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Nov 9, 2018 - 4:59:48 AM
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mander

USA

2548 posts since 10/7/2007

Here in Oregon we have vote by mail. We can vote as soon as we receive our ballots.

Our son is 19 and this past election was his first "big" election, but not the first time he has received a ballot.

On Tuesday, he comes up the stairs and asks, "Mom, where's my ballot?"
I said, "Wherever you put it."
He goes back downstairs to look for it. A while later he comes back up and says, "I found my ballot. Now what?"
I say, "Look in your Voter's Pamphlet."
He says, "Where is my Voter's Pamphlet?"
I say, "Wherever you put it."
He says, "I just searched my room, I don't know where it is."
I say, "You can go on line and find information there."
He says, "No, I don't want to do that."
I ask, "Would you like me to explain..."
He cuts me off with, "No, I don't need my mother's help with voting."
I say, "That's fine, but it's too late to mail your ballot in, so you'll need to put it in a ballot box at one of the public libraries."
He says "I can do that?"
I say, "Yes, you can do that."
He says, "Sweet."

He gets in his car and drives to my mother's house. His uncle tells him she isn't home, she went to the Old Goats for breakfast. He drives to the restaurant, finds his grandmother, sits down at her table and opens up his ballot, and asks, "Grammy, how do I vote?"
Grammy looks at his ballot and asks, "Where's the other sheet?"
He asks, "What other sheet?"
Grammy explains, "You should have two sheets. One with the State races and one with the measures. Where is your second sheet?"
He looks in the envelope, but it isn't there.
Grammy says, "You should turn this one in for a complete ballot. You don't have all the issues."
He asks, "How do I do that?"
Grammy says, "I don't know. That's never happened to me before. Why don't you go home and ask your mother?"
He says, "No, I don't need my mother's help on voting."

He looks at his ballot and asks, "So who do I vote for?"
Grammy says, "Look at your Voter's Pamphlet."
He says, "I don't know where it is."
Grammy says, "You can look on line."
He says, "I don't want to do that."
Grammy says, "You could go home and ask your mother."
He says, "No, I don't need my mother's help on voting."
Grammy says, "Suit yourself, but I can't help you. You are in a different district and I don't know who these people are or anything about these measures. You'll have to work it out yourself."

He sits there a moment and decides on the tried and true method of closing one's eyes and playing pin the tail on the donkey. (admit, we've all been there.) He takes his ballot to the library and puts it in the ballot box.

That was Tuesday.
Last night, we're by the fire getting warm and he says, "Oh, I think I mailed the wrong ballot."
I said, "What?"
He said, "I think I put the wrong ballot in the ballot box. I was down in my room and I found the ballot for this election. I think the ballot I filled out was from the last election."
I said, "Oh."
He said, "Next election, I'm going to have to find someone who will make sure I vote early."
I laughed. "Well, you're going to have to find yourself a girl friend, because your mother isn't going to do it for you."

I probably shouldn't have told that story, but I think it's funny.

Edited by - mander on 11/09/2018 05:03:24

Nov 9, 2018 - 5:13:28 AM
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Tobus

USA

1603 posts since 11/17/2015

Wow. And to think that people fought and died for this right...

Nov 9, 2018 - 5:43:45 AM

mander

USA

2548 posts since 10/7/2007

Yeah, I know what you mean. It's like the First Amendment. One is taught in school how noble it is (and it is, I'm not saying that it isn't) but then you grow up and find out, that it works for people you don't agree with, too. Gosh, nabbit. :-)

Nov 9, 2018 - 8:03:43 AM
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49542 posts since 12/14/2005

As a prize winning writer of short items, I salute your skill in posting such a taut mix of humor and sadness.

And until the next election, any time he complains about anything the politicians are doing, remind him it's ENTIRELY his fault, for not casting the winning vote AGAINST whatever or whomever it is, which he opposes.

Nov 9, 2018 - 9:13:22 AM

1639 posts since 4/29/2012

I agree with Mike. When you vote you should be issued with a card saying you voted. If you can't show the card you shouldn't be allowed to complain.

Nov 9, 2018 - 10:03:20 AM
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Owen

Canada

2595 posts since 6/5/2011

...and if you can't show your card, your shouldn't be allowed to give out a compliment.   What else should be tied to whether or not one has voted?   devil  

Edit:  Heck, I see an opportunity for an expanded bureaucracy... a tribunal of sorts, to decide whether an utterance is a compliment or a complaint.  Anybody who thinks an idea should be judged on its merit must be some kind of a nut!!  cheeky

Edited by - Owen on 11/09/2018 10:13:05

Nov 9, 2018 - 10:14:53 AM
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Players Union Member

DC5

USA

2956 posts since 6/30/2015
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by AndrewD

I agree with Mike. When you vote you should be issued with a card saying you voted. If you can't show the card you shouldn't be allowed to complain.


