not vote recently

Tigers!

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I just heard a snippet from Obama's last world jaunt that 44% of eligible voters did not vote in the last presidential election. Is that correct?
How can so many be so slack concerning their future?
While I would not have voted for either candidate (I still cannot believe that from 320 million people you managed to select such 2 appalling persons!) I would have cast a vote or registered a protest.
I am glad that Australia has compulsory voting to ensure that we have a more accurate (albeit forced) representation of the state of the populace's thinking.

What suggestion are available to have more voters make the effort to actually vote?
 

skepticalbip

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I would ask how requiring people who have such little interest in politics to vote would result in a more reasonable choice. In my limited personal experience in talking with these people who don't vote, I have found that they generally don't even have a clue who is actually running for office other than for the President (likely the reason mid-term elections have even poorer turnout) and have no idea what the actual platforms are. So selecting office holders by lottery rather than vote would seem to be as sensible as having people who don't have a clue select them.
 

whichphilosophy

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I just heard a snippet from Obama's last world jaunt that 44% of eligible voters did not vote in the last presidential election. Is that correct?
How can so many be so slack concerning their future?
While I would not have voted for either candidate (I still cannot believe that from 320 million people you managed to select such 2 appalling persons!) I would have cast a vote or registered a protest.
I am glad that Australia has compulsory voting to ensure that we have a more accurate (albeit forced) representation of the state of the populace's thinking.

What suggestion are available to have more voters make the effort to actually vote?

This looks about right. The following says just under 58% which was lower than in 2012 as given in the article below:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/201...er-turnout-fell-to-58-per-cent-this-year-est/

However, it is possible to calculate an estimate of these figures by making projections based on the most recent population figures. This is exactly what Michael McDonald, associate professor at the University of Florida and who runs the US Elections Project website, has done.

He estimates that 57.9 per cent of eligible voters voted in this year's election, down from 58.6 per cent in 2012 and from 61.6 per cent in 2008.
 

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I think that the numbers were along the lines of 120 million people voted and 100 million did not. The solution is not to make voting mandatory, because increasing the number of uninformed people who don't give enough of a shit to go to the polls on their own into the equation isn't going to make things better. The solution is to get better candidates who make people want to vote.
 

LordKiran

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I would ask how requiring people who have such little interest in politics to vote would result in a more reasonable choice. In my limited personal experience in talking with these people who don't vote, I have found that they generally don't even have a clue who is actually running for office other than for the President (likely the reason mid-term elections have even poorer turnout) and have no idea what the actual platforms are. So selecting office holders by lottery rather than vote would seem to be as sensible as having people who don't have a clue select them.

The biggest problem is lack of access to information. That might sound off in a day and age with the internet but suppose someone just wakes up tomorrow and decides to get involved; Where do you start?
 

skepticalbip

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I would ask how requiring people who have such little interest in politics to vote would result in a more reasonable choice. In my limited personal experience in talking with these people who don't vote, I have found that they generally don't even have a clue who is actually running for office other than for the President (likely the reason mid-term elections have even poorer turnout) and have no idea what the actual platforms are. So selecting office holders by lottery rather than vote would seem to be as sensible as having people who don't have a clue select them.

The biggest problem is lack of access to information. That might sound off in a day and age with the internet but suppose someone just wakes up tomorrow and decides to get involved; Where do you start?
It isn't a lack of the availability of access. It is a lack of interest enough to access. Many people know all about the Kardashians or the latest rumors about Hollywood idols but don't have a clue who their Senator or Representative are and what they have voted for or against or what programs they support, or even who their Sheriff is.

There is no way anyone can decide the day before an election to become involved and have any hope of learning enough to make an informed decision.
 

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The biggest problem is lack of access to information. That might sound off in a day and age with the internet but suppose someone just wakes up tomorrow and decides to get involved; Where do you start?
It isn't a lack of the availability of access. It is a lack of interest enough to access. Many people know all about the Kardashians or the latest rumors about Hollywood idols but don't have a clue who their Senator or Representative are and what they have voted for or against or what programs they support, or even who their Sheriff is.

There is no way anyone can decide the day before an election to become informed and have any hope of learning enough to make an informed decision.

