Question for the People in My Country

You’re registered to vote, yeah? And you’re actually planning to vote?

260 Comments on “Question for the People in My Country”

  1. yes and yes….Since we seem to actually NEED to make every vote count since the 2000 election, then mine will be there!

  2. In twenty-three years of being of voting age I’ve missed exactly one off-year primary election and voted every other time. I can’t see making an exception this time around.

  3. I’d be surprised if the responses to your question from the readers of this site drop below 95% “yes” to both questions. As to who they’ll vote for, I wouldn’t even try to predict.

  4. I’m not interested in knowing who they vote for, Todd; that’s their own decision. I’m just interested in whether or not they are planning to make that decision at all.

  5. Yes, but unfortunately, not in the US of A (being a Brit and all).

    Good luck, and here’s hoping the hanging chads don’t come back to visit.

  6. Never missed a Federal election yet (I sometimes skip town elections due to ignorance.)

    And my eighteen-year-old signed up as well, after a fierce debate with her conscience over whether her vote mattered more in her home state or her college state.

  7. Yes and yes. And I’ve gotten up to 3 normally apathetic family members to be able to answer the same way.

  8. I’m registered to vote and will do so but only grudgingly since there is no one on the ballot that seems worthy of my vote. I really wish we had a “none of the above” option so I could use my vote to express extreme displeasure with the listed options.

  9. Yup! And it’d be horribly lazy of me not to vote when the polling place I’m going to is a 5 minute walk from my apartment and hypocritical since I spend 2 hours a week sitting at a table asking people “Are you registered to vote at your current address? No? then get over here and spend 3 min filling out this form.”

  10. I’d be surprised if the 2008 election fell short of 60% voter turn-out again, what with the historic nature of the election and all that…
    But then that’s exactly what I said before the 2004 election.

    Being from Germany, it seems just so amazing to me that WE tend to have 75-80% turn-out despite a political scene that I personally consider to be about a gazillion times more boring than that of the US.

    Not to mention that whilst the rift between my own country’s two major parties seems to be nigh negligible, the one between the GOP and the Democrats is positively gaping. My logic would say such a situation should favor higher turn-out in the US. Not that logic has much to do with politics.

  11. Yes and yes. I’m even going to be voting for the right guys, and I’m in a swing state.

    Of course, I have to balance that with the fact that all the dumbies I know are also in a swing state.

  12. No and no; my vote doesn’t count for anything, so there’s no point in wasting my time.

    Sorry to be so cynical.

  13. I moved not too long ago, so I am not yet registered to vote in my new state.

    However, I do plan to register (soon – I believe I can actually register online here…) and I definitely plan to vote.

  14. yes and absolutely.

    There was drama during the primaries with my absentee ballot and I had to get my state senator to sort it for me. When I was talking to his staff about the whole thing, I was surprised to actually find myself crying about the prospect of not getting to cast a ballot.

    But they fixed it, and the ballot got cast, and my state senator is my favorite person in government right now as a result (also because I agree with his policies, but you know. Made my voting fixy).

  15. Yes, but we’re moving and it’s going to be a bizzy dance having a new address to vote from by Oct 20–but I’m going to pull this off some how.

  16. Yes to both, for three of the four people in my household. The fourth’s 18th birthday is 9 days later, and he’s steamed that not only did it keep him from voting, it kept him from interning at the DNC.

  17. Oh yes.

    Since I turned 18 the only elections I’ve missed have been a couple of ballot initiatives that I didn’t know were scheduled until the results came in.

    Not only is the presidential race important, but I want to support my state senator who I adore, and there are several important state & local elections as well.

    Even if for some of them I want only to write in “None of the Above.”

  18. Yes, and yes. I started when I turned 18 and haven’t missed one yet. Well, OK that’s not true. I don’t think I voted in the 2002 congressional elections. :) But other than that…yeah.

  19. Yes. I got screwed a few years ago with a registration snafu. Getting that fixed really made me appreciate my vote.

  20. Not only will I be voting, I’m the chief election judge for my precinct. So I get to enjoy the full election experience, from picking up supplies on Monday morning to turning in everything late Tuesday night.

  21. Heck Yes!!

    …and for those of you who think your vote doesn’t count, the first election I was old enough to vote was 2000. I didn’t vote because I didn’t think it would matter. I live in Florida. And I’m really sorry. I doubt I’ll ever miss another election.

  22. The differences between the two candidates are so small that I’m not entirely sure it’s worth my while. Whenever one of them takes a position on something that I think “yeah, that’s great” the other adopts it. There is no way Obama’s going to raise taxes like he says he is, not during a recession anyway. So at this point the choice between candiates is like a ford/chevy, adidas/nike, or mcdonalds/burger king argument. It makes no difference and it’s all branding really.

  23. I absolutely will vote. I put my butt on the line as a military officer for too many years not to do so. We’ve made a family tradition out of the kids accompanying us to the polls since they were old enough to walk. If they’re late for school, so be it; we excused it as a “civics field trip.”

    Last spring — while he was a 17-year-old high school student — the kids stole “I Voted” stickers and put them on their jackets. Independently, as each walked into school (they went to different high schools — don’t ask, I won’t tell) a faculty member asked why they had “I Voted” stickers. They each answered with a variation on “This close to Chicago, I’m sure I did — several times.”

  24. Oh hell yeah – After a lifetime of voting in the same Catholic school gymnasium of the parish where I was baptized, I’m all registered in my new state (new polling place: Beverly Garlend’s Holiday Inn. Cracks me up.), raring to defend marriage equality and vote against Prop 8. Then there’s that whole presidential thing, too . . .