Kinda gotta politely disagree with you on this  one.  I used to feel the same way, but in our last presidential race there was no candidate I was willing to color in on my ballot.  I did vote for others on the ballot.  I think there is a difference between actively not voting and passively not voting.  Sometimes we are not presented with a choice.

Nov 9, 2018 - 10:22:53 AM
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Players Union Member

DC5

USA

2956 posts since 6/30/2015
Online Now

mander , I love your story. My 19 year old is now 26 and he's much more proactive in his voting, so there is hope. But your story is a great example of why I'm opposed to everyone voting. There are some countries that are proposing mandated voting, and the U.S. has thought about it. There were even proposals to pay people to vote. I think only those who want to vote should vote, and I would hope that all voters are informed voters.

According to the authors of "Freakonomics" several years ago Switzerland made it easier for everyone to vote by mailing out ballots to every citizen and voter participation actually went down. Something about the social pressure of being seen at the polling places encouraged voter turnout, but when you could mail it in unseen, you didn't. People are an interesting species.

Nov 9, 2018 - 10:29:49 AM
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13627 posts since 12/2/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Tobus

Wow. And to think that people fought and died for this right...


 

Amen. I look upon voting as both a responsibility and a privilege. I learn about the candidates and questions, check out sample ballot(s) ahead of time.

In other words, I do my homework.

Mander, it does not please me that your son actually has at least part of a ballot out there.

Nov 9, 2018 - 11:02:05 AM
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mander

USA

2548 posts since 10/7/2007

Mander, it does not please me that your son actually has at least part of a ballot out there.


I know I shouldn't, but I find that funny. Voting is like learning to play the banjo. It takes some folks longer to figure out how to do it. :-)

Dave, I have to say, I think paying people to vote is like paying them to brush their own teeth. At some point, one has to learn to care about themselves, society can't do it all for you.

Nov 9, 2018 - 11:17:01 AM
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Players Union Member

DC5

USA

2956 posts since 6/30/2015
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by mander

Mander, it does not please me that your son actually has at least part of a ballot out there.


I know I shouldn't, but I find that funny. Voting is like learning to play the banjo. It takes some folks longer to figure out how to do it. :-)

Dave, I have to say, I think paying people to vote is like paying them to brush their own teeth. At some point, one has to learn to care about themselves, society can't do it all for you.


I like that analogy.  Of course the tooth fairy pays you if you don't brush your teeth. devil

If you pay people to vote then they vote for the money, if you mandate it then they vote because they have to and won't care who they check off on the ballot.  The only way it works is if you want to vote, and put in the effort and study necessary to make sure your vote gets cast.

There is a teaching tool called an exit slip.  I hated them, both when I was a student and as a teacher.  They mandated that we used them for awhile, which drove me nuts.  Students were not allowed out of the class unless they passed in an exit slip about what was learned that day.  In reading them you could easily tell most students just wrote something because they wanted out of the class. Often what they wrote had nothing to do with what we did that day.  Once I even got one that said "Hi Mr. Clark, this is my exit slip.  Have a nice day"

Nov 9, 2018 - 11:31:52 AM
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Paul R

Canada

10709 posts since 1/28/2010

In Canada we have the little known and less used option of refusing your ballot. Show up, show your i.d. and your voter's card, and, when you get to your poll, refuse your ballot. If you don't like the choices on the ballot ("a pox on all their houses"), it's a more eloquent way to register your displeasure with the system than just staying home. I've never tried it, but the choice is there.

Edited by - Paul R on 11/09/2018 11:33:22

Nov 9, 2018 - 11:35:14 AM
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Tobus

USA

1603 posts since 11/17/2015

quote:
Originally posted by mander

 

Dave, I have to say, I think paying people to vote is like paying them to brush their own teeth. At some point, one has to learn to care about themselves, society can't do it all for you.


Voting, unfortunately, doesn't just affect the voter.  His or her vote affects everyone.  People who vote randomly, without knowing who they're voting for or what the issues are, are skewing the system dangerously out of whack.  How can we say our elected officials truly represent the will of the people when a significant portion of the people have no idea why they voted the way they did?  It's insane, and a mockery of democratic principles.  It has the potential to collapse our system.

