Monday, November 5, 2012

A plug for voting: Sorry, non-US readers.

Perhaps unnecessary to say this to a crowd of seasoned academics, but I really hope everyone associated with this page votes. I've spent all day trying to convince my 18-year-old students to vote by emphasizing the language of restrictive laws, reviewing the history of voting, and even pointing out famous dictators who were democratically elected. I'm on a roll. So here are a few links:


Are you registered?  Google "voting" for more information (Google has a program that allows you to enter your address to check registration)

Or go here and check out your name and address to ensure you are in the books and ready to vote. Can't find your polling place? Here! (unless you already voted in early voting, in which well done for being a responsible citizen!)

Want to place some bets? Of course you don't, betting is illegal and I fully condemn it. But you could always win bragging rights for guessing the electoral votes correctly! The Wall Street Journal has a great map for that -- even a contest.

If you live in Ireland, you can collect your earnings today. That's how confident Power Paddy is that Obama is coming out ahead. Clearly they aren't using this map.

Don't forget to look up the judges, constitutional amendments, and referendums. Happy Voting!!

(Also: Happy Guy Fawkes to the Brits. You beat down those Catholics. You earned your effigies)

28 comments:

  1. Don't you hate lying, cheating politicians? It's enough to make you give up completely. After all, voting only encourages them.

    Don't give up.

    Vote for someone else. Anyone else. Write in your grandmother, She'd run the country the right way! Or write in your old room mate, or yourself. Anyone.

    Giving up and not voting is why we're stuck in this gawdawful two-party system, where complete wackos on either extreme can gain support of an entire party. Put your weight behind plurality, and write-in someone else.

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    1. This why I always vote for a third party candidate.

      I know a "real" vote (by me) wouldn't matter, and here's why: My polling place is in a gated retirement community. There's no way a vote that is the opposite of whoever/whatever they vote for "counts" and to vote "with" them doesn't count in the long run, either. But as long as third party candidates get a minimum number of votes in my state, (I'm not sure how many that is) they keep getting a spot on the ballot.

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    2. I did one of those online "compare your views to the candidates'" thingies (which was pretty good), and it turns out, not surprisingly, that my views are closest to those of Jill Stein. But Obama was a close 2nd, Romney was at the very bottom of the list, I don't agree with anybody 100%, and I live in a state that most people seem to agree is still up for grabs. So I'll be voting for Obama, and am reasonably happy about that. But I am taking a closer look at the third-party candidates in local races. Perhaps we can grow a real alternative from the grass roots up?

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  2. I tried to vote today, but in my particular circle of Extremist Republican Hell, there's no advance voting the day before the election. I apparently could've voted all last week, but not today. Weird.

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    1. That's because they need to have the voter roles updated to show you voted. That takes time.

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  3. If Obama doesn't win I'm staying home on Wednesday and getting really drunk. I've got some Tim's vodka and I'm going to do shots until I'm completely tanked out of my mind. Then on Thursday I'm going to tell everyone I suspect voted republican to fuck off.

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    1. Does this plan hold if we don't know by Wednesday who won? That seems to be one possibility (how likely a one, I'm not sure).

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    2. Stella: That's a wonderful idea... I'll be off to get tequila after I vote!

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    3. Stella,
      Please tell any Republicans who threaten to move to Canada to fuck right off too. We have enough robocallling, uterus-interfering, homophobic, environment-wrecking rich conservative white dudes of our own, thanks.
      Much obliged.

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    4. In case you're worried, check out fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com. Very reassuring (and very sound mathematics for the polling simulations)

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    5. In case you're worried, check out fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com. Very reassuring (and very sound mathematics for the polling simulations)

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    6. The polls are making me even more anxious -- almost like playing Russian Roulette, where the odds are stacked in your favor but the prospect of losing still terrifies me...

      (and I say that not in the abstract, but as a family friend to the Romneys. He is a terrifying guy)

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  4. I just wish the sidebar would stop showing ads for a couple of guys I have no intention of voting for (actually, the ads are mostly attacks against the people I do intend to vote for). Maybe it means the ad-runners fear they will lose, and are getting desperate? I can only hope.