Here ya go - personally customized ballots! You go to the polling place and take a quiz, and the quiz program spits out your ballot. The ballot only has choices on matters of which you have demonstrated knowledge in your quiz answers. No voting for anyone you never heard of, or someone about whom you only know "he says he will make America Great again", because those people won't show up on your ballot.

Problem solved! (Don't thank me, just send money.)
 

bilby

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Given that half of Americans don't care, and that the other half are almost exactly evenly split, why the fuck does anyone think that it is a worthwhile exercise to ask them?

Just have an expert group pick a president. That can't do any worse than the 'voice of the people'. Or simply keep the electoral college, and just ban the States from using an election to determine who is or is not in their delegation.
 

skepticalbip

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It isn't a lack of the availability of access. It is a lack of interest enough to access. Many people know all about the Kardashians or the latest rumors about Hollywood idols but don't have a clue who their Senator or Representative are and what they have voted for or against or what programs they support, or even who their Sheriff is.

There is no way anyone can decide the day before an election to become informed and have any hope of learning enough to make an informed decision.

Here ya go - personally customized ballots! You go to the polling place and take a quiz, and the quiz program spits out your ballot. The ballot only has choices on matters of which you have demonstrated knowledge in your quiz answers. No voting for anyone you never heard of, or someone about whom you only know "he says he will make America Great again", because those people won't show up on your ballot.

Problem solved! (Don't thank me, just send money.)
:slowclap:

That is close to my solution. I suggest having a list of contested offices on one side of the ballot, a list of names in alphabetical order on the other side of the ballot that include those running, celebrities, historical figures, and fictional figures with no indication of party affiliation. The voter then picks an office and mates it with one of the names. The vote for that office doesn't count unless the name picked is actually running for that office.
 

bilby

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Mandatory voting can only be acceptable if "None of the Above" is on the ballot, and any candidate that receives less votes is immediately disqualified.

Actually, mandatory voting is accepted without any such qualification here. There is no serious movement lobbying for voting to be made optional.

Perhaps you meant "can only be acceptable to me"?
 

LordKiran

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Given that half of Americans don't care, and that the other half are almost exactly evenly split, why the fuck does anyone think that it is a worthwhile exercise to ask them?

Just have an expert group pick a president. That can't do any worse than the 'voice of the people'. Or simply keep the electoral college, and just ban the States from using an election to determine who is or is not in their delegation.

Because public voting is an important cornerstone for any society wherein the system derives it's right-to-rule via the will of the governed.

You can realpolitik your way around it all you like, but you cannot have a government by and for the people without their inclusion.
 

bilby

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Given that half of Americans don't care, and that the other half are almost exactly evenly split, why the fuck does anyone think that it is a worthwhile exercise to ask them?

Just have an expert group pick a president. That can't do any worse than the 'voice of the people'. Or simply keep the electoral college, and just ban the States from using an election to determine who is or is not in their delegation.

Because public voting is an important cornerstone for any society wherein the system derives it's right-to-rule via the will of the governed.

You can realpolitik your way around it all you like, but you cannot have a government by and for the people without their inclusion.

That's what the legislature is for.

There is no reason why government by and for the people can't have a president selected by the state governments (which are themselves democratically elected).
 

LordKiran

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Because public voting is an important cornerstone for any society wherein the system derives it's right-to-rule via the will of the governed.

You can realpolitik your way around it all you like, but you cannot have a government by and for the people without their inclusion.

That's what the legislature is for.

There is no reason why government by and for the people can't have a president selected by the state governments (which are themselves democratically elected).

Because it makes the presidency an office with a far more public face who's success is like state legislators, dependent upon public outreach and actually addressing the concerns of voters.
 

bilby

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That's what the legislature is for.

There is no reason why government by and for the people can't have a president selected by the state governments (which are themselves democratically elected).

Because it makes the presidency an office with a far more public face who's success is like state legislators, dependent upon public outreach and actually addressing the concerns of voters.

Really? I think you have been misinformed. There is no evidence at all that the presidency is dependent on actually addressing the concerns of voters. Pandering to their unexamined prejudices seems more the thing these days.
 

