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View Full Version : Non-Partisan Election Day ranting...


punkhippiemom
11-08-2006, 11:17 AM
Did everyone vote??
Did everyone make sure that they were informed about the candidates before they voted??

I am a huge believer in it being everyone's civic responsibility to not only vote, but to vote responsibly. So I was completely enthused when I saw the ads for DontVote.org, encouraging people to educate themselves before voting. I know for a fact that there are people that vote based on nothing more than who they think is better looking (don't even get me started on that!!) so I figured I would check out the website- expecting,based on the premise, that it would be a central hub of candidate information, making it easy for the average voting Joe to do research on the local candidates and issues. Instead, what I found was absolutely ridiculous - They showed about thirty pictures, with each of the pictures was two questions - "who is this person?" and "what is their job?"
Mixed in with politicians were pictures of Paris Hilton, Martin Sheen, and Madonna.
First of all, I mostly listen to the news, rather than watch it, because I am in my car quite a bit and I like NPR. I know who Dennis Hastert and Rush Limbaugh and Tom Delay are, but I wouldn't know them if I passed them on the street... so I didn't recognize a lot of the people they had pictured. And secondly, not only did they take off points from your score if you didn't know who the politicians were, they also detracted points if you didn't know who the celebrities were!!

I suppose my point is, although I appreciate the what they are trying to do, making the information avalible would have been a lot more effective than just quizzing people on face recognition. I actually found more information, which was well-organized and easy to search, by clicking on a link on my AOL homepage. If their intent was to get voters to educate themselves, they should realize that there's a lot more to being educated than just recognizing who people are.

Opinions??

janelanespaintbrush
11-08-2006, 11:27 AM
Yes and yes.

Are you sure you didn't mean to go to dontvote.com? That's the AARP site, which focuses on issues important to seniors like healthcare and stuff.

punkhippiemom
11-08-2006, 11:31 AM
:thinking: maybe I wrote it down wrong, but I could have sworn that the commercial I saw was for this (http://dontvote.org/) site...

brendajos
11-08-2006, 11:32 AM
I must say when i first saw the don't vote ads a chill ran up my spine because i thought the name was sending the wrong message. yeah i got over it pretty quickly.

i could have sworn though that those ads were sponsored by AARP. it sort of makes me wonder what the real purpose of the site actually was after thinking on it though.



I did get an A on the test though and it told me i definitely SHOULD vote so I am gonna go do that now.



waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaait a minute..... ;)

brendajos
11-08-2006, 11:33 AM
Yes and yes.

Are you sure you didn't mean to go to dontvote.com? That's the AARP site, which focuses on issues important to seniors like healthcare and stuff.


okay WHEW....glad i hadn't completely lost my mind...lol

CarmenIbanez
11-08-2006, 12:19 PM
I am torn on this subject, as I truly believe that the act of going to the polls and voting is more important than how educated you are on the issues. I don't think anyone should be discouraged to vote, and I don't think we have an epidemic of uniformed voters going to the polls. In CA, we tend to have a lot of complicated ballot measures on the ballot every election (and some special elections!). I took my 14 year old son to vote with me last night and let him stand at the booth with me and read over my shoulder (how did a good dem girl like me raise a repubican? good thing we are a bi-partisan family! HA HA HA) he didn't have any problem, having not read the issue before the election day, reading what was on the ballot and making some good points about whether I should or shouldn't vote for them. I think people use ignorance as a good excuse NOT to vote and if we made it less acceptable not to vote instead of saying to people, hey, if you keep yourself ignorant, then stay away from the polls. I DON'T KNOW! Am I making any sense? I can't believe how socially acceptable it has become for people to say, Nah, I didn't vote!

At least here we know that regardless of viewpoint, on this site we are thoughtful, caring citizens! :hug:

Stiney
11-08-2006, 12:26 PM
I like the Aussies. They mandate that you vote. I don't think voting is a right, it's a responsibility, and it's your responsibility to be informed about the issues.

NJ sends out copies of the ballots before the election. They were late this year, actually, we only got them last week. It has all the candidates, their parties, and the position they're running for, and has all the initiatives. We had three this time. It also "sums up" the legalese and interprets it, so you don't have to read the whole head-ache inducing paragraph. It also gives you a run-down of how the voting machines work. I don't know how long we've had them, because I've only voted in person twice, this year and last. In college I used absentee ballots.

Anyway, I like getting the ballot ahead of time because I pop the candidate names into google and find out about them before I vote, and they let you bring the "practice ballot" in so you have your notes.

While uninformed voting is dangerous, I think all citizens should be voting because we all have to live here. (Even if I really, really don't like what those other citizens think, they should be voting.)

janelanespaintbrush
11-08-2006, 12:58 PM
Well, I did the test for fun and was surprised to get only one wrong because I have been so, so bad about following the news since I took up knitting. Truthfully, if it weren't for the Daily Show and Colbert Report, I'd probably have no clue whatesoever about the goings-on in the world. (It's a good thing I can listen while I knit.) I actually got a subscription to The Week recently in an effort to try to stay somewhat informed, but I haven't been able to stop knitting long enough to read it. :blush:

Anyway, I should go back to listening to NPR more like punkhippiemom... I used to be a member of local public radio, but after I started working at home, my listening dropped off considerably. I like the idea of being able to knit at the same time, though. ;)

XbelovedXoneX
11-08-2006, 01:07 PM
I took the test for fun.... and failed miserably. :verysad: I know leaders, but I sure don't know what they look like! I admit I'm not familiar at all with political commentators. I consider myself more educated on issues than most of my peers too. oh well!