I'm all for returning to the idea of voting being a privilege that's only extended to people who are competent and responsible enough to cast a meaningful vote.  How we determine that status might be tricky, but it needs to be done for all our sakes.  People who can't take voting seriously should not be allowed to wield the power of the vote.

Nov 9, 2018 - 11:50:49 AM

49542 posts since 12/14/2005

Partial quote:
"I'm all for returning to the idea of voting being a privilege that's only extended to people who are competent and responsible enough to cast a meaningful vote. How we determine that status might be tricky, but it needs to be done for all our sakes."

"Tricky" doesn't BEGIN to describe it.

I recall seeing videos of people doing stupid things, with a comment that says

"And people like THAT are allowed to VOTE!"

I've also seen bumper stickers that say "I AM [ political or religious identification] AND I VOTE!"

From what I've seen on other Internet forums, there are PLENTY of people who would do whatever they might, in order to prevent people with opposing bumper stickers from voting.

(I am a four-chord folkie banjo-hacker with little sense of rhythm, and I vote.)

Nov 9, 2018 - 11:55:14 AM

Owen

Canada

2595 posts since 6/5/2011

Paul, I think the option of declining one's ballot is only available in provincial elections, and only in ON and the 3 prairie provinces. Here's an interesting tidbit: thestar.com/news/queenspark/20...tion.html

Nov 9, 2018 - 1:17:47 PM
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Players Union Member

Chris Meakin

Australia

1927 posts since 5/15/2011

Australia has had compulsory voting since 1924, although the penalty for not voting is somewhat paltry ($20 maybe).

I get the impression most people do try and vote as best they see fit. The number of informal votes is very low (and the number of non-votes even lower).

The actual order of party/names on the ballot paper isn't fixed - Australia uses 'double randomisation' to avoid the donkey vote - and in the last election there were five possible variations (of name order) on the ballot paper.

We always vote on a Saturday, and it is very often held at schools who use the occasion to raise funds for the library and such things (by holding sausage sizzles, raffles, etc).

I'm a big fan of compulsory voting.

Nov 9, 2018 - 2:09:58 PM
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Tobus

USA

1603 posts since 11/17/2015

quote:
Originally posted by mike gregory

Partial quote:
"I'm all for returning to the idea of voting being a privilege that's only extended to people who are competent and responsible enough to cast a meaningful vote. How we determine that status might be tricky, but it needs to be done for all our sakes."

"Tricky" doesn't BEGIN to describe it.

I recall seeing videos of people doing stupid things, with a comment that says

"And people like THAT are allowed to VOTE!"

I've also seen bumper stickers that say "I AM [ political or religious identification] AND I VOTE!"

From what I've seen on other Internet forums, there are PLENTY of people who would do whatever they might, in order to prevent people with opposing bumper stickers from voting.

(I am a four-chord folkie banjo-hacker with little sense of rhythm, and I vote.)


Just for the record, I mostly said that in frustration and/or jest.  Kind of like saying, "I really think such-and-such group of people all need a good butt-whooping."  In reality, I'm a libertarian-bordering-on-anarchist who doesn't believe my individual liberties are up for public debate, and the concept of voting is nothing more than an institutionalized method of initiating aggression against each other.  But we'll save that for another day.

Inside our current system, I don't see any issue with people voting for what they believe in, even if I disagree with it.  We have a Constitution that limits the powers of government, with great hurdles that must be jumped in order to change the system.  When people work within that system with their legitimate voices, they are exercising the power of the people to get the government they want (or the government they deserve, in most cases).  I don't always agree with the decisions made by the masses, but I mostly respect the people who have the drive to be a real part of it.  What I cannot stand, though, is the people who rig the system, vote with no clue what they're doing, or treat it like a joke.  This includes people who vote based on skin color, good looks, or similar ridiculous reasons.  And I'm sorry, but people who aren't bright enough to figure out how to get to the polls or fill out a ballot don't give me a warm sensation about them making decisions for society.

Nov 9, 2018 - 3:45:52 PM

mander

USA

2548 posts since 10/7/2007

Okay, sure, it's embarrassing that my son, or even worse, my mother's grandson, messed up the first time he attempted to vote.

You have to remember, I'm a pig-headed person. My natural inclination is to believe 99.999999 percent of all people who do not agree with me do so because they are ill-informed. I am almost always in the minority. I've had decades to accept the fact that all them other folks don't know what they are doing. I could get mad, but I am totally at peace and accept this.