LordKiran

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Because it makes the presidency an office with a far more public face who's success is like state legislators, dependent upon public outreach and actually addressing the concerns of voters.

Really? I think you have been misinformed. There is no evidence at all that the presidency is dependent on actually addressing the concerns of voters. Pandering to their unexamined prejudices seems more the thing these days.

Yet the person who's platform appeals to people is the one who got elected, except not really because of the electoral college but that's another matter entirely. Point is, 93% of the time the person who's platform appeals to the people who vote is the one who makes the presidency. campaign promises being unfulfilled is just a fact of all elected officials on some level and is something inherent to a system that doesn't force people to enact their promises. (Though such a system would no doubt prove unwieldy and inconvenient on every level.)

And honestly, the fact that people have a vent in someone like Trump (who's impact in the face of the entire governing body will be heavily mitigated) is far better than the traditional vent for disatisfaction, desperation, and malcontentment with the government.
 

skepticalbip

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Because it makes the presidency an office with a far more public face who's success is like state legislators, dependent upon public outreach and actually addressing the concerns of voters.

Really? I think you have been misinformed. There is no evidence at all that the presidency is dependent on actually addressing the concerns of voters. Pandering to their unexamined prejudices seems more the thing these days.
That, generating fear, and character assassination of the opponent.
 

Tigers!

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How can so many be so slack concerning their future?

What does my act of voting have to do with my future? Not much that I can see.
As long as you don't complain when someone you didn't even bother to vote against does something that does affect you.

- - - Updated - - -

I think that the numbers were along the lines of 120 million people voted and 100 million did not. The solution is not to make voting mandatory, because increasing the number of uninformed people who don't give enough of a shit to go to the polls on their own into the equation isn't going to make things better. The solution is to get better candidates who make people want to vote.

If you can devise an algorithm to select better candidates then I am all ears.
 

Deepak

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Really? I think you have been misinformed. There is no evidence at all that the presidency is dependent on actually addressing the concerns of voters. Pandering to their unexamined prejudices seems more the thing these days.
That, generating fear, and character assassination of the opponent.

DDWh7Ob.png
 

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What does my act of voting have to do with my future? Not much that I can see.
As long as you don't complain when someone you didn't even bother to vote against does something that does affect you.

1) You have not shown what my voting has to do with whether they do something to affect me or not
2) It turns out it is my right to complain as much as I want regardless.
 

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Question for you Aussies: do you think mandatory voting gets people to be more involved?
 

whichphilosophy

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I just heard a snippet from Obama's last world jaunt that 44% of eligible voters did not vote in the last presidential election. Is that correct?
How can so many be so slack concerning their future?
While I would not have voted for either candidate (I still cannot believe that from 320 million people you managed to select such 2 appalling persons!) I would have cast a vote or registered a protest.
I am glad that Australia has compulsory voting to ensure that we have a more accurate (albeit forced) representation of the state of the populace's thinking.

What suggestion are available to have more voters make the effort to actually vote?

This is 1% down on the previous election. I can be corrected but this is what I read last time.
 

bilby

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Question for you Aussies: do you think mandatory voting gets people to be more involved?

I think so. The number of spoiled ballots is small; It's difficult to assess the number of so-called 'donkey votes', where voters simply number the boxes from 1-n without regard for the candidates listed, as these are not easy to distinguish from genuine intent - but one way to estimate this is to look at the degree to which a higher ballot position gives a candidate an advantage, and while the advantage certainly does exist, it is only equivalent to about 2% of the vote.

For Federal Elections here, turnout is about 93%; Informal (invalid) votes are about 3%; and allowing for a 2% donkey vote amongst valid papers, that leaves more than 88% of eligible voters casting a valid and intentional ballot. To get even a turnout as high as that in the USA would be remarkable; In the order of one and a half times the proportion of eligible Australian voters cast a valid and intentional ballot, as compared with eligible US voters (88% vs about 55% is 1.6x).

To put it another way, as a proportion of the eligible voter population, for every two people in the US who get involved, there are three people in Australia who do the same.

Or still another way to look at it is that just over half of eligible Americans exercise their rights, while around seven eighths of eligible Australians do.
 
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