View Poll Results: Did you vote in Nov 2009 US elections?

Voters
30. You may not vote on this poll
  • Voted absentee ballot

    4 13.33%
  • Voted early voting

    1 3.33%
  • Voted on election day at the polls

    8 26.67%
  • Skipped b/c lack of knowledge of candidates/issues

    4 13.33%
  • Skipped b/c I didn't care

    6 20.00%
  • Meant to vote and missed it

    1 3.33%
  • I'm not eligible to vote in US elections

    6 20.00%
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Thread: Did you vote in Nov 2009 elections?

  1. #71
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    Re: Did you vote in Nov 2009 elections?

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    And they pay more attention to journalists, donors, and campaign workers. Period.
    Well I know I'm mighty persuaded by that well sourced claim.

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    No, it's math and logic.
    You are back to your Slate Magazine "math" or the NYT "math" because all I see is supposition.

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    I very much doubt it happens with the regularity you're suggesting, but I don't know why you think that bears on my point. The odds of your individual vote mattering are infinitesimal.
    Ah more supposition.

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    And one vote per precinct is not the same as one vote. Not even close.
    Says the same poster who does not "believe" we repeatedly see instances where a city council member, school board trustee, member of the board of supervisors, or a special district member such as water board or fire district is elected by one vote. Why you pretend that does not happen is of course entirely predicated upon your needing to win an internet argument. So common sense and the fact it does happen be damned. It don't fit your claim and runs counter to it? Reject it! Real politcal theory 101 stuff huh?

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    And I think you're making this up without anything to support it. We already see high turnout in presidential year elections, and that doesn't improve our lot any.
    That is rich, yeah I "made up" the concept that more voters means more politicians have to address more issues and constituents and that more people vote in the POTUS election than do say local bond issues. Also I hung the moon and created the heavens.

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    Which has what to do with individual people voting? You keep on missing my point - yes, if 35 million people got together and voted, it would make a difference. The exact same difference as it would if 35,000,001 people got together and voted.

    You don't understand why those aren't the same thing. That's not my fault.
    Likewise you don't understand my points and reject everything stated and even claim I *made up* pretty commonly well known situations and political realities. That sure ain't my fault


    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    Which is why I pointed out that "[a]lthough your odds increase as the electorate gets smaller and more evenly split, it's still all but a mathematical certainty that you will never sway any election that has more than a few hundred people voting."
    Well let me tell you if that were the point of my posts, you would have a point. Instead you choose to keep this argument real limited and refuse to engage the basic truth that a citizen's vote influences far more than just election results. Oh yeah I forgot you said that is not so and added PERIOD. Chuckle. Apparently for the sake of winning a really narrow internet argument. Let me just say you have not persuaded me with your attempts thus far.

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    No, math is a mathematical fact.
    And a Slate op/ed is to a NYT op/ed is to math you say? Bwaa haaa.


    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    Provide me with a link to a significant election that was decided by one vote (Note: this is different from your "one vote per precinct" example, for obvious reasons).
    Significant election is it now? And now the focus narrows even more eh? Quite self serving too. Yeah I was way off base about the internet nature of the ever devolving argument you are trying to have with me. We are done here, not wasting any more time reading more of the same.

    We will just have to agree to disagree.

