Tuesday, November 8, 2016

One More Day-Of Reminder

Go vote!  Today's the day!  I just did, and it was awesome!  I got a sticker like the one above and everything!

Even if you have somehow managed to avoid having strong opinions on the presidential race (in which case, I don't know if I should be impressed by your ennui, or disturbed by your inability to identify any salient distinguishing factors between Clinton, Trump, and your third party options), there are downballot races and/or ballot initiatives that you almost certainly should take a chance to peruse.  Not sure what those are?  Ballotpedia is just one resource you can use to look up your sample ballot, though the fact that it also gives brief summaries of the candidates and issues for each vote you'll have the opportunity to make, and can help you find your polling place, makes it a convenient all-in-one prep tool.

As my high-school government (we had "government" instead of civics at my high school, for some reason) teacher liked to say: "not voting isn't a vote for none of the above, it's a vote for any of the above."  Take the time to get to your polling place today, if you haven't already sent a mail-in or absentee ballot.  And, you know, are an eligible US voter.


  1. "Not voting isn't a vote for none of the above, it's a vote for any of the above."

    And he was wrong.

    1. How so?

      Not voting does nothing to decide between the candidates, and it's never going to result in no candidate being chosen. As far as I can tell, the only thing not voting tells the government is that there's no point in trying to sway your specific demographic.

    2. Or it says you think all the available options are so bad that you can't in good conscience pick one.

    3. If not voting tells the government anything (and it likely doesn't, since it's literally making no readable statement), it's that they can safely ignore your voting bracket, because you don't give a damn what they do.

    4. That's not exactly fair. What if, as I said, you don't like any of the candidates, not even enough to pick them as a lesser of two evils? Yeah, the government can't tell between that and someone who can't be bothered to vote no matter what, at least in the short term, but here's the main difference: the guy who doesn't give a damn is never going to vote for any candidate, while the guy who refuses to pick among a bunch of bad options will come out and vote for a good option when given one. He's withdrawing the support he showed in previous elections without putting it somewhere else, so it's half the effect, but it's still an effect.

    5. Even if you don't like them, the lesser of two evils - especially if it's by a large margin - is less evil. The difference between how good they would be is more important that how good either will be overall.

      I do think you have a good point that your lack of voting can show that you don't think either candidate is good enough. I just don't think that's how the government interprets it.

      And if you hope to show the government across multiple elections that you simply won't vote for a bad candidate, well I hope the government starts to see that, and I hope we don't get too much crap in the mean time as a result.

    6. In the end, you never get to choose what your vote means. Someone may take your non-vote as 'any of the above', but there is nothing you can do to prevent that. This is the fundamental flaw in a representative democracy. If there isn't a candidate who supports any (or at least a significant number of) your political position, you don't really get to have a say. In this game, you get to choose from pre-approved candidates.

      All you can do is whatever gives you a rational and moral basis to stand your ground in earnest after the fact. If you participate in the machine, regardless of who you vote for, you are supporting the system and thus are to some degree bound by the result – if you play the game you accept the consequences.

      I choose not to play the game because it is the only way I can maintain my integrity.

    7. If you don't play the game, the consequences still apply to you, though. That's what I never get.

      That said, I've read in the past that whether or not one votes is based on genetics, which barely makes sense, but I try and keep it in mind during conversations like this so I don't get too bent out of shape.

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  3. I'm starting to think SMOD2016 is the way to vote.