  25. Yes. I will vote. I’ve always followed Heinlein’s rule that there’s always someone to vote against. Also, Florida amends its Constitution pretty much every time we have an election, so I tend to show up and vote for that reason, too.

  26. Registered to vote thanks to motor voter since I recently moved, and planning to vote. My workplace actually is shut down on election day, ostensibly so we can all vote. I’ll be taking advantage of that. Although, in my state, the candidate I’m voting for is down something like 98% to 2%, so some have argued that my vote is wasted. I disagree though it may just be for philosophical reasons.

  27. I vote three, sometimes four times a year! One time I drove back from LA earlier than I’d planned so I could vote. Turned out there was nothing to vote for, but I was there and ready to exercise my civil liberty and right and voice my opinion!

    So yes, I will be voting in six weeks on a multitude of issues and representatives.

  28. I am not voting this year. I would have voted for Ron Paul had he been the Republican nominee, but McCain doesn’t even begin to understand the nature of the financial crisis, let alone what should be done. Obama is actually worse; both of them are dumb enough to rely on the predators who created the problem to “solve” it.

    Unfortunately, the Libertarians aren’t running an actual libertarian this election. So, I shall sit this out and be amused by the continuing spectacle of the economically ignorant being repeatedly shell-shocked by the economic equivalent of gravity in operation.

    The only thing funnier than the Republican idiocy in confusing controlled corporatism with free market capitalism is the Democratic idiocy of trying to put more power in the hands of the political elite that has been enabling the financial raping of the citizenry for decades. To paraphrase Mayer Amschel Rothschild, give a man the power to make a nation’s money and it doesn’t matter who makes its laws.

  29. Damn skippy.

    I’ll be doing the absentee thing again–have since they made it legal to automatically do so in CA. I don’t trust the machines, and they always have the polling place in the really sketchy nursing home.

  30. Yes and yes. I have only missed one election since I was enfranchised and that was due to working a lot of overtime. Going in early and leaving late tends to screw up your sense of what date it is.

  31. Registered permanent absentee voter. Should get my ballot within a couple of weeks.

    And, yeah, I already know how I’m voting on everything.

  32. Yes, and yes. And Marcia is going off to Philadelphia for two weeks to help round up voters. But both of us live in DC, where our votes will have zero effect on the outcome; it’s a certainty that the District’s single electoral vote will go to a Democrat.

    Meanwhile, I’m making specialty bumper stickers and selling them for $5; proceeds will be sent to the candidate of my choice.

  33. Yes squared. Having recently adopted the US as my home country and sitting her clutching my first blue passport in my greasy little hands I’ll be in front of that voting machine come hell or high water.

  34. In four different states over the last quarter-century, I’ve only missed a couple of chances to cast a vote. It would be hypocritical to complain about the state of the country and NOT vote. As said by many above, if nothing else there’s always someone to vote against.

  35. Wrong country, right idea. Vote early and often!! Good luck in November John, you guys are going to need it.

  36. Yes and hell no. The system is broken. Even the libertarian candidate is no true libertarian. As George Carlin wisely said, “If you vote, you have no right to complain.” You’ll be responsible for all the evil the candidate will inevitably do while in office.

  37. *&^%$#@! YEAH!
    I live in one of the most “liberal” districts in the country (Senators Durbin and Obama, Reprsentative Schakowsky), so it’s unlikely that my vote will make much difference, but this could be our last chance to hold on to what’s left of the Constitution.
    My politics are fringier than most, but the physical fact is that barring major catastrophe, one of those two will be the next President. There’s a lot of difference between the one I’m not entirely sure of and the one who’s a complete slime.

  38. Of course I’m registered, and come hell or high water I will vote. And I will take my daughters with me, as my wife and I do every time, so that they will know how important this is.

    I have missed only one local primary election in the last two decades. Voting is my license to bitch – no vote, no complain – and I do love to complain. Given my track record (I didn’t pick a winner for any office from either party for the first seven years of my voting career), that’s pretty much the only satisfaction I get.

    That and honoring the Constitution. That’s my era, as a historian, and no matter how hard our gov’mint insists that the Constitution is irrelevant/outdated/an obstacle to whatever policy they’ve dreamed up lately, it still means something to me.

  39. Yes and yes. This is one election that seems to matter. And being in a “battleground” state (PA), in the middle of a conservative county (Lancaster), it seems even more important. The sign in the front yard is intended to try to offset some of the neighbors’ signs.

  40. Been registered since 1976 (when I was 18) and haven’t missed a major election yet–even when I’ve had to hold my nose till I nearly pinched it off!

  41. It’s a fascinating statistic that if you perform a poll (an actual scientific poll, not just ask some guys at lunch) far more people say they voted than actually did. It seems to be one of those things we feel is a moral obligation to the extent of being worth lying over, but not to the extent of actually doing it. Similar to the polling about Obama, far more people behave as though they are racist than admit that race is a factor in their decisions.
    That said, I’ll be voting.

  42. Most definitely! This is the first election in which I can actually vote for a president, so nothing (barring, perhaps, death) could keep me away from the polls.

  43. Yeah, I need to register, don’t I? I turn 18 on Oct. 20, just in time! I wouldn’t want to miss my first chance at voting, especially with it being the presidential election and all.

  44. Absolutely. Anyone that doesn’t like the names on the ballot–just write a name in. Your candidate may not win, but that isn’t the point. Our job is to vote, not necessarily to “win.”