The Spider
11-08-2006, 03:28 PM
Yeah, I don't watch TV. At all. I get my news from NPR, like the original poster said. So, I know who these people are, and what they do, but I'll be damned if I could pick their picture out. Heck, I got Christina Aguilera wrong!

That being said, I did vote, and I knew exactly who/what I was voting for. Unfortunately, the rest of my state disagrees with the direction I'd like for it to continue in. Bye bye public education system :shrug:

cgd
11-08-2006, 04:20 PM
I try to be as informed as possible, though it's hard in this day and age of information onslaught from every direction and my feeble brain being only human. But I vote on principle because there are so many places in the world where women can't vote. Also, remember, women only got the vote here in 1920. Not even a hundred years ago.

brendajos
11-08-2006, 04:31 PM
I like the Aussies. They mandate that you vote. I don't think voting is a right, it's a responsibility, and it's your responsibility to be informed about the issues.




I don't know...Part of me agrees with this but i think it is the gut part of me that can't imagine why someone wouldn't vote. I registered to vote when i was 16 and was voting in my first election a week after my 18th birthday! I never would understand not expressing myself with my vote.

BUT part of what makes this country great is our ability to vote if we want to. I hate that people don't vote because they just can't be bothered but I would hate it more if it were mandated that I had to vote. I think that just adds another bureaucracy that we reeeeeeeally don't need in this country.

People definitely should be informed though. And they should not just vote for someone because that's the way it is done. I come from a family that told me that it was going to be alllll my fault after I voted for Clinton. :roll: You really don't have to vote for one party or the other just because that's how your family votes! :D

btw....Iraq used to have 100% voter turn out too.

letah75
11-08-2006, 04:51 PM
I took the test and got an A too. I do find it interesting that when you click on the link "where candidates stand" it takes you to the NJDC (National Jewish Democratic Council). :-)

I definatly feel voting is important, and since I turned 18 I have not missed a single chance to excersize my right. I always read the sample ballots, and do my own research and I try to be as informed as possible. It also helps that politics facinates me.

Unfortunately, people I work with are COMPLETELY uninformed. In fact today, I said to a couple of co-workers, "What do you think of Rumsfield stepping down?", all I got in response were blank stares and "Who? Oh I don't follow politics." THIS IS THE DAY AFTER THE ELECTION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!

Grrrrrrrr.


(BTW, did I mention that I work for local government? A county job. I am constantly frustrated!)

janelanespaintbrush
11-08-2006, 04:58 PM
Unfortunately, people I work with are COMPLETELY uninformed. In fact today, I said to a couple of co-workers, "What do you think of Rumsfield stepping down?", all I got in response were blank stares and "Who? Oh I don't follow politics." THIS IS THE DAY AFTER THE ELECTION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!

Grrrrrrrr.

Don't you sometimes wish you could be happily oblivious rather than well informed and frustrated? Ignorance is bliss.

debb
11-09-2006, 12:29 PM
I was working the polls in our condo clubhouse and a new resident came in to complain about the poolside furniture, saw the voting machines and asks "what's going on here today?"

You have to laugh after you finish your internal scream.

deb

CarmenIbanez
11-09-2006, 12:54 PM
That is :!!!: ing amazing! Can you even believe it? Holy canoli.

What is really interesting about the current political climate is that these same people can tell you all about how campaign advertising works and the different ways that candidates and campaigns manipulate voters. Today's voter has a much better idea of how POLITICS work, and yet no idea how GOVERNMENT works. What a strange dichotomy.

Hildegard_von_Knittin
11-09-2006, 02:18 PM
Wow, I was surprised... I got a B on the test... I got ALL of the occupations right, but I messed up some of their names. :shrug: oh well.

punkhippiemom
11-15-2006, 07:12 PM
I'm so glad that I'm not the only one who gets frustrated around election time. I have to say, I like the way Australia works. I think everyone should have to vote, I just wish that people would also remind themselves to find out what they can about the candidatesbefore they vote.
In Florida, we had the sample ballots sent out ahead of time, as well, which I loved.... It really was my cheat sheet, I made a bunch of notes on it and took it with me to the polls. In PA (at least where I am, anyway) they don't do that, but it took me all of twenty minutes to find out who was running for what in my area. Not hard to do, with a computer, anyway. But I vote on principle because there are so many places in the world where women can't vote. Also, remember, women only got the vote here in 1920. Not even a hundred years ago.
Thanks so much for throwing that in there, cgd - Even when the US has less than 50% voter turnout, almost 2/3 of those voters are women. Go, ladies!!

CarmenIbanez
11-16-2006, 12:29 PM
But I vote on principle because there are so many places in the world where women can't vote. Also, remember, women only got the vote here in 1920. Not even a hundred years ago.
Thanks so much for throwing that in there, cgd - Even when the US has less than 50% voter turnout, almost 2/3 of those voters are women. Go, ladies!![/quote]

Betty Friedan once said, "Rights have a very dull sound to those who did not have to fight for them".

I really believe it is because women had to fight for the right to vote that we vote more regularly.

craftymom
11-16-2006, 04:41 PM
I really believe it is because women had to fight for the right to vote that we vote more regularly.

I don't think that ever occured to me. I think I vote because I feel responsible for it. I think women feel responsible for taking care of a lot of things -their kids, their house, their pets, their country... :shrug:

CarmenIbanez
11-16-2006, 04:51 PM
I don't think that all women consciously vote because they didn't get to for so long, I just think that culturally in general women appreciate their rights a little more, knowing that they were a little more hard fought. :-) But I don't mean to imply that all women think that way.