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Voter Apathy

I voted today.  Sadly few feel the need to go out and exert their civic right to have a say in their government.  CA is suppose to have a record low turnout to the primaries.  Only one in five people are expected to vote today.

Its also in stark contrast to a group of 3rd graders I subbed for yesterday.  They were so excited to vote when they turned 18.  Some couldn't wait.  They wanted to sneak into the voting booth. 

What gives?  What can be done to get more people to the polls?

P.S.  I recently watched a documentary on Susan B Anthony.  Considering all that others have done to secure my right to vote, the least I can do is go to the polls every election.

I think the majority of voters don't vote for different reasons. Voters feel they've lost their votes because they feel their voice has been overrun by money and corporations buying votes. Voters are bombarded so many ideas with so many of them false or misleading, they don't know what to believe so they just give up. Voters want immediate results and even after they have immediate results, they're hungry for more immediate change that can't come immediate so it feeds the "why the hell do I vote in the first place?" Seeds of doubt and fear seem to run way too many campaigns these days.

I hope you're still with me.

Voters need to understand some change can happen overnight and some change must happen over time. Voters need to feel empowered and feel that, in our great country, they vote every day. They vote in the booths and they vote by what they buy and/or eat and/or do. When people understand we stand individually within a large group that must stick together, I think people will start turning out to vote again.

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I can't believe that in a mere two hundred and a few years, Americans went from pledging their fortunes, their lives, and their sacred honor to hardly giving a sh*t.  I have voted in every election since I was able, even primaries. If you don't vote your opinion, then you have no right to bitch.

I'm terrified that one of these uber wealthy corporate types are going to get enough power to really screw things up.  Buying an election is not what the founders intended...  And please, don't get me wrong; it's not the republicans who screwed things up, or the democrats (though they're both complicit), it's the people who don't get involved and ALLOW this stuff to happen!  

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I was talking w/ hub about this very thing just yesterday... I would rather see malice than apathy; I think it does less damage. Sigh.

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I think there's two things (well more but these are the big ones):
1.) Your vote doesn't count in the general election.
2.) People are sick of being lied to and they feel like it will never end.

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Oh, I get that. But people just give up.  If you don't do anything, nothing will change, right?  I'm fairly certain John Adams knew that King George didn't give a crap about his opinion, but instead of just caving in to apathy and despair, he found something to do about it.

I don't do enough either.  I know it's hard; we're tired, we're broke, we want to focus on our families and SLEEP. But nothing will change if we keep letting the money hungry corps screw us.  The LEAST I can do is vote, even if I think it won't matter.

We must be the change we want to see in the world, blah blah. 

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Your vote does count in the general election.  Not voting allows others to make desicions that effect your life.  Don't think for one moment that all those tea partiers and other specialty groups are sitting out this election.  They aren't.  What is shown in the polls is assumed to be the sentement of the whole voting population.  Those few that did vote will be catered and their issues will become the dominate platforms.  

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Your vote does count in the general election.  Not voting allows others to make desicions that effect your life.  Don't think for one moment that all those tea partiers and other specialty groups are sitting out this election.  They aren't.  What is shown in the polls is assumed to be the sentement of the whole voting population.  Those few that did vote will be catered and their issues will become the dominate platforms.  

Oh I agree with you, fo' sho'. I vote every chance I get. I'm not scared but I am nervous as hell that some are going to simply allow certain nutjob extremists to take over and bring the end of our country.

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i have expressed this in so many ways to so many people: not voting does not necessarily imply apathy.  i mean no disrespect, but voting is in fact NOT the least we can do.  not voting sometimes means being unwilling to submit to the mass-market capitalist agenda.  i do not believe in picking the best of the worst.  i believe in actually getting out in the community and being a part of real action.  i have so many issues in my life that i care so much about, and if you think for one moment that i would trust politicians to do the work of creating real change in the world, you are wrong. i've heard so many times, "if you don't vote you can't complain."  on the contrary.  if i don't vote i am in fact making an engaged decision to actually DO SOMETHING. 

i abhor apathy, but lets get this straight: sometimes the people you perceive to be apathetic are the only ones trying to make a real difference.  this is like veganism 101, giving a sh*t and going your own way even when everyone else is going the other way. 

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I agree that not voting does NOT always mean apathy; but from what I hear from most people, that is the case most often.

Choosing not to vote, however, is not an option for me. If I can't find one person in the race that I can support, then maybe it's time to run myself.  Like it or not, elections are the way things get done in this country.  No matter how much community activism you're involved with, politicians make the rules, the policy, the laws.  If we don't cast a vote, we're in effect voting for the status quo. We're allowing a Meg Whitman who spent 81 MILLION dollars on a freaking PRIMARY election, to bring her corporate interest to the table to make the laws that affect us.

