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Why I did not vote

Discussion in 'Alley of Lingering Sighs' started by SlickRCBD, Apr 6, 2017.

?

Should I have voted anyway?

Poll closed Oct 6, 2017.
  1. Yes, leave the school board blank and vote for the uncontested candidates

    75.0%
  2. No, you didn't need to bother.

    25.0%
  1. SlickRCBD Gems: 23/31
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    I was just in an argument with somebody when I said I did not vote yesterday in the local election.
    I looked at the sample ballot that is mailed to everyone, and saw that all but two of the elections were unopposed. In fact, for one board there were four seats up for election and only three candidates. A recent article in the paper mentioned this.
    In fact, the only two things I could vote for that would make any difference were the school boards. I haven't been in high school since 1997 and obviously even longer since grade school, I don't have any kids and no prospects to even practice making them at the moment. I'm out of touch with the schools, have no idea what the current issues are or what the candidates stand for, and don't really have much motivation to do so.
    I figured I'd let people with a stake in the schools choose who gets on the board. I don't own land, so I don't even pay the bills (the schools are paid for with property taxes).

    So, given that the only offices that interested me were unopposed, and the only ones with candidates to actually choose from I had no stake in, I decided not to vote.

    What's the point in voting for mayor or trustee when in the latter case you pick 3 and there are only 3 names to pick from? The village president was unopposed.

    Next year I am definitely going to vote Bruce Rauner out of office, and I might put a Democrat in the U.S. House depending on who runs just to help oppose Trump. I have no party affiliation or loyalty however.
     
  2. pplr Gems: 18/31
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    I usually vote. I live in Wisconsin which has some different situations than Illinois-and different problems (or similar problems on different scales).

    We have elections for judges and local officials, like some school boards, in spring and I typically vote in those to oppose Walker's appointees. Often these don't matter much too much but there are times when it can turn out to later. For example there are currently a couple of people on Wisconsin's State Supreme court that are largely there because Walker appointed them. No joke.

    Walker took the least experienced (but most political) candidate for judge at a county level (there was a list of applicants). He appointed that person. When that person faced a County election (with less than 1 year on the bench) a 3rd party organization dumped $100k on a race for County Judge (this is unusual). Then Walker appointed this same person to a spot that opened up on a State Appeals Court, ditto for the state Supreme Court. And for his last appointee to that level he just appointed someone who wasn't a judge at all.

    But Walker knows the value of having a stacked State Supreme Court, they let off his campaign the last time his people were caught breaking state law.




    Granted I take the time to find out about local candidates and I sympathize with facing elections with a shortage of candidates (must of the races for judge had 1 name listed in each election-not hard to figure out the incumbent there).

    But there was also a referendum and I make a point of voting in those (though I sometimes get annoyed at the wording being used to obscure the impact of what a referendum is about-the state government often does this though it isn't totally alone.) Sometimes I don't even know there is a referendum until voting has started.

    What branch of government sent you a sample ballot? I usually only see one if I hunt for it online or in the newspaper.

    If I was in your position I would try to find out some info on the people running for school board.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2017
  3. SlickRCBD Gems: 23/31
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    I believe it was the Cook County Clerk's Office.
    I don't ever remember seeing a referendum that wasn't on the sample ballot. There were no referendums mentioned in the paper affecting my town, although it seemed that the next town over in every direction had one.
    There were no judges mentioned in the paper either, but I remember there are always a lot of judges on the ballot in the gubernatorial election years, which is next year.
    Heck, a lot of times in the year between the gubernatorial election and the Presidential election (aka the year after we elect the governor), there is no election at all, we often only have elections only 3 out of every 4 years and the turnout in the one between the Presidential election and the gubernatorial ( aka the year after we elect the President) is always dismal.
    I just added to the dismal turnout because I felt I had nothing to vote for. There were only two races with any choice, and they were for the school boards that I am out of touch with.
    I did vote for the school boards in my senior year of high school and it was the very first time I ever voted, but that was 20 years ago. I'm pretty sure I did the same 4 years later.
     
