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U.S. Politics: Here At the End of All Things


Secretary of Eumenes

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On one hand a huge turnout is a good thing. Longer than usual lines might be acceptable.

 

On the other, 12 hours lines is fucking developing country shit, not what you should expect to find in the world's richest "democratic" country. It's a shame, a sham, and frankly it's infuriating. Just like the two party system is broken, voting in general is broken in the USA. But i guess what can one expect from an empire in rapid decline? 

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11 minutes ago, Leap said:

Agreed. I live in probably one of the least white areas in the country - a deeply urban hell area of London. The experience I had voting was exactly the same as when I lived back in a quietly suburban/working class white area in the North. I've never waited more than a minute or two to vote. 

So I gotta say, the idea that long lines are supposed to be uplifting is pretty crazy to me. I think @Ormond already spoke about how people dropped out of even a relatively short line when he went to vote. Having to wait all day is like something you'd expect in Putin's Russia. It's uplifting that people are turning up in the same way that it's uplifting to see the protests in Belarus. 

When I was doing some digging around polling stations the news that popped up was about how shocking it was that at last election some polling stations had.........45 minute queues. 

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19 minutes ago, Leap said:

So I gotta say, the idea that long lines are supposed to be uplifting is pretty crazy to me.

Absolutely. I always vote before work just after the polls open so I can just walk in and get it done. Even when I haven't done that I don't think I've ever had to wait for more than a few minutes.

I suppose there are issues with just the size of country in the US making it less easy to have loads of readily available polling stations in some areas but, still, having to queue for hours is crazy.

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10 hours ago, Martell Spy said:

GOP Senator Skewered For Griping About How Much It Hurts To Be Called A Racist
Critics advised Sen. John Kennedy there’s an easy way to avoid that name.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/john-kennedy-racist-comment_n_5f84cfb7c5b6e5c320026ab2

 

See the politically correct term for racist is Race-realist or ideatarian.

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First of all, voting on a weekday, who thought that this is a good idea? And if you do, at least make it a holiday, it's not like you're voting every year. Or just set the voting date on a Sunday, most people will have a Sunday off;

Second, 12h lines, that's crazy. I've never waited longer than maybe 15 minutes in a line to vote. For any election, municipal, state, countrywide. These third world waiting lines are ridiculous. Good for you, if they indicate big turnout, but still - 12 hours??? Is there not somewhere a constitutional principle against making it so hard to vote, especially with such big differences between different locations?

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16 minutes ago, Alarich II said:

First of all, voting on a weekday, who thought that this is a good idea? And if you do, at least make it a holiday, it's not like you're voting every year. Or just set the voting date on a Sunday, most people will have a Sunday off;

At the time it was implmented, it was so farmers could be back from voting for Sunday mess. By horsewagon. Or for Monday work? I forget. It being the USA, I'd say the former.Anyway, it could have been changed by now...

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Just to throw in my experience with Canadian elections, I don’t think I’ve ever taken longer than 20 minutes to vote, including walking to the polling station and walking back home. The polling station has been at the school down the block for years now. Before that it was at the Boys and Girls club, a 5 minute walk, and years ago when I first voted it was at a friend’s house, 5 doors down.

In a busy election I’ve read about half hour waits, usually first thing in the morning, and boy oh boy people get pissed off about that. The government responded by adding more early voting days.

eta: thinking about it, if it takes me 20 minutes to vote it’s usually because I ran into a neighbour and we chatted for a few minutes. Time inside the polling station is rarely greater than 6 or 7 minutes.

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Yeah, longlines are an endemic problem across most of the US; but they often have less to do with deliberate voter suppression and more to do with decades of funding cuts and mismanagement (the same malaise that affects much of our public sector). I live in one of the richest counties in the US, and it's been run by Democrats for decades, the last two presidential elections I was still standing in line for close to two hours.

And I think the reason is because every other election goes smoothly since turnout is lower (and in Virginia we have an important general election literally every single November), so there's never been a push to make the investments to go faster when only 1 out of 4 elections is the problem. And actually, since we have all the primaries too, plus the potential for various special elections and their primaries; it's more like 1 out of 12 elections. The investments should still be made, especially since the problem one is the most one, but it's easy to see how compliance sets in and other budget issues take priority.

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Yeah, I would even go so far as to say that IF wait times on early voting days were short/nonexistant later in the process, then long wait times on the first day are a pretty small issue.  Early voting inevitably has a lot fewer locations because you can't close down every school for 3 weeks.  It is always going to be difficult/impossible to accommodate a huge portion of the voting public on the first day. 

However, if, as @Chataya de Fleury indicates, it is still 30+ minutes even on the slowest days in some locations, then that's unacceptable voter suppression, and changes need to be made.   

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There's two ways of looking at the absentee/early voting data we're seeing, and whether it confirms Biden's polling lead:
 
Optimist view:  Democrats are returning ballots at a higher rate the Republicans (usually it is the other way around).  Democrats are extremely motivated to vote.  In high turnout elections with high Democratic intensity, the Democrats win big even when Republicans are also highly motivated (see 2008, 2018).  This is because the Democrats have the larger party, and thus when they're turning