  2. #72
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    Re: Did you vote in Nov 2009 elections?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Loin View Post
    This argument does not address the fundamental fact that politicians pay attention to who votes. Particularity to groups of voters and that politicians by nature ignore those who don't vote as they have no power or voice with a politician. Surely it is not your intention to suggest that this is not the case?
    Sure, politicians pay attention to which GROUPS vote, and in what proportion. But your particular vote is meaningless.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Loin
    There are myriad ways that the outcome of votes matter on both the local and national level. From local bond elections to the POTUS race, the stance that one has no power or voice as a voter, or that a voters voice is valued on the level that a non voters is, is absurd.
    It makes perfect sense. If there's an issue that's important to you, why would your congressman care if you personally vote for him so that his vote percentage in the next election is 65.1682% instead of 65.1679%? A better use of your time would be to convince others of the merits of your argument, so that a large group of people floods his office with letters and phone calls. Your individual vote means nothing to the congressman.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Loin
    There are many real life examples where one vote has made the difference between winning and losing, between enacting a law or bond measure and rejecting it. Especially at the local level. We repeatedly see instances where a city council member, school board trustee, member of the board of supervisors, or a special district member — such as water board or fire district — is elected by one vote.
    There are many examples of lottery winners too. But the odds that YOU will win the lottery, or that YOU will participate in one of those elections where you cast the deciding vote are very small (unless you live in a very small town). Besides, do you really feel passionately enough about who represents your community on the water board, to the point where you're going to turn out for every election in the hope that this time you'll cast the deciding vote for member of the water board?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Loin
    In 1948, President Truman carried Ohio and California by less than one vote per precinct, thereby winning enough electoral votes to give him the presidency. And in 1960, one vote change in each precinct would have defeated John F. Kennedy.
    In none of those cases was the election decided by one vote. Unless you're voting in every precinct, your vote still wouldn't have mattered.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Loin
    Simply put if everyone, or at least the vast majority of Americans voted the vast majority of the time, politicians would be forced to address more issues of concern to more voters.
    Why would I necessarily WANT them to address more issues of concern to more voters? What if those surplus voters disagreed with me?

    Even if this were true, how does the vast majority of Americans doing something make it worthwhile for me personally to do it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Loin
    As an example a very high percentage of senior citizens vote in each election, so elected officials pay greater attention to issues such as modifications in social security legislation. Because people with disabilities don't usually vote in high numbers, politicians are not as interested in their viewpoints. There are more than 35 million voting age persons with disabilities. If people with disabilities voted in the same ratios as other groups did, their influence could change and influence the results of elections. This is what I am talking about with regard to "voice" and voting mattering in our society.
    But you don't have direct control over any vote except your own. So voting is still a waste of time. You can talk about how "if everyone voted in greater numbers" or "if everyone thought like you did" but that doesn't change the fact that everyone is NOT doing this. The fallacy here is assuming that if you behave in a certain way, everyone else will follow suit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Loin
    You have not presented any math, you presented two opinion articles
    I'd be happy to show you the statistical formula that they used in those articles, if you like.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Loin
    which don't even address the examples I gave above in reference to Truman and Kennedy in a POTUS race. And neither of them even attempts to delve into or addressing anything more than POTUS elections and let me restate that I am talking about *all* elections, not just the POTUS race.
    Neither of those elections were decided by a single vote. There has never been a presidential election (or even a state election, to the best of my knowledge) decided by a single vote.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Loin
    And again you are predicating your argument upon the fallacious argument that the only way your vote matters is in the outcome of an election, which is patently absurd as there are many ancillary outcomes and results based upon your vote.
    I don't discount other reasons to vote, such as social acceptance or the warm and fuzzy feeling you get from voting. I normally vote in the even-numbered years for precisely those reasons. But in terms of actually influencing public policy, your vote is meaningless.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 11-03-09 at 06:56 PM.
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  3. #73
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    Re: Did you vote in Nov 2009 elections?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Sure, politicians pay attention to which GROUPS vote, and in what proportion. But your particular vote is meaningless.

    It makes perfect sense. If there's an issue that's important to you, why would your congressman care if you personally vote for him so that his vote percentage in the next election is 65.1682% instead of 65.1679%? A better use of your time would be to convince others of the merits of your argument, so that a large group of people floods his office with letters and phone calls. Your individual vote means nothing to the congressman.



    There are many examples of lottery winners too. But the odds that YOU will win the lottery, or that YOU will participate in one of those elections where you cast the deciding vote are very small (unless you live in a very small town). Besides, do you really feel passionately enough about who represents your community on the water board, to the point where you're going to turn out for every election in the hope that this time you'll cast the deciding vote for member of the water board?

    In none of those cases was the election decided by one vote. Unless you're voting in every precinct, your vote still wouldn't have mattered.

    Why would I necessarily WANT them to address more issues of concern to more voters? What if those surplus voters disagreed with me?

