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JoeRedskin 11-03-2004 02:16 PM

Sad Commentary...
 
The voter turnout this election was 59.1% and, as the media has pointed out, is the highest turnout out since 1968. While I am glad that voter turnout was better than past performances, I am saddened that we as a country seem to accept the notion full participation is not likely.

When 40% of the electorate fails to participate in the choices presented by a free election, we all suffer. Outrage, discontent, or at least a country self analysis is called for.

For those who claim not to vote b/c they did not like either choice - write someone in - a protest vote as it were. Such a vote is not wasted but is symbolic in its own way.

Also, simply because you don't vote in the national elections, your local govt. needs your input. In Baltimore, we had several charter amendments and bond issues that were subject to approval.

We are a country that has grown fat and happy. We have blessings beyond number that have been bought and paid for bythe blood and sweat of those before us. We have either become part of or allowed to develop a population that has lost its vigilance concerning its rights and duties as citizens. In doing so, we allow those in influential positions (whether governmental, media, entertainment, or others) to sway us with partial facts, faulty philosophy and subtle demegougery.

DID YOU VOTE? If so, and as a fellow citizen, I thank you. If not, not only do you have no right to complain about the course this country takes, don't complain when your local taxes go up, the street lights in your neighborhood aren't kept up. In fact, simply hang your head in shame.

Learn the issues, Inform yourself. In this day and age there is simply no excuse for not understanding the issues and being knowledgeable as to the governments actions. A failure to inform yourself simply means you are to lazy or self absorbed to recognize that you are a part of society and that your actions and choices affect all of us.

Okay, done with my screed - It just deeply saddens me that the greatest republic and free democracy in the world can muster just over half of its population to be involved. Freedom is lost without vigilance - do not allow our rights to be subsumed because you failed to participate.

Okay, NOW I am done with my screed.

Mattyk 11-03-2004 02:24 PM

nice post

I agree it is a shame more people choose to not have a voice. And sometimes just voting isn't enough. I wonder what percentage of that 59% are uninformed voters and just voting because their family are of a particular party, they just "like" a certain canidate, or they hear a clip on the news that determines their decision.

My fiance was discussing abortion with another co-worker the other day and this person was defiant that there is no chance abortion could be outlawed.

Redskins_P 11-03-2004 02:29 PM

I voted for the first time in my life this year and I'm 26. Before I was like many that thought my vote didn't really count. After going to vote yesterday, I felt so proud to have done it. I felt like I did my part as a citizen of this country, and evernthough I wasn't crazy about the candidates I still went out voted. I pat myself on the back.

Good post JoeRedskin.

redrock-skins 11-03-2004 03:55 PM

Great post indeed about the turnout. That's 40% left on the table and that is a shame. I have just read the young vote is no better than it was in 2000 (17%), despite all the stops pulled out to get out the vote. I was glad to see it up to 60% though and that is a start. While my candidate did not win, I do not feel cheated like I did in 2000.

Daseal 11-03-2004 04:05 PM

JoeRedskin: Imagine yourself as hating both Candidates. You going to wait in line for 2-6 hours in a busy state to vote with your protest?

I voted, but I can understand why a large portion of Americans didn't.

Mattyk 11-03-2004 04:12 PM

Something tells me the people who supposedly hate the candidates haven't looked deep enough into all the issues. The election just wasn't all about the war and terrorism.

But who should be blamed? The voters for not educating themselves? The media for hounding on the war and terrorism, the candidates for always resorting to smear campaigns and not discussing the issues?

I guess there's plenty of blame to go around.

redrock-skins 11-03-2004 04:13 PM

Don't worry though, I bet the next American Idol will get a high voter turnout.

JoeRedskin 11-03-2004 04:36 PM

[QUOTE=Daseal]Don't worry though, I bet the next American Idol will get a high voter turnout.[/QUOTE]

A damn shame which only demonstrates my point.

[QUOTE=redrock-skins] JoeRedskin: Imagine yourself as hating both Candidates. You going to wait in line for 2-6 hours in a busy state to vote with your protest?[/QUOTE]

When you voted, did you see a number of local issues on the ballot? Were you able to make an informed choice? Even if not aware of the subtleties of each issue, were you informed enough to understand the underlying general issues of these questions? For no other reason than these, people should go out and vote. How many of the same-sex bans would have been affected by a 100% turnout? How much deeper into debt did your local govt. go because the issuance of bonds was approved?

Also, I understand that for many there is a feeling that they are technically "disenfranchised" because they are not presented with a choice they wish to make. For these I say, write someone in - or recognized the flaws inherent in the system, understand the choices presented and realize that inaction is deadly to your rights.