  4. Keneth Gems: 27/31
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    I haven't voted on anything in well over a decade. It's like pissing against the wind, so what would be the point.
     
  5. SlickRCBD Gems: 23/31
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    Personally, given that with the exceptions of referendums, everything is always for multiple year terms, we should probably move to bi-annual elections since few people turn out for these off-year (or odd-year) elections.
    The [legitimate] argument the other way is that the Governor race and the Presidential race along with the House and Senate (state and local) tend to overshadow the local elections, so this gives the local officials a chance to be heard without having to compete with the voter's attention with the bigger elections with more money.

    They do have a point, on the other hand not enough people seem to pay attention to the off-year elections anyways.
     
  6. pplr Gems: 18/31
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    Yeah, I can see the point each way. Maybe it is an argument to teach more civics in high school.

    I'd support having governors (usually 4 year terms anyway) elected at the same time as the presidential election.

    Its an important post but, like a US Senate Race, it can happen alongside a Presidential race without problems. Come to think of it judicial races, especially for the State Supreme Court, could be run then too-more people would probably vote in those too.


    I understand the cynicism but think the would be the point is detached from reality.
    Sure, 1 vote isn't likely to swing and election. And some element of party loyalty, favors owed, and whatever would probably hold a level of sway over most candidates on the ballot.

    But despite all that the party and person elected both matter, and if people vote that can impact that.

    I'm sure there are people within his own party that would have done things I don't like but I strongly suspect they wouldn't have pushed the same level of corruption or general douchebaggery Gov. Walker has already put through. And he would have had a harder time doing it if either fewer of his own party were in the state legislature or those who were happen to have less partisanship, more integrity, or both.

    I know someone whose insurance company (paid up btw) walked away while this person was still in the hospital. Obamacare really cut down on this. Now there may be things in Obamacare that are problems but ending that practice was still a big step froward-and it wouldn't have happen without a bunch of people voting both Obama in and a bunch of Congressmen and women that would pass it.

    There are real world impacts because who is elected matters. And, comparing the past 2 Presidential elections, you have an election where a lot of people voted (Obama) and comparatively few (Trump). So sometimes elections are determined by the number of people turning out and voting (high or low).
     
  7. Keneth Gems: 27/31
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    I get what you're saying, but around here, there are just bad and worse options, and most people are generally dumb enough to vote for the worse one. Reason and common sense are in such a distinct minority that everyone single one of us who happen to possess a shred of either voting would not make one bit of difference in the end.

    Democracy is a joke, especially on a smaller scale, and I refuse to be the stooge participating in the farce.
     
  8. SlickRCBD Gems: 23/31
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    I don't see what they could have done better in MY high school civics. About the only thing I can think of is to have a mock election similar to what was done back in 4th and 8th grade. I was three months too young for the '96 election.
    Personally, I think they should make it so that somebody 16 or older in school should be allowed to vote for the school board, if only so they can get a real election while still in high school. Only a small percentage of high school students get to vote. If they are old enough to drive, perhaps they can be old enough to have a say in how the school is run?



    The judges, senators, and representatives at both state and federal level are all elected in even numbered years. In Illinois, The Presidential Race and the Gubernatorial Race are in alternating even numbered years. So are the Cook County level elections in the Gubernatorial year. The odd numbered years are exclusively for local elections and referendums. The latter of which can come at any time.



    Almost ten years ago Arlene Mulder, our then-Mayor who spent most of her 25 years in office unopposed had a contender that almost beat her, she only won by 7 votes. It would have been six votes if my mother hadn't gone into the hospital right before the election. I remember afterwards her ranting that she wished she had found some way to get out of the hospital and to the poll (only about a mile away from the hospital) and find five or six other people to get in there and vote.