    Even if this were true, how does the vast majority of Americans doing something make it worthwhile for me personally to do it?

    But you don't have direct control over any vote except your own. So voting is still a waste of time. You can talk about how "if everyone voted in greater numbers" or "if everyone thought like you did" but that doesn't change the fact that everyone is NOT doing this. The fallacy here is assuming that if you behave in a certain way, everyone else will follow suit.

    I'd be happy to show you the statistical formula that they used in those articles, if you like.

    Neither of those elections were decided by a single vote. There has never been a presidential election (or even a state election, to the best of my knowledge) decided by a single vote.

    I don't discount other reasons to vote, such as social acceptance or the warm and fuzzy feeling you get from voting. I normally vote in the even-numbered years for precisely those reasons. But in terms of actually influencing public policy, your vote is meaningless.
    As with RNYC we'll just have to agree to disagree.

    Just another facet of the "your vote does not matter" argument that I happen to agree with:

    Dr. Judith Rich: Why Your Vote Matters More Than You Think

    "By not participating in the process, not voting, you give up your right to have a say in the matter. That, ultimately, is the premise upon which this country was founded." [LEFT][COLOR=#000000]
    Last edited by Sir Loin; 11-03-09 at 08:18 PM.

  4. #74
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    Re: Did you vote in Nov 2009 elections?

    Her argument seems to be broken down into two parts. Let's look at them one at a time, and see if they make logical sense:

    In my experience of doing deep, inner work with people all over the world, what I see as the most common, consistent obstacle to living a powerful, creative, and satisfying life is the unconsciously held belief that "I don't matter." It's not that people walk around saying this to themselves. Most people are completely unaware they harbor this belief, but their lives reflect it.
    This is quite the hyperbole. It's quite a stretch to conclude that just because someone recognizes the mathematical FACT that their vote doesn't matter, that they don't have any sense of self-worth and are unhappy with their lives. There are plenty of ways you can matter, that have nothing to do with voting.

    If you think your one vote doesn't matter, consider what the outcome would have been if our founding fathers felt that way. We wouldn't be here, for starters. Think of people who have made a difference throughout history. People like Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, Madam Curie, Henry Ford, the Wright brothers, Jonas Salk, Margaret Sanger, Susan B. Anthony, Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Oprah Winfrey. Then there are the ones whose names most of us don't know: the man who stood in front of the tank in Tiananmen Square or the first person who actually picked up a hammer and began to tear down the Berlin Wall.

    What's the difference between any one of these people and you or me? Absolutely nothing! Except, these people chose to matter. No one gave them permission. Many of them chose to do so in the face of far more difficult circumstances than most of us encounter in our daily lives.
    What she fails to mention is that NOT A SINGLE ONE of those examples she cites influenced the world through their vote. They were political activists, statesmen, and scientists who did a lot more than merely voting for a candidate for political office. That's exactly the point...there are lots of ways you can change the world. Voting is simply not one of them.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 11-03-09 at 09:02 PM.
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  5. #75
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    Re: Did you vote in Nov 2009 elections?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Her argument seems to be broken down into two parts. Let's look at them one at a time, and see if they make logical sense:



    This is quite the hyperbole. It's quite a stretch to conclude that just because someone recognizes the mathematical FACT that their vote doesn't matter, that they don't have any sense of self-worth and are unhappy with their lives. There are plenty of ways you can matter, that have nothing to do with voting.



    What she fails to mention is that NOT A SINGLE ONE of those examples she cites influenced the world through their vote. They were political activists, statesmen, and scientists who did a lot more than merely voting for a candidate for political office. That's exactly the point...there are lots of ways you can change the world. Voting is simply not one of them.
    Well I did not expect you to say she has a point even in the slightest tiniest way whatsoever.It seems to me that you just refuse to see any facet or shade in this matter aside from your own. There are more than just mathematics at play in an issue of this size and importance. Opps, silly me, I forgot that voting is not important at all and does not matter at all either. Some might even use your argument to say the whole having elections and what not is really just a waste of time. Is that about bleak enough for ya?
    Last edited by Sir Loin; 11-03-09 at 09:10 PM.