And I am sorry - standing in line for 2-6 hours every couple of years to ensure that we reaffirm importance of participation and let elected officials know we ARE watching is just not that much of a sacrifice to make.

Yes -- to be involved in and to preserve a democracy requires sacrifice. Thank the lord you that the only "sacrifice" you are being asked to make is to stand in line to vote.

redrock-skins 11-03-2004 04:55 PM

So many states offer mail-in ballots now too. All you have to do is call your elections office and its sent to you in days. I voted 3 weeks ago. I agree with the above post. There are many local issues decided on the ballot too.

Here in AZ, we had a big one (Illegal Immigration) that some of you may have heard about. All I have to say to the young voters in my state is the next time you're in an ER and you have to wait for hours behind illegal aliens that are crowding ERs all over AZ to get your health care, remember the day you didn't vote.

How would I end up in the ER? Easy, I swerved off the interstate becuase a smuggler was driving a van full of illegals on the wrong way on the freeway, knowing the cops are not allowed to pursue a vehicle that way.

cpayne5 11-03-2004 05:43 PM

The instructor of a freshman public speaking class I had a few years back worked on capitol hill for states such as your's. Her job was to try and convince law makers to give these border states some money for hospital costs. She sounded like she didn't want to refuse service, but just wanted some money to cover the expenses.

JoeRedskin 11-03-2004 06:55 PM

[QUOTE=Mattyk72]Something tells me the people who supposedly hate the candidates haven't looked deep enough into all the issues. The election just wasn't all about the war and terrorism.

But who should be blamed? The voters for not educating themselves? The media for hounding on the war and terrorism, the candidates for always resorting to smear campaigns and not discussing the issues?

I guess there's plenty of blame to go around.[/QUOTE]

Matty, I agree that there are plenty of distractions, misinformation and rationalizations for not voting. The bottom line, however, is that it is a person's choice not to vote. Ultimately, the "blame" has to lie with the person who chooses not participate. Regardless of the paff, a citizen a) can find out the necessary info to make a choice and b) take steps (prior to the election date if need be) to ensure that their vote is counted.

I am not trying to be argumentative, I appreciate your support for the concept. It just irks me that we can, as in so many things, find ways to absolve ourselves of our duties to others as citizens.

I'll try and shut up now.

redrock-skins 11-03-2004 08:02 PM

[QUOTE=cpayne5]The instructor of a freshman public speaking class I had a few years back worked on capitol hill for states such as your's. Her job was to try and convince law makers to give these border states some money for hospital costs. She sounded like she didn't want to refuse service, but just wanted some money to cover the expenses.[/QUOTE]

The money would help for sure. I would not someone to die or not get taken care of, though this ballot measure may have done just that. This vote was AZ's frustration with illegal immigration issues. This was a vote that crossed all party lines. All of our politicians on both sides opposed the measure and millions were spent advertising against it, but the voters passed it anyway.

Mattyk 11-03-2004 08:34 PM

[QUOTE=JoeRedskin]Matty, I agree that there are plenty of distractions, misinformation and rationalizations for not voting. The bottom line, however, is that it is a person's choice not to vote. Ultimately, the "blame" has to lie with the person who chooses not participate. Regardless of the paff, a citizen a) can find out the necessary info to make a choice and b) take steps (prior to the election date if need be) to ensure that their vote is counted.

I am not trying to be argumentative, I appreciate your support for the concept. It just irks me that we can, as in so many things, find ways to absolve ourselves of our duties to others as citizens.

I'll try and shut up now.[/QUOTE]
I agree that ultimately it's up to the voter, but I was just pointing out there's alot of muck out there, some intentional and some not, that people have to fight through to get to the real issues at hand. Unfortunately alot of people don't care enough to take the time.

Daseal 11-03-2004 11:09 PM

Healthcare was a big issue. I want the drugs from Canada and I need affordable health care when I can no longer be on my parents insurance yet will still be in school. Lots of schools give good care through their systems, but every little bit helps.

SUNRA 11-04-2004 02:24 AM

Five Reasons Kerry didn't win:

1. Florida's Cuban population promised they would vote for Kerry because of Bush's oppressive policies concerning Cuba. Never the less they voted for Bush.

2. The Black and White middleclass believed that Bush had done the right thing in Iraq and since they still have a job things are better.

3.The Republicans were organized at the polls with representatives to intimidate voters while Democratic representatives were non-existent at the poles.

4. There are a lot of people with felony convictions.

5. Not enough people saw Farenheit 911


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