Now, as much as I try to be informed, I know it is not possible to be one hundred percent sure about anything, ever. For instance, back in the 90s we had a new local fella everyone on my side was promoting as the latest and greatest hope. I read the other side, because I do. They thought he was a ninny. Yeah, well, they would, wouldn't they? Then, I had the misfortune to actually meet the guy. Ninny doesn't even scratch the surface. I didn't care if he agreed with me from A to Z, I was never going to vote for him. He made a splash, but eventually, word spread and his life time career failed to launch. I'm not sure when Oregon finally came up with voter pamphlets, but prior to that time, it was almost impossible to tell from the wording what a "yes" vote meant versus a "no" vote. One of the best laws we ever passed had to do with measure clarity.

Nov 9, 2018 - 4:01:16 PM
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49542 posts since 12/14/2005

Somebody was telling me about a measure which was DELIBERATELY and CAREFULLY worded so that a NO vote, intended to defeat it, would actually help PASS it, since the people who WANTED it passed had studied the Public Pulse, and dang well KNEW that most off the people were against it.

So, hey, glad to know SOMEBODY has a LAW requiring clarity.

- - - - - -
I still say that IF I could get my name legally changed to "None Of Those Rascals", and get it on the ballot, I could get elected to pretty much ANY position in any country where votes are counted.

Nov 9, 2018 - 4:10:40 PM

mander

USA

2548 posts since 10/7/2007

quote:
Originally posted by mike gregory

Somebody was telling me about a measure which was DELIBERATELY and CAREFULLY worded so that a NO vote, intended to defeat it, would actually help PASS it, since the people who WANTED it passed had studied the Public Pulse, and dang well KNEW that most off the people were against it.

So, hey, glad to know SOMEBODY has a LAW requiring clarity.

- - - - - -
I still say that IF I could get my name legally changed to "None Of Those Rascals", and get it on the ballot, I could get elected to pretty much ANY position in any country where votes are counted.


That happened in Oregon. It's why the clarity law was passed. It explains what happens with a "no" vote and what happens with a "yes" vote.  It also explains it there is any project costs or savings to the voter. The ability to make a decision one could feel good about has increased greatly since that law passed.

Nov 9, 2018 - 8:07:28 PM

Paul R

Canada

10709 posts since 1/28/2010

quote:
Originally posted by mike gregory

Somebody was telling me about a measure which was DELIBERATELY and CAREFULLY worded so that a NO vote, intended to defeat it, would actually help PASS it, since the people who WANTED it passed had studied the Public Pulse, and dang well KNEW that most off the people were against it.

So, hey, glad to know SOMEBODY has a LAW requiring clarity.

- - - - - -
I still say that IF I could get my name legally changed to "None Of Those Rascals", and get it on the ballot, I could get elected to pretty much ANY position in any country where votes are counted.


Be careful what you wish for. One guy legally changed his name to Adam Nobody. During the G7 protests in Toronto, the cops charged the crowd and bashed Mr. Nobody pretty badly.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/how-a-man-named-nobody-became-the-battered-face-of-g20-protests/article1320838/

Nov 9, 2018 - 8:13:57 PM

49542 posts since 12/14/2005

As long as Nobody got hurt, who's complaining?

Nov 9, 2018 - 8:47:30 PM
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Paul R

Canada

10709 posts since 1/28/2010

Nobody's complaining, that's who!

Nov 9, 2018 - 8:55:40 PM

8736 posts since 8/22/2006

On another note.. Voting on property tax increase should only be decided by property owners not by those who rent. One of my pet peeves.

Nov 10, 2018 - 1:07:18 AM
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1639 posts since 4/29/2012

quote:
Originally posted by 5B-Ranch

On another note.. Voting on property tax increase should only be decided by property owners not by those who rent. One of my pet peeves.


Absolutely. If you rent and your landlord's property tax goes up your rent will remain exactly the same. And of course you have no interest in what that property tax is paying for (schools, roads...) unless you own property. This is such sound logic that we should extend it to say "Only billionaires should decide how much income-tax billionaires pay".

Nov 10, 2018 - 4:59:06 AM

Texasbanjo (Moderator)

USA

21822 posts since 8/3/2003
Online Now

AndrewD

It may be that way in the UK, but here in the U.S., many lease contracts have a clause that allows the landlord to raise the rent if taxes and/or insurance goes up. After the first year, unless you sign a new lease, you're a month to month renter and the landlord can raise the rent any time or as many times as he or she wishes.

Our town is going through something like that right now. The rents have gone up over 45% in 2 years because we're in a boom situation. Greed? Probably, but it's called supply and demand. Many who aren't in the oil industry can't make the increased rent and are evicted and have a problem finding housing of any kind that they can afford.

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