  6. #76
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    Re: Did you vote in Nov 2009 elections?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Loin View Post
    Well I did not expect you to say she has a point even in the slightest tiniest way whatsoever.It seems to me that you just refuse to see any facet or shade in this matter aside from your own. There are more than just mathematics at play in an issue of this size and importance.
    Sure, I already cited them. Social acceptance, and the warm and fuzzy feeling you get from being a good citizen. But in terms of actually influencing policy? No, there are no issues in play other than the mathematics. Your candidate (or issue) wins if they get the plurality of votes, and they lose if they don't. Simple as that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Loin
    I forgot that voting is not important at all and does not matter at all either. Some might even use your argument to say the whole having elections and what not is really just a waste of time. Is that about bleak enough for ya?
    Elections are very important. Voting is a waste of time.
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  7. #77
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    Re: Did you vote in Nov 2009 elections?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Sure, I already cited them. Social acceptance, and the warm and fuzzy feeling you get from being a good citizen. But in terms of actually influencing policy? No, there are no issues in play other than the mathematics. Your candidate (or issue) wins if they get the plurality of votes, and they lose if they don't. Simple as that.
    You have not proven that is the case, particularly on the local level. Just becuase you say so, even if it is followed with a declaration of "PERIOD" don't make it so. You guys are real quick to dismiss that which does not fit your stance, such as the local level elections I referred to earlier. RNYC managed to barely acknowledge my point, of course with a giant chain attached that tried to state it does not happen very often. As if THAT was the point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Elections are very important. Voting is a waste of time.
    Yes so you keep saying, but I disagree with on many levels. All of them rejected in order to return to your "my math argument is ALL that matters" mantra. But that was kinda funny, elections are important but voting is a waste of time. As if one could exist without the other. So tell me if that was the attitude that "made the issue" precisely where would we be?

  8. #78
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    Re: Did you vote in Nov 2009 elections?

    It's okay when a few people don't vote because they're vote is meaningless, but if everyone thinks this way, then we have a problem.

  9. #79
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    Re: Did you vote in Nov 2009 elections?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dav View Post
    It's okay when a few people don't vote because they're vote is meaningless, but if everyone thinks this way, then we have a problem.
    Oh I agree to a point and as I have been trying to argue, there is more to this argument than the finite little mathematical argument being put forth here. IMO that argument is about who is right and who is wrong about this tiny little argument that those making it wish to define as THE point. Namely that voting is a waste of time in every possible way and that the *only* reason for doing so is for sentimental or irrational reasons; as defined by those of course making that argument. Self serving and ignores the much bigger picture that these two posters normally argue for other posters to see, oddly enough. Beats me why.
    Last edited by Sir Loin; 11-03-09 at 09:52 PM.

  10. #80
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    Re: Did you vote in Nov 2009 elections?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Loin View Post
    You have not proven that is the case, particularly on the local level. Just becuase you say so, even if it is followed with a declaration of "PERIOD" don't make it so. You guys are real quick to dismiss that which does not fit your stance, such as the local level elections I referred to earlier. RNYC managed to barely acknowledge my point, of course with a giant chain attached that tried to state it does not happen very often. As if THAT was the point.
    Why is it not the point? What's the point in voting if your vote isn't going to matter most of the time?

    If you're interested, the likelihood that you'll cast the deciding vote can be calculated using this formula:

    P(x) = n! / [x! * (n-x)!] * p^x * (1-p)^(n-x)
    where:
    n = number of other voters
    x = number of other voters who vote for Smith...in this case 1/2 of n
    p = probability of a random voter voting for Smith


    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Loin
    Yes so you keep saying, but I disagree with on many levels. All of them rejected in order to return to your "my math argument is ALL that matters" mantra. But that was kinda funny, elections are important but voting is a waste of time. As if one could exist without the other. So tell me if that was the attitude that "made the issue" precisely where would we be?
    You advocate voting because you think it would be good if everyone voted...and you criticize the idea of NOT voting because you think it would be bad if no one voted. This relies on the fallacy that if you behave in a certain way, everyone else will follow suit.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 11-03-09 at 10:23 PM.
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