    I live in a state that voted overwhelmingly for Hillary, I can't understand what people were thinking when they voted for Trump, and most of the people I know are of the same mindset.
    I didn't like either candidate, I voted for Gary Johnson simply because I couldn't vote for either of the major party candidates. I liked both him and Jill Stein far better. Heck, I'd have rather had Trump on the Green ticket and Hillary on the Libertarian with Jill and Gary on the Democrats and Republicans.


    Actually, Democracy, true Democracy works really well on a much smaller scale. So does communism. Many churches and co-ups basically use communism.
    It is when you try to scale it up to something the size of the United States that both run into problems.
    True Democracy fails outside a very small community, which is why you go with a representative republic instead with elected leaders.
    That too can sometimes start to break down when you have far too many diverse people with too few leaders. Too many leaders and you wind up with the same problems as true democracy, too many diverse voices that cannot make agreements.
    Hence the quote that goes along the lines of "Democracy is the second worst form of government, just ahead of all the other forms. "
     
  9. Keneth Gems: 27/31
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    Democracy works well on a micro scale or a macro scale of mostly congruous people. So, it probably works well for the state of New York, but it largely fails for the entirety of USA (in spite of its electoral college). It works well for a student council, but it fails miserably in a small, diverse country like mine. All in all, I just don't care. If shit goes pear-shaped, I'll simply leave the country.
     
  10. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Cook County?!?! Hell, I thought in Chicago your first few votes don't even count for much ... vote early and vote often.
     
  11. SlickRCBD Gems: 23/31
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    I'm a suburbanite. We have influence because the Cook County Board's trustees are divided up between Chicago and the suburbs. The city is the only one that gets to elect more than one trustee. I don't remember the details anymore, but it is set so the suburbs get a say at the county level. I _think_ there are 8 trustees and Chicago gets to elect two. I don't remember anymore.
    That said, I'm only a little over four miles from the boarder to Lake county to the north, and DuPage isn't that far to the south of me.
     
  12. pplr Gems: 18/31
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    Keneth

    Where do you live that you think democracy has failed?

    I like in the USA and I think the Electoral College hurt the US in this past election. I also live in a state where I know my state legislature elections are rigged but I go and vote anyway in part to show symbolic disapproval. I would certainly like it if elections for state legislature were actually honest again (they were, relatively speaking, before gerrymandering).
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2017
  13. claudius Gems: 3/31
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    I think a big problem is gerrymandering (spelling?) and I hope they change to a mathematical computerized perhaps solution. I vote every opportunity but when I was a college student little time only even feared elections. It doesn't really take much time and good to keep aware even if it is being aware of uncontested races etc.
     
  14. SlickRCBD Gems: 23/31
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    For the last 8 years, they've been trying to get an anti-gerrymandering amendment (for the State Constitution) on the ballot, but the opposition, rather than let the voters decide has chosen to find ways to get it removed from the ballot because of technicalities in court.
    Oh, you didn't get the right signatures, those don't count. There aren't enough signatures, it's off the ballot.
    I forgot what the others were, but they are fighting hard to keep it off the ballot in court, rather than let the voters decide via ballot.
    I think that speaks volumes about it's likelihood to pass and what it would mean for the career politicians.

    They do much the same about term limits. Fight it in court of law rather than the court of public opinion via referendum.
     
  15. pplr Gems: 18/31
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    claudius

    You're right and that is what I was referring to. My state is one of that was heavily gerrymandered after 2010. They made use of computers when they drew maps-to avoid honest elections rather than make them.

    Slick, good for the people trying to get it on the ballot. If I lived there I'd be out getting signatures for it. If my state allowed voter or petition sponsored referendums then redistricting reform and campaign finance reform probably would have both been passed statewide already.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2017
  16. SlickRCBD Gems: 23/31
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    One of the last court rulings has effectively removed that option.
    It's complicated, I'll just link to what I read in the paper since that is pretty much all I know anyways.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/...awsuit-ruling-madigan-met-20160720-story.html
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/...ndent-map-ruling-met-0826-20160825-story.html

    As for myself, my only involvement was to sign the petition as soon as I became aware of another attempt. I planned to vote "yea" on the ballot, but the court took away that option.
     