Everyone has to make their own decisions. This is just how I feel for me. I don't mean to disparage anyone for their choices, especially one who is invested in community.  But I do hate to hear the apathy that I hear every day.

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i have expressed this in so many ways to so many people: not voting does not necessarily imply apathy.  i mean no disrespect, but voting is in fact NOT the least we can do.  not voting sometimes means being unwilling to submit to the mass-market capitalist agenda.  i do not believe in picking the best of the worst.  i believe in actually getting out in the community and being a part of real action.  i have so many issues in my life that i care so much about, and if you think for one moment that i would trust politicians to do the work of creating real change in the world, you are wrong. i've heard so many times, "if you don't vote you can't complain."  on the contrary.  if i don't vote i am in fact making an engaged decision to actually DO SOMETHING. 

i abhor apathy, but lets get this straight: sometimes the people you perceive to be apathetic are the only ones trying to make a real difference.  this is like veganism 101, giving a sh*t and going your own way even when everyone else is going the other way. 

+1

And when I said that your vote doesn't count in the general election, I meant because of the electoral college (I think they call them something else now).

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i admire your attitude cherizac, about running for office yourself.  and i agree with apathy is unacceptable.  we need action, not people who choose to sit along the side lines while others fight to make the world a better place.  but i still believe that this country is for the people.  for that reason, i choose to work alongside my fellow citizens.  shouldn't we the people be the ones who motivate the politicians to create and change the laws we must abide by?  if there are no groups strong enough to stand up and make the politicians take notice, then the politicias is really just an individual, acting on behalf of us the people without any real input.  it is a fact that even the politicians who you vote for, who you place all your hopes and beliefs in, will fail you.  better to hope in the people and the community you know you can trust to mobilize and make politicians of any stripe accountable to the people they claim to be respresenting.   

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I voted in the primaries for the better of two evils and I hate it. I get mad at myself because I voted for someone (and something) that doesn't have the same ideals as me- things that are VERY important to me. I felt like it was either this guy that believes a little in what I do or for this guy that I HATE.

But I vote with my dollars (or my lack of them) and I try to do everything else that I can by supporting and helping groups, spreading awareness, etc.

I was extremely upset on the day of announcement of President Obamas winning. Everyone else might have been extremely happy about his winning but with all of the anti-gay legislations passed I was not in a good mood at all.

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"....but with all of the anti-gay legislations passed I was not in a good mood at all. "

Please explain? Was there some state legislation that went thru that you didn't approve?

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"....but with all of the anti-gay legislations passed I was not in a good mood at all. "

Please explain? Was there some state legislation that went thru that you didn't approve?

Prop 8
Ban on gay marriage in AZ and FL (I'm pretty sure these were the states)
And at least one or two states passed laws that made it illegal for same-sex couples to adopt.

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minke, i feel like we are on the same wave length about voting.  i know so many people who were just obsessed with getting obama in the white house.  but i know in my heart that a politician is always just a bundle of promises. i served in the military under DADT.  someone like obama comes along and says, "i'm going to repeal that in my first year of office."  bullshit.  they are people who have dedicated their lives to the repeal of this policy.  it is their work that should be recognized.  obama would not even have cared if servicemembers and their allies hadn't stuck out their necks and made the issue visible!  it makes me wonder, what makes people (politicians)  have ambitions beyond their own means?  what makes them try to control and take credit for things they know so little about?  

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minke, i feel like we are on the same wave length about voting.  i know so many people who were just obsessed with getting obama in the white house.  but i know in my heart that a politician is always just a bundle of promises. i served in the military under DADT.  someone like obama comes along and says, "i'm going to repeal that in my first year of office."  bullshit.  they are people who have dedicated their lives to the repeal of this policy.  it is their work that should be recognized.  obama would not even have cared if servicemembers and their allies hadn't stuck out their necks and made the issue visible!  it makes me wonder, what makes people (politicians)  have ambitions beyond their own means?  what makes them try to control and take credit for things they know so little about?  

Another +1.

I know EXACTLY what you're talking about with the repeal (or lack there of) of DADT! He keeps saying he's going to get it repealed but so far nothing....and now they're "studying" gay people in the military. They don't need to be studied! Any sane soldier should only be concerned whether or not his fellow soldier is going to do their job and watch their back. (have you ever heard of the group GETequal?)

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but i still believe that this country is for the people.  for that reason, i choose to work alongside my fellow citizens.  shouldn't we the people be the ones who motivate the politicians to create and change the laws we must abide by?  if there are no groups strong enough to stand up and make the politicians take notice, then the politicians is really just an individual, acting on behalf of us the people without any real input.     