    Registered and ready to go!

  45. I will be at my polling place early in the morning to vote before going off to school, voted in every election since 96.

  46. Yes and yes.

    This will be the first time I get to go to a polling place and physically vote for someone. In previous election I voted in absenteee.

  47. In thirty years of being eligible to vote I have not missed voting in a single election I was qualified to vote in, and have no plans to miss any in the future. And if a doctor tells me I’m going to shuffle it off before the he next one, I will (perfectly legally) obtain and vote an advance absetnee ballot.

  48. Yep, I’m registered, and yes, I can’t wait to vote. I’m fired up to vote against the GOP.

    As I’m in CA, I’m also fired up to vote AGAINST the bill banning gay marriage and FOR selling bonds to fund high speed rail. Gimmie gay marriage rights and high speed rail! Oh yeah!

  49. ATTENTION: Oct 20 is only the voter registration deadline in 4 states! Make sure you check your state’s deadline before waiting to register (in fact, why wait)?

    The earliest registration deadline is as soon as Oct 3, with many more deadlines on the 4th and 6th of Oct.

    Check here to find your state’s deadline:

    This website also has information on absentee voting for every state. Send in your request as soon as possible–I almost received my ballot too late last time around.

    And to the commenter turning 18 Oct 20–I think you can register at age 17.5 if you’ll be 18 by election day. So don’t wait!

  50. Yeah, I’m registered and planning to vote. I’ve just recently sent in my change-of-address notification–I lived somewhere else during the midterm election of 2006–and haven’t gotten back my new registration card with my current polling place yet, but there’s plenty of time. Also, I’m in Virginia, which I know is an important state this year, and I’ve been volunteering for Obama because I actually care that much this time around. Never would have expected that even two years ago.

  51. Are you kidding!?

    I registered to vote the exact day I turned 17 and 1/2.

    I’ve been going to voting booths since I was 4 years old. (And thought I was actually voting until I was about 6). I had opinions about who should be president (not based on facts, but gut feeling) when I was 4/5.

    I was born to vote.

  52. Hell yeah. Registered and voted at 18, haven’t missed yet with the exception of a couple of local primaries.

    It’s my first question when someone starts complaining about the state of the country – “You voted?”. If not… next topic…

  53. Alas, no and no, and it’s tearing me up. I’m a Canadian citizen, so cannot vote where I live (in the States), but I live in the States, so cannot vote where I’m a citizen. My wife, however, is a US citizen, and fully registered to vote, and plans to do so for the first time since we met, so that’s something.

    If I were in Canada, I’d be voting for the Greens this year.

  54. Yes to both in Canada! Actually, I would love to do a poll myself to see how many Canadians are planning to vote – our Federal election will probably be a close one this year.
    I was very fortunate to have a high school teacher who was also a MP (elected Member of Parliament) – he explained better than anyone else could about the intricacies of our political system, and how important our right to vote is. Those lessons are still with me today.

  55. I’m registered to vote and I get there when the poll opens so I can spend time the rest of the day helping others get to the poll. Here in MN the weather can be challenging for seniors and those who don’t drive.

    C.E Petit @ 44, I take my kids to the poll every election, too. They are younger than your kids and they love getting the “I VOTED” stickers to wear to school. My oldest is in middle school and knows where the candidates stand on the issues. He watched the primary debates and “you tubes” speeches by the candidates. I consider it a major duty as a parent to prepare my kids to be responsible adults–including knowing how to make an informed decision about elections.

    It’s good to know that other parents do the same.

  56. I spent a large portion of 1988 angry that by dint of being born a year too late, I was not going to be allowed to vote that year. Thanks a legal detail smaller than many ignored in an average St. Louis municipal election, I would not be allowed to vote in a Presidential election until I was 21. Since turning 18 in 1989, I have missed only a couple of primary elections which were no contest and a few plebiscites I knew my side would lose even if every one on my side voted.

  57. Of course. And since I am currently a resident of the District of Columbia, the presidential race is pretty much the only thing I’ll vote for that actually counts.

  58. Yes and yes. I even voted in the primaries, switching from Libertarian to Democrat. Not that that helped in the last Florida local primary where all I got to do was vote for unopposed Republicans who will automatically win their races.

  59. Yes, I am registered to vote.

    (Although in Maine, this is a moot point, you can register on the day you vote as long as you can provide proof of residence, like a piece of mail or official document.)

    Yes, I plan on voting. Twice.

  60. I am registered. In fact, I switched from Independent to Democrat so I could vote in the primary. And I will vote for president for the first time since I’ve been eligible to vote.

  61. Yes, I’ve been voting since I was 18, which was the first year that 18-year-olds were enfranchised. I have missed one or two times since then but I have always voted in the federal elections.

    Oregon now has all elections by mail. This is not only cheaper, but it ensures a high degree of accuracy. We can still drop our ballots at designated places, and we can still even go into an elections office to get replacement ballots.

    For anyone who says “No, it doesn’t matter” … the 2004 election proves that it DOES matter. The split was nearly 50/50 at the local level in the great majority of districts. This is an unusual time. Statistically, very small changes can sway the outcome of large races, and there are real, significant differences between the two major parties, which hasn’t always been the case.

    Only by actually voting can you have a voice, and by not voting, you are a willing participant in your own silencing.

  62. Yes and yes. There is no way I am going to not vote considering there is a socialist who has backers that want to recreate the politburo involved.

