Tomorrow is the Deadline....

  • @coin said in Tomorrow is the Deadline....:

    @tnp said in Tomorrow is the Deadline....:

    @blondebot said in Tomorrow is the Deadline....:

    Honestly, trying to set up automatic voter registration in a country of some... 300 million or so people sounds like a logistical nightmare and we're already crazy in debt.

    Issue social security number, register person to vote, taking effect 18 years from date of birth. Done.

    There is no reason not to do this except for vote disenfranchisement.

    And before anyone says "omg but what about updating things when people move..."

    Make that the voter's responsibility.

    I mean I'd also make voting compulsory, with fines for failure to attend voting places (or submit mail votes), and so forth... but that'd never work. Except where it does.

  • Pitcrew

    For the most part, once you're registered you're registered - unless, as was mentioned, you don't vote for an extended period of time. You also need to update/re-register if you move, but that's a bit more finicky.
    The way American voting works is kind of weird; on the smaller scale, a vote is a vote and whoever gets the most cookies wins. As you move higher and higher along the political food chain, though, individual votes become more and more akin to suggestions rather than a direct influence - and rather than being a flaw in the system, that's actually the way the system was designed. It's why you see these cases where a president gets elected because he carried the electoral votes despite losing out on the popular count - each state has a set number of Electoral votes which are supposed to align with what the popular numbers say (Though they don't always have to, and individual states further complicate things by their own rules - such as some states saying that whichever candidate wins the popular election gets all the electorate votes; and others having rules to split the votes based on percentages). The system basically dates back to a time before telephones, electricity, or the ability to count higher than ten without taking your shoes off - so the short answer is there's no sensical short answer as to why it's that way, beyond no one having proposed a workable replacement that everyone can accept yet.

    EDIT Forgot to mention; to further complicate the soup, the final result between electoral and popular numbers per state do not always make sense, since electoral votes are based on population but many states follow the 'all or nothing' method when tallying. So, for example, you could have California with a population of about 40 million and 55 electoral votes - which is far and away the most due to it being the most populated state; conversely, because Alaska (The physically largest state) only has a population of about 750k it gets 3. There's no exact figure as to when a state 'levels up' as it were, but it's generally calculated by the number of representatives in Congress (2+1/~700k people or so, give or take). In states that follow all or nothing, the minority party vote effectively does not count once a winner is decided - so in the example of California, if it were a close race between Party A and B where A received 21 million and B received 19 million votes, the electoral (55 points) would go to A - which is why members of Party B begin to feel disenfranchised. Conversely, if one large state like California is compared with, say, even half a dozen smaller states (like New England, where the normal number of Electors runs from 3-6 per state), you could have a single state outweighing the vote of an entire region of the country. The other side of the coin, and what we've seen in some recent elections, is that - because the minority votes do get counted into the popular votes even though it's only the Electoral that counts, you could get a large state like California contributing millions to the losing side, even though they provided the important votes to the Electoral. As a theoretical example, if you put California up against Florida and New York (29 Electors each, ~20 million residents per) and each one had a sort of even split in voters; California 21A/19B, Fl and NY 11B/9A for the other side, you would end up with totals of 55 Electorals to A, 58 total for B - meaning a win for B. The popular vote, in this case, bears this out with a ratio of 37A:41B. If the split was not so even, however, say California 35A/5B vs FL and NY 15B/5A, the Electoral would remain the same, but the popular would result in 45Mil for A, vs 35Mil for B - despite B having won the election. That's an extreme example, of course; but it's only a small sampling of states and the splits are more likely to be broad than close in general. I mostly am trying to illustrate that the greater a divide in votes go, the more and more the electoral votes diverge from what the people actually vote for.

    (I'm not picking on California, I'm just using it because it throws the most weight around in the current system by far - I think the next highest number of Electors comes in on Texas, with 38; nor am I defending the way things are - rather, pointing out the flaws in it). For relevance, this is why it's important for them to keep track of where people live and maintain the registration lists - it's not just about the votes, it's also about determining how many Electors your state gets.

  • Coder

    It also doesn't make sense to have a national vote on a work day like many countries have. Either make election day a holiday or move it to the weekend...

    Sweden has a much smaller population of course, but nevertheless people are pretty spread out. It does help that we always vote on a Sunday. You can pre-vote at plenty of local places the two weeks before election day (I never voted on election day in my life). Heck, I recently learned that officials from the voting commission even do the rounds visiting disabled people on election day to give them a chance to vote from their homes/beds etc. Voting is not mandatory here and participation varies, but this year we were still at 87% voting participation, probably partly due to making it as easy to vote as possible.
    (Then that the election was so even so as to cause a lot of parliamentary confusion after the election is another matter ...)

  • @griatch said in Tomorrow is the Deadline....:

    It also doesn't make sense to have a national vote on a work day like many countries have.

    Aye, especially when there isn't as much of a standard "after work" time.

  • Politics

    @griatch said in Tomorrow is the Deadline....:

    It also doesn't make sense to have a national vote on a work day like many countries have. Either make election day a holiday or move it to the weekend...

    Although Americans have an actual day to vote with open polls, most jurisdictions permit some form of absentee balloting or voting. In my jurisdiction, you can actually go to the Board of Elections office and cast your vote early. So, Erection Day is more like Erection Deadline.

  • Pitcrew

    @griatch said in Tomorrow is the Deadline....:

    It also doesn't make sense to have a national vote on a work day like many countries have. Either make election day a holiday or move it to the weekend...

    I mean, some of us are guaranteed to work on holidays and weekends...

    But there is actually a reason that Americans hold elections on Tuesdays.

    See, back when we were setting this all up, a whole lot of our population was living on farms. So the assumption was that citizens--or, well, voters, which is to say the man of the house who actually owned the land--would need to take a day to ride into town, and another day to ride back.

    And since no good Christian man would be travelling on a Sunday, the idea was that you would ride into town on Monday, vote on Tuesday, and ride back out to the farm on Wednesday.

    (I said it was a reason not that it was a good one.)

  • @insomniac7809 There are definitely lots of older, traditional institutions that need a change but no politician - no authority figure of any kind really - wants to disrupt the system that put and kept them in power.

  • Pitcrew

    I should probably note that the US actually does have laws about requiring employers to give time off to people to vote -- something along the lines of, "If there's not three consecutive hours that the polls are open during your shift, your boss is required to let you adjust your schedule so that there are." The thing is, a) most people don't know that and b) most Americans live in at-will employment/right-to-work states, so while your boss isn't allowed to fire you for taking time to vote on Tuesday, he or she is allowed to fire your ass because you wore a green shirt to work on Wednesday and fuck green. Like.... there's a whole host of things your boss isn't allowed to fire you for in this country, but the onus is on the employee to prove that's why they got fired. If your boss has about three brain cells to rub together, they will say, "Well, Jim, we've decided to let you go for being three minutes late to work that one time six months ago" as opposed to "Well, Jim, we found out that you really butt-sex -- the with other dudes kind, I mean! -- and haha, Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. Get your stuff and get out."