Oh, absolutely!  This country IS supposed to be for the people. And yes, all politicians will fail us.  They're only human, after all, and I've yet to find one that matches my ideology one hundred percent.  Under present conditions the best person in the world could not be elected, because corporations have been given the free speech rights of persons, and can out fund anyone. I still think that not voting, even if you have to vote for the lesser of two evils, will only leave us in a worse position, because then the money wins without a fight.

And there ARE good candidates out there.  Not enough, of course, but they are there, working really hard for us, and they deserve support.  And if the support comes with a message once in a while, (say, standing outside their office with signs saying I love your stand on Corporate Personhood, but your stance on Gay Marriage might lose you my vote) that's all good too.

I understand your bitterness over DADT. Thank you for your service, truly.  Yeah, Obama didn't repeal it in the first year; that year rather got hijacked over health care and the economy, which more people care about, right or wrong.  He is trying now. Yeah, maybe he could have done something with an Executive Order, but then it's reversible by the next president.  And yes, ugly compromise is a part of politics. You have to give on somethings, hopefully temporarily, to achieve others.  This is human nature.

I just know that feeling like your vote doesn't matter is for sure what happens if you don't vote.

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"....but with all of the anti-gay legislations passed I was not in a good mood at all. "

Please explain? Was there some state legislation that went thru that you didn't approve?

Prop 8
Ban on gay marriage in AZ and FL (I'm pretty sure these were the states)
And at least one or two states passed laws that made it illegal for same-sex couples to adopt.

I campaigned hard against Initiated Act 1 in AR in '08, which prohibited 'non married couples' (read: gay) from adopting... it passed, but has since been ruled unconstitutional! technically the ban is still in place, pending appeal, but... that mutha's goin down! people against it didn't stop agitating, and now even in a bible-belt conservative stronghold sense is playing a role... involvement works! it just might take longer than one likes... so I'm in favor of DOING, even if your way of doing (ie abstaining) is not like mine. Apathy is more contagious than TB, and far more deadly...

Sometimes, you've just gotta throw yourself at the problem a few million times, before it sticks... like spaghetti on the wall, to see if it's done.  :)

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"....but with all of the anti-gay legislations passed I was not in a good mood at all. "

Please explain? Was there some state legislation that went thru that you didn't approve?

Prop 8
Ban on gay marriage in AZ and FL (I'm pretty sure these were the states)
And at least one or two states passed laws that made it illegal for same-sex couples to adopt.

I campaigned hard against Initiated Act 1 in AR in '08, which prohibited 'non married couples' (read: gay) from adopting... it passed, but has since been ruled unconstitutional! technically the ban is still in place, pending appeal, but... that mutha's goin down! people against it didn't stop agitating, and now even in a bible-belt conservative stronghold sense is playing a role... involvement works! it just might take longer than one likes... so I'm in favor of DOING, even if your way of doing (ie abstaining) is not like mine. Apathy is more contagious than TB, and far more deadly...

Sometimes, you've just gotta throw yourself at the problem a few million times, before it sticks... like spaghetti on the wall, to see if it's done.  :)

Not sure if I'm reading this wrong so let me know if I am. I don't simply not vote (btw- I did vote), I do go out and do something, write letters, emails, spread awareness, etc...

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"....but with all of the anti-gay legislations passed I was not in a good mood at all. "

Please explain? Was there some state legislation that went thru that you didn't approve?

Prop 8
Ban on gay marriage in AZ and FL (I'm pretty sure these were the states)
And at least one or two states passed laws that made it illegal for same-sex couples to adopt.

Ya, I'm saying that's cool -- if you ARE involved, & choose to act by **voting/ engaging to promote change in other ways... i can dig that. That's not apathetic/ not the same as doing nothing. I agree with prior comments tho that this isn't usually the case, when folks don't vote... but it's not the same as apathy, def'ly!

I campaigned hard against Initiated Act 1 in AR in '08, which prohibited 'non married couples' (read: gay) from adopting... it passed, but has since been ruled unconstitutional! technically the ban is still in place, pending appeal, but... that mutha's goin down! people against it didn't stop agitating, and now even in a bible-belt conservative stronghold sense is playing a role... involvement works! it just might take longer than one likes... so I'm in favor of DOING, even if your way of doing (ie abstaining) is not like mine. Apathy is more contagious than TB, and far more deadly...

Sometimes, you've just gotta throw yourself at the problem a few million times, before it sticks... like spaghetti on the wall, to see if it's done.  :)

Not sure if I'm reading this wrong so let me know if I am. I don't simply not vote (btw- I did vote), I do go out and do something, write letters, emails, spread awareness, etc...

Ya, I'm saying I can dig that... it's not the same as apathy, *if* someone's engaging/ trying to bring about change in other ways... most folks who don't vote (imo) DON'T fall into this category, but def'ly that's not the same thing as not participating in the world/ not giving a damn! so that's a different beast altogether, & I can see your point.

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