  63. Yes, I am a registered voter.

    I MAY vote. I’ll see who ELSE might be on the ballot. You might call mine a wasted vote if you want, but I WILL NOT give my vote to the McCain/Palin cabal, thank you very much, even if I didn’t think McCain himself was sleazy voting for Palin, with her “pro life” mania and her predilection for slaughtering wolves so that she can “increase” the moose population so that her rich pals can come hunt in Alaska, makes me queasy.

    I might have voted for Obama. But the moment he picked Biden for VP he lost my vote. He probably doesn’t care, but dammit I do. Biden has a record concerning certain matters very important to me which makes voting for him something that would curdle my soul. I will not give my vote to Obama if it means giving a vote to Biden. And no, if Hilary Clinton is anywhere near this then they are DEFINITELY not getting my vote.

    So. There it is. I can vote, in theory, but in practice it is pretty nearly impossible to cast my vote in any meaningful way.

  64. Always. Not that my vote makes a difference in most things, given the state and district I live in have very little in common with my own political preferences. Nor do I believe that one vote actually makes a difference. Nevertheless, I enjoy going down to the polls for its own sake as a sort of homage to Normal Rockwell ideals.

  65. Indeed I am — first election that I’m eligible to do so, for that matter.

    That said, I’m in California. The chances of this state NOT going blue are about the chances of a full-sized monkey climbing out of my ear while singing yankee doodle.

  66. Hmm. More flavorful comments than I expected.

    Of course I’ll vote. I expect my friends too, as well. If you are unhappy with the candidates on the ballot, we have this thing called the ‘write in’ ballot. Use it.

    It is nice to find one thing I disagree with Carlin on. If you don’t vote, you are contributing to the apathy that has no place in the world right now. Concerned about the way that candidates get chosen for the ballot? There are lots of good suggestions, many of which I am behind.

    I just can’t see how non-participation is making some kind of useful statement. So, yes, I’ll vote.

  67. Yes, indeed, good sir. It’ll only be my second presidential election, so I still have that newbie excitement about voting. I registered before I even turned 18 (was 18 by November, though), because our high school valedictorian was a page as well as my good friend, so he brought registration forms to school. We used to say we’d be King and Queen of the world when we grew up.

  68. No point in voting here (Illinois), Obama will win with the help of the recently deceased votes in Chicago and East St. Louis. Plus absentee ballots are a pain in the @#*&&$^@#.

  69. Yes and yes. Looks like Obama will win handily in CA, but I’d never take the chance. There are people in FL who have been kicking their own asses since Nov. 2000, and deservedly so.

  70. There’s not that much difference between either ticket. Either way, a set of evil statists will be elected. The system is rigged in favor of the two major parties. Voting third party or writing in a different candidate won’t do squat. If more people ignored the state, it would be a good thing. Voting for one of the two tickets that has a chance of winning just makes you complicit in all the evil they will certainly do.

  71. Yes and Yes…as early voting starts in my county tomorrow, will probably vote this week or next.

    As I don’t have a car it’s actually easier to get to the Board of Elections office a several miles away (on a bus routes near the courthouses) than the poll location on election day a mile or so from my house (no bus route, and down a very steep hill on a busy street).

    Actually, the school I’d go to is directly behind my complex, if we had a back gate and a path of some sort to the school, I could walk. But, alas, no back gate in the fence and about 100 yards of thick kudzu and briars between us and the school…which means you can’t get there from here.

  72. As it happens, my plans for election day are to vote and chew bubblegum, and news has come to me that we are fresh out of bubblegum in these parts. So yes!

    I am always baffled by people who say they are not going to vote as if by way of protest, as if that is somehow going to improve our situation. I mean, given the staggeringly low voter turnout until recently, if boycotting the vote would bring reform then it should have already happened. Or is the idea that we should just give up? Why is that better?

  73. Yep, though I’m sure you’ll disagree with my choice. But will you respect it? That’s the question I put to you.

  74. @134 Bob: Nope.

    @137 Adam: Explain to me what good the voters have done. They’ve gotten us into countless unnecessary wars and military actions. They’ve wrecked our economy. Gotten government involved in nearly every aspect of our lives. Etc. And that’s even with libertarians attempting to vote against such nonsense. As for the people who don’t vote, there are a number of reasons why. They’re not mounting a highly organized protest. For one thing, it’s natural not to have 100% turnout in a democracy. The low turnout we have is partly a symptom of our broken system though. For some it is just out of apathy. For some it is in protest. For some it is also because a vote for the lesser of two evils is still a vote FOR evil. The powers that be don’t want real change.

  75. Absolutely. I love voting, even though the Presidential election is always kind of predictable in Massachusetts, because we’re so historically Democrat. Nice, but predictable.

  76. I always vote except one time when the registar of voters lost my info. So yes I am voting absentee.

  77. There is something ridiculously pleasing to me about wearing my “I voted today” sticker…so yes & yes

  78. Yes and Yes.

    The only time I haven’t was early in the ’70s in Vegas when they stelth de-registered me for not voting in the off-year, local, non-presidential cycle. Still ticked.

    All those not planing to vote please note:

    Republican party elders are on the record, during party stratagy sessions, as saying that -anything- that depresses voting numbers, for any reason, helps them. This means that not voting IS voting Republican. Think about that, please.

  79. Oh yeah. Republican voters. As per 149 you can vote for your side and save time and trouble by just not going. Your own leaders have said so. :)

  80. Yes, I will be voting. I’ve voted in every election since I was 18 and at 43 I see no reason to change my habits now. Go McCain-Palin!