  17. pplr Gems: 18/31
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    As an alternative you can always support the lawsuit involving Wisconsin. Interesting news is that if restoring democracy works for us then it is quite likely it could be applied to the rest of the US.

    Is the other party obstructing democracy in my state. Yes. But this is about democracy not just party.

    Here is a link to an organization that is part of the lawsuit (on the pro-democracy side.)

    https://www.fairelectionsproject.org

    I can also list off some of the undermining democracy side if you want-one of the 3rd party groups siding with undermining democracy calls itself the "Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty" (no joke or a really sad joke depending on how you look at it) and Texas's Attorney General as well.

    Quick add on (from the news today):

    http://www.wpr.org/democratic-plaintiffs-urge-scotus-uphold-gerrymandering-ruling

    Like I said, if you support democracy should should be paying attention to or supporting this court case-especially if either party has rigged elections in your state.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 12, 2017
  18. SlickRCBD Gems: 23/31
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    I just looked at the maps, and honestly, Wisconsin doesn't look anywhere near as bad as Illinois.
    True, Downstate looks OK, but look at the Chicagoland districts. I don't see how they can say Wisconsin is the most gerrymandered State in the country when others like Illinois don't even look like they are pretending to be fair.
    https://web.archive.org/web/2014022...intable/images/pdf/congdist/pagecgd113_wi.pdf
    https://web.archive.org/web/2014022...intable/images/pdf/congdist/pagecgd113_il.pdf
    https://web.archive.org/web/20140222045635/http://www.nationalatlas.gov/printable/congress.html#list
     
  19. pplr Gems: 18/31
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    I noticed you are looking at the larger congressional districts rather than the State Assembly (which the court case is about).

    The districts are bigger and without knowledge of the our respective states I would guess neither of us will readily pick out which districts are rigged or modified for the benefit of a particular party-one place I can point to is Steven's Point. This is a small city that often votes Democratic and was moved out of the swing 7th District to the unlikely to flip 3rd District. Stevens Point is close to the middle of the state-look a few counties west from Green Bay where an arm of the 3rd District sticks out and then goes upward.

    But back to the more notable State Legislature. In 2012 the % of the statewide vote going to Democratic candidates for the Assembly was just over 53%, after this election 60 out of 99 State Assembly seats were given to Republicans.

    That doesn't strike me as proper.

    And it wasn't proper by design. The GOP in my state was caught trying to hide information about how they were putting the maps together.

    Now you can argue if the State Assembly is the worst gerrymandered in the nation or not but the point is when 1 party gets more votes and the other party is given an almost 2/3rds majority in the legislative body something is very wrong.

    It doesn't have to be the "worst" to be very bad and rigged.

    So if you don't like rigged elections support the lawsuit.

    It could even have the additional side benefits of improving democracy in your state.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2017
  20. SlickRCBD Gems: 23/31
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    OOps, I didn't realize I was looking at the wrong maps.
    That said, I remember something interesting about the Illinois 4th congressional district, and Wikipedia confirmed my memory.
    It is one of the most gerrymandered districts in the nation, yet it is not set up to give any particular party an advantage rather than to give a minority their own representative. It was set up to be 90%+ Hispanic.

    That said, I don't have much money to spend. I am too busy these days working 2 jobs trying to support myself on crap wages. I have a B.S. in information systems security with multiple certifications and I can't get a job in my field besides low-paying temp jobs doing things like moves or simple upgrades swapping computers that I could have done back in junior high (but nobody would hire somebody so young). Now I'm told I've been unemployed/underemployed so long I'm unemployable.
     

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