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  5. I will say this: it's my first election without a TV (went all online a few months ago, things like Amazon Prime don't have commercials) and I am LOVING the complete lack of political ads. It's amazing. I am never, ever going back.

    I've often wondered how much politics would change if both parties split into two even halves: conservative social, libertarian, progressive, liberal fiscal. Just imagine the unlikely alliances that would occur!!

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    1. Some of the third parties are "odd" combinations; for example, the Christian Democrats who base their platform on the Catechism of the Catholic Church. All of it, as opposed to the Republicrats who only support one piece or another.

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    2. A further note, before the anti-theists jump all over me: the platform is based on Catholic social principles of duty to the weak. Again, all of it, not just selected portions.

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    3. @Monkey: I haven't had a working TV since a few months after Obama's inauguration (I decided to get a new TV rather than a digital converter box, and have never gotten around to doing so. Obviously a TV isn't a high-priority item for me; I'd dragged the non-digital one out of storage after some time without to watch the inauguration.) I spent a few days in a hotel room in a(nother) swing state while attending a conference last month, and felt that I'd heard enough political advertising to last me for several lifetimes. Thank goodness (and those who donate more than I can afford, though I pass on my pittance) for NPR.

      @introvert: that's a platform I could almost entirely get behind. I have great respect for the consistency of Catholic social principles. Unfortunately, we part company on the when-life-begins issue (or, more precisely, on whether we can be sure when life begins, and who gets to make decisions about abortion and contraception given our uncertainty). But if I had to choose between living in a conservative Protestant Christian or a Catholic Christian theocracy, I'd choose the latter, knowing that at least there would be a social safety net available for all. What I'd like to see is a coalition of those who support justice, equality, and strong social safety net for all, regardless of their underlying reasons (theological, humanistic, both, whatever). That would probably be a progressive wing -- or perhaps a socialist one.

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  6. Absentee all the way. Somehow I've managed to be living abroad for every presidential election since I came of age, and while it's spared me the ad blitzes, this situation has its own drawbacks.

    If Romney wins, I will inevitably have to spend the next several weeks explaining to people why/how it happened. I happened to be in Europe during Bush v. Gore, and like a broken record I kept repeating that Florida has nothing to do with the way the rest of the country votes, and they are just plain crazy re: voting, but yes this insanity could determine the outcome in the end. Four years later, I was in Europe when Bush was reelected, and the bewilderment of post-2000 had turned decisively into Americans-are-idiots rhetoric. At least where I was, Bush winning again (and with less brouhaha) seemed to trigger a major crisis of confidence in the US as global leader. I am not sure anyone was prepared to even try to overcome this feeling until Obama was elected in the last cycle.

    When the newspeople say that the world wants Democrats to win, they are really not kidding.

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    1. As witness the decision of the Swedish Academy, a month into Obama's presidency. Damn, people, when students do that much wishful thinking we mock them.

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    2. It was easy to explain the 2000 and 2004 elections: they were very obviously stolen.

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  7. I voted. My sticker says that I "made freedom count." I don't know what that means.

    I'm in one of the swingin'est of all the swing states, and I've adamantly kept the TV off for the last month. I'm afraid of what demons it might house.

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    1. Rightfully so. I'm so glad that I don't have to wait for the answering machine to pick up the phone any more.

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    2. You can exorcise a TV quite easily by making sure it's turned off and unplugged, and then hitting it HARD with a sledgehammer. Make sure to wear proper eye protection when doing this, in a room with adequate ventilation.

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  8. I'm just happy my hubby is coming back to me. He works "in politics," and after this week we'll have our normal schedule with its normal stresses.

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  9. Not voting. Last election being a non-citizen (hopefully).

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  10. I'm in the Red zone, so my national vote isn't worth the electricity it will take to run the voting machine, but I do hope my votes in the local races makes a difference. We have some really powerful educational initiatives that would do enough good to make better students for Large Urban Community College eventually.

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