  81. Yes, I’m registered and yes, I’ll be voting.
    I’ll also be hoping that some of the anger over the last two presidential election results that I’ve mostly internalized over the last 8 years will begin to be relieved.
    This election day is a good time to reassert that our government, especially the Executive Branch, believe in and adhere to our Constitution.

  82. Yes, yes.
    They do not vote do NOT have the right to complain.
    I haven’t made up my mind WHO, but I will by November.

    To those who don’t think it matters — you NEVER know. Seriously…things could get so skewed your vote might actually count.

    I’m a firm believer in voting my conscience…none of this a-vote-for-so-and-so is a vote-for-such-and-such. Write somebody in if you have to!

  83. nicbrat, I’d hope not. I’m registered three times by a nice combination of laws, but a million is pushing it.

    [The three times are once in the USA, once in Britain for locals and nationals (dual citizen) and once just for the locals (students get to vote in two sets of locals).]

    Postal ballot arrived today.

  84. Damn straight I will be.

    Sometimes I vote my conscience. Sometimes I vote against somebody. But it’s my choice—and the only way they’ll take it from me is from my cold, dead hand…

    (hear that, vote suppressors?)

  85. 1) As far as I know, I’m still registered. 2) No.

    I understand probability too well to vote. I value my time too much to vote. There are no candidates for office anywhere near being close enough to my views to vote.

    There is a way to tell me apart from someone not voting due to apathy: the apathetic person doesn’t say anything. You could argue that I’m hiding my apathy with false arguments, but I don’t really have any way to convince someone that I’m telling the truth about how I feel.

    And of course I have a right to complain about what elected officials subsequently do. You don’t have to listen to complaints coming from non-voters, but that has no bearing on whether their complaints about X are valid or not.

  86. Absolutely! My vote and my husband’s may cancel each other’s out, but that’s not the point.

    I remember being extremely jealous of one of my friends our senior year of high school: he had turned 18 in August, and was already eligible to vote during the school year. In fact, that was probably even before our Government teacher passed out the voter registration cards which he expected each and every one of us to fill out. Being as he was also class advisor, not a one of us wanted to disappoint him by not filling out our cards.

  87. I’ll be voting, even though I won’t have much effect on the Presidential from Massachusetts. But whenever you vote, it increases the clout of whatever demographic buckets you’re in – if 30-somethings (for instance) always showed up in droves for elections, they’d get a lot more attention from elected officials.

  88. Registered, yes. Voting, no. 2000 and 2004 were enough proof for me to consider the system broken and voting is a waste of time. As Robert Anton Wilson said, “I don’t vote, it only encourages them.”

  89. Yes, and yes.

    I am also a poll worker. My son and I worked Hawaii’s primary elections yesterday (Sat Sept 20), and will do so again on Nov 4. The general election here in Hawaii is a state holiday–all state and local gov offices, all schools and universities closed–which has an interesting effect on poll workers: we had twelve poll workers at our precinct yesterday, half of whom were college or high school age*, which I think is very cool).

    *anyone 16 or older can work the elections

  90. Registered, vote almost every time (missed a few local elections here and there). Now, can someone tell me how to convince my colleague, a degreed professional, not stupid, not without opinions, that she should get off her ass, get registered and VOTE?? When someone mentions elections, she does this self-denigrating song and dance about “I don’t know anything; I’m not smart enough to vote; what if I make the wrong decision.” I just want to smack her. {sigh} Maybe I should sit her down and make her watch “Iron-Jawed Angels.”

  91. Yes, I’ll vote, although I don’t like either of the choices. Haven’t liked the choices in the past several elections either, but no one seems to be interested in my opinions on the matter, either. Least of all either of the major parties …

    The lesser of two (bad choices) is STILL (a bad choice).

    My wife and I also voted by mail in every state and fed election while I was working in Germany (six years), but honestly, believe that none of those counted toward the elections.

  92. Yes to both, and thank goodness for permanant absentee voting in California. I never have an excuse to miss an election as long as I keep my address up to date.

  93. It’s not even close in my state but my prez vote will add to the landslide here. But downticket, there I can make a difference. Big difference in some cases.

  94. Also, if you’re not sure if you’re registered, or how to register, or exactly what, in every detail, you need to do in order to vote, the Obama campaign has made this neat widget:

    It’ll look you up in the national voter rolls and tell you what your registration status is. And it’ll tell you what to do if you need to do anything before Election Day. You can enter for the email if you don’t want to give your email address to the Obama campaign.

  95. If you don’t vote, you can’t walk on Washington.
    I’ve never missed a vote in 36 years.
    I’ve mailed my votes in from other countries.
    Yes, I plan to vote.

  96. Yes, and yes. I’ve been registered to vote since I turned 18 in 1977, and haven’t missed one yet. I’m not about to miss this one where what we’re really voting on is what the essence of America is — will we be a rational, caring, adult member of the community of nations, or will we continue on in the national nightmare we’ve been dreaming for the past eight years and let the fear mongers, the hate spreaders, the intolerant, the wackos and the nutjobs and the users turn our loved country into a mockery of what its founders intended it to be?

    You bet your damn ass I’m voting this year.

  97. Yes! This is the first presidential election in which I’m old enough to vote, so I’m super excited. Then again, I’m from Alaska, which inevitably goes Republican (and especially will this year), so it isn’t likely that my vote will make much difference… silly electoral college system. But voting is cool anyway!

  98. That’d be a double “yes” for me here, John. I’ve been a registered voter since the 1988 Presidential Election, and I’ve voted in nearly every election since then – both Municipal (which in Nevada is in odd numbered years), and Federal/State (even numbered years). This election is too important for me NOT to vote. We have a very important U.S. Senate race here in my District. Oh, and, well you know, the Presidential race too.

    Charlie @ 177 That link may or may not accurately reflect if a person is registered to vote. I tried it out myself, knowing full well I was registered, and it came back that I was not. I even double-checked with my County Election Department to be sure I was.

  99. Hi John :)

    Here’s my answer… YEP! In fact, I am counting the days until the first Tuesday in November. I will be first in line at my voting place, as soon as the polls open. Yep!


  100. Yep, and you betcha! Now if only I could persuade my son that voting is not a waste of time given that the Electoral College exists…..

  101. Yes, yes and I’m taking my middle son to the MVA to register on Thursday. Now I need to remind my oldest son to get an absentee ballot since he goes to school out of state. Thanks for the reminder.

  102. I am not only registered and planning to vote, but am signed up to be an election judge for the day.

    There is an interesting phenomenon in this country. Even though a great many people do not vote, they always claim they will and/or did. It is as if they don’t think voting is worth their time, but they are ashamed of not doing it. And the ones who obviously have not voted in a long time are the most adamant that they did.

    For example, a man who swore that he certainly WAS registered, and always has been, and there had been no problem before, and he voted RIGHT HERE IN THIS ROOM FOR THE LAST 10 YEARS, DAMMIT!! This was stated in a building that had only existed for 2 years, and had never before been used as a polling place.

    That sort of thing happens a lot.

    So, those who stated here that you plan to vote, make sure you do it.

  103. Yes, and yes.

    I see it the other way around: if I don’t vote, then I have to take responsibility for whoever wins.

  104. Yes and hell yes. I live in Washington state, where the last governor’s race was so close that they declared a winner, recounted, declared the OTHER guy the winner, recounted AGAIN, declared the first guy the winner again… I don’t remember how many times the race flipped before they settled on Gregoire, but it was at least twice. My vote counts, oh yeah.

    I only wish that I lived sixty miles east of here, so that I could do the same thing with congresscritters. Our incumbent here is so safe, I don’t think the other party even puts anybody on the ballot.

  105. For those that mentioned registration snafus, most states (maybe all) have a way to verify in advance that you are registered. I advise everyone to check as soon as possible, so if there is a problem you can get it fixed in time.

  106. Yes, and yes, as always. It’s both a way to help pick the better candidate, and to assert my Constitutional rights. (And especially nowadays, the Constitution could use quite a bit more attention and respect by those in power.)

    Note that I said the better candidate, not the candidate I like. Sometimes I like the candidates, sometimes I don’t. Both major candidates this year have done things that disappoint me substantially, but it’s also clear, both from their records and from what we’ve seen the last 16 years, that there are major differences between them, differences that could have a significant effect on America’s future direction. In such a situation, voting for a no-chance minor party candidate, even if I liked one of the minor party candidates better than either of the major, would be a personal indulgence that would be a disservice to my country. (At least in any state where the outcome is in question, which includes my state.)

  107. Yes and yes. The only time I missed voting in a national election was when the Navy had moved us 4 times in 16 months and Bush the Elder was elected. Living on Navy base I suspected my vote wouldn’t have change the outcome. Jesse Jackson had total of 6 votes at Naval base, were my ex had been station.

    My mom was so vocal about voting, that my grown daughter think not voting is a sin. I still have craving for chocolate chip cookies on election day, as my mom always made sure I bake enough for all the election judges, back when she was one.

  108. Yes and yes. Which I’m going to vote for, which against, and how intensive the nose holding will have to be, are still open questions.

  109. Yes, in fact as soon as I get my paper ballot this week, I’ll mail it back. I regret that, as a 53-year-old, I’ve only voted for 2 candidates I actually liked for president (this year is no exception), but there are plenty of important local/regional/state races where I can vote for people I respect. My grandmother voted for the first time in 1923, and she frequently spoke of how much that meant to her since women had received the vote just 3 years earlier (she had to be 21, though). It’s never something one should take for granted even though my side seldom seems to win.

  110. As a newly minted citizen I’m certainly planning to vote. And I’m doing it in a State where probably a few thousand votes are going to make a difference.

    Strange to have voted for the Italian elections and the US ones in the same year!

  111. Alas, no and no.

    (Permanent resident; can’t become a citizen for another two years, dammit. Next time, though.)

  112. mjfgates@195 And Dino has not stopped whining about it ever since. Here In Spokanistan there are dozens of billboards which Rossi claimed not to know about or approve saying “don’t let Seattle steal THIS election.”

    Oh, Yeah–back on topic: I registered to vote in 1976 and have not missed an election since then. My wife and I always took the kids to the polling place and then we all went for ice cream. After the kids turned 18 we continued the same tradition, except now they buy!

  113. Permanent absentee for over 10 years in California. Went absentee originally because I volunteered for campaign work across the state and, at that time, was rarely home during elections.

  114. Unless the republicans find out that I gave a cell phone # on one government document and my home phone on my registration paperwork and successfully purge me from the voter rolls I am and will.

  115. Yes indeed, my wife and I both will.

    And for all of you nonvoters who claim the two candidates are both awful and they are evil and whatever other obfuscation you use to mask your lack of understanding of what the right to vote really means to us as Americans – I hope that not only is Obama elected, but that he does such an incredible job of fixing all the screwed up stuff from the last 8 years that you feel embarrassed if someone asks you if you voted for him, because you will have to say no, and they will walk away, clucking their tongues at you like you were a naughty, ignorant child.

  116. Corby Kennard @213: What does the right to vote really mean to us as Americans?

    Believe it or not, I also hope that Obama manages to do what you describe. In fact, it’s on my list right after a pony made of gold.

  117. Yep, and with pride, in a formerly swing state that’s increasingly looking like safe Obama (that is to say, Iowa, the only one that fits that description at this point. There may be others come election day). Voted every general election since eligible (1998, ’00, ’02, ’04, ’06), and the 2005 election when Iowa City was trying to decide whether to form a public utility. Public Utility forces lost 2-1, but when you consider we were outspent *twenty* to one…

    Not only that, but this is the third straight election in which I’ve done more than vote: did a little volunteer phonebanking in 2004, did more phonebanking in ’06 and manned the polls in the morning despite a bad cold, and have phonebanked this year.

  118. Oh my pretties … here in Australia both registering and voting is required by law, on pain of a fine or – for repeat offenders – time in prison. And the more I learn about the US electoral system, the better I think this approach. Especially when I hear people tell me that compulsory voting is undemocratic.

  119. Yes and Yes in Canada. Always do. Green is looking like a good colour this year… Wish I could vote for the Prime Minister and the local rep separately like you do in the USA since my favourite local rep isn’t actually Green this time. Sigh.

  120. To the best of my memory, I’ve never missed voting on Election Day, although I occasionally miss a local primary or bond issue.

    Mind you, since I live in John McCain’s state, the chances of my vote for President having any effect on the outcome in the Electoral College is astronomically small. But I can make the popular vote a tiny bit less landslidey. And I can still make a difference in Congressional, statewide and local races.

  121. Of course I’ll be voting. I’ve actually toyed with early voting, but I actually LIKE the experience of voting on election day… yes, I stand in line for a long time with lots of other people.. but hey, I get to stand in line with lots of other people… people who care enough to get out and vote! Whether I agree with who they’re voting for doesn’t matter, the simple fact that they’re interested enough in exercising their rights as citizens is a common bond, and that’s a good thing. I like hanging with them.

  122. yes, yes, also voted in the primary. Also, I think I promised brownies to the poll workers on election day…I hope that’s legal.

  123. Need to register. To register I need a new I.D. To get new I.D. I need a social worker to help with that. So, the way things are going, I shan’t be helping the next President get elected. Yes, there are people as profoundly disabled as that. Expect changes in yours truly in the coming year (I hope).

  124. Affirmative on both. I figured the more votes there are, the harder it will be for the Republicans to steal another election…

  125. Yes. I didn’t vote in my local primary for the Democratic Party, but I wasn’t much concerned. I didn’t have anyone I really cared to vote against there. Local Democratic Party politics are a bit sleepy in my neighborhood.

    We did get some budget for new stairs to replace some old crumbling ones.

    As for the federal elections, it’s a sure bet where my state will vote. But I’m voting anyway. It’s a responsibility, even though it’s not an obligation.

  126. Yes and yes, though i live in state that is not competative. I can vote for my dog and One party will win everything from here, like they do every election.

    So yeah, I’ll vote, but my vote doesn’t matter.

  127. I have to be there on election day — the elderly poll ladies would worry about me if I didn’t show up.

  128. Yes, I am registered to vote.

    Yes, I will be voting at my designated polling place this November. The actual one, not the one I thought it was last time and frantically left to go to the correct one almost making me late for work.

  129. To Peter @62: Congratulations!

    One of my high school civics teachers kept a list of her students’ birthdays at her desk. When you turned 18, she presented you with a voter registration form and made you fill it out. If you were of voting age, she allowed you skip her class on an election day if you were going to vote. Nobody abused the privilige. if we skipped, it was because we voted.

    So yes, I’ll be voting in my fourth presidential election this November (and just voted in the MA primary last week. I know Kerry is going to breeze through again, but I voted for his opponent to send a message.) If I had the time, I’d probably volunteer to be a poll worker. Maybe the next time there’s a major election in my town.

    My wife’s lucky. She’s got dual US-Canadian citizenship, and is within her first five years of living outside of Canada. This means she gets to interfere in the political process of two countries in less than a month! :-)

  130. Yes, I am voting. I am voting for SPAM. SPAM rocks…not because I eat it. I won’t touch pork, pig flesh…ewwww.

    I’m not Kosher due to religion, but have due to pork allergies become half way there. And that got me thinking. What if there’s a mind control drug in pork? Hmmm…makes sense. I mean look at SPAMALOT, why do they act that way? Sure sign of mind control drugs in the pork. And what about the sexual inuendo of “Getting Porked”. Yeah, that’s right. It means getting screwed. It seems that we may be headed there regardless of who gets elected.

    Therefore I will vote for SPAM. Cause if the countries about to get porked, it should at least taste something like ham.

  131. I have my voter card burning a hole in my wallet.

    That analogy kind of fails as it will not be used up by voting, but you get the idea.

  132. Yes and yes.

    Am thrilled to be living in a state where a Democratic vote will actually count for something as opposed to so-damned-red-the-bulls-go-crazy Utah where I was raised.

  133. Yeah, and yeah. First time around where I’m eligible to vote for a president, and California’s a huge bloody chunk of electoral points. Might as well do my part in making sure those points go towards a decent president-elect.

  134. Yes, and yes. My vote in the presidential election won’t mean much, but it will feel good. Throw the bums out! Also, there’s that pesky “take marriage away from the homosexuals” proposition to be shot down.

    I usually vote absentee, but this year I may walk my ballot over to the polling place, because given the demographics of my neighborhood I suspect it’ll be jumping.

    To be really pragmatic, one way in which voting is useful is if one ever needs the help of one’s congressperson or senator: one can say “I voted for you and I need your help,” or “I voted for the guy you beat but I need your help anyway,” thus implying that their help may result in a vote in the future. (Unless one wants to lie about having voted.)

    Congresspersons get very active on behalf of constituents, but one kind of has to play the game to get that kind of response. And they can, absolutely, be helpful–when one gets a call from “Congresswoman Doe’s office”, boy does one sit up and take notice.

  135. Yes, and yes. We’ll have the usual election-night party where everyone who presents a ballot receipt gets in, and all of the “Voting is for simps/losers/sheeple” types get stuck out in the cold with nothing but Cheez Whiz and crackers. It’s a tradition that dates back to 2000, and, by coincidence, so do the Cheez Whiz and crackers.

  136. Yes, and yes. I haven’t missed an election, large or small, since I turned 18.

    That was back when dinosaurs walked the earth, by the way.

    In fact, I think I’m going to sign up to be a precinct worker again this election, after missing a few due to other commitments.

  137. No, and no.

    I am not allowed to vote. I am a resident alien. I could vote had I decided to become a citizen, as I’ve lived here long enough for that by quite some margin. I haven’t felt the need to become a citizen just yet. I suspect I’d feel differently had I come from a country I never want to return to. My USA born children will most likely vote before I do. My older child will be of voting age for the presidential election in 2012.


  138. Yes and no. I’d like to vote, but they won’t let me.
    They won’t let me, unless I submit to an unwarranted search of my voting license or passport.
    So I fill out provisional ballots they don’t count.
    Currently I’m in federal court over it, but without a lawyer I don’t expect to get far.

  139. Yes and yes.

    Even if I believed the ‘both candidates are identical’ thing (um, no) and didn’t care about the likely upcoming Supreme Court vacancies (I do, a lot), out here at least there are all sorts of other ballot issues to decide on including Prop 8.

    Will probably swing by City Hall to vote early since although my regular polling place has cookies and coffee, this election is going to be nerve racking enough as it is.

    My co-worker and I have already put in to get November 5th off as a mental health/hangover/please-send-bail-money day.

  140. Oh, hell yes. I have to, to cancel out YOUR vote.

    Seriously, I vote the other way than most of you that visit this website, but I’m good with that. You know who you’re voting for and why — and that’s what it’s all about.

    It’s the ones who throw at a dartboard and then vote that scare me — even if they vote for the same candidate as I do.

  141. Yes and yes – and just so you can feel all warm and fuzzy, I’m 19 years old! Yay for my first presidential election!

  142. Being from Germany, it seems just so amazing to me that WE tend to have 75-80% turn-out despite a political scene that I personally consider to be about a gazillion times more boring than that of the US.

    I don’t get what’s so interesting with a two party-system.


  143. I first registered to vote for the June 1976 Presidential primary in Ohio. Since then I have not missed a single general or primary election, and I believe I have only missed an off-year May (1989, I think) vote in which the only thing on the ballot was a single ballot issue for a local school levy or municipal levy or some such that somehow didn’t show up on my radar. And I felt bad about missing that.

    So to answer your question, yes and yes.

    I’m not a big fan of early voting for myself, though I have no objection to others using that option, particularly in general elections. For my own vote, I’m merely concerned that a) I might change my mind about someone I voted for (not necessarily Obama/McCain, but someone down ballot), and b) in primaries, the person I voted for may drop out of the race before Election Day. Besides, I like to get out on election day and see what’s going on at the polls, and say hello to the precinct judges, the party workers handing out sample ballots, etc.

  144. Yes. And yes. Even though I am a democrat in Kansas, I will still cast my nearly useless vote and I will stand up and say, “Hey! You dumb Republicans! You should have listened to me!”, and then I will sit and sulk in my own blue polka dot in this red state hell.

  145. Yes and yes. Of course I have a preference as to who I want in office, but even if you don’t agree with me, get registered and get voting, say I…

  146. I vote, my husband votes, our four kids vote, their spouses vote, our parents vote…. this is a strong family tradition and I wouldn’t miss it for the world. In fact, this election I will be traveling with 2 cousins and we are all voting absentee. I will really miss going to the polling place and picking up the energy and feeling of purpose that you get when voting. The excitement of watching the results coming in on tv is very heady stuff…but how uninteresting if you don’t have the the gumption to vote!!!!! tsk tsk, can’t imgaine it….

  147. Hell, yeah: Red Turns Blue!

    Greetings from the new swing state of VA (albeit only 4 miles outside of DC)!

    P.S. I’ve voted in every rinkydink election for 28 years, including changing residency while I was in college (since I lived there 9 months of the year). Voting is a privilege, a right, and a pleasure.

  148. P.S. And attending an Obama inaugural, of course. Hell, if I got into 2 Clinton ones, it should be cake this time.

  149. Yeah. Voted in every 4 year election since ’92, plus the last biennial in 2006. I may have missed 2002, since I’m not sure if my blinders were off regarding Bush at that point. The only elections I’ve missed in the past 2 years are primaries with no attached public referenda. Since I’m a registered independent, I’m not eligible to vote in those except if one party is failing to field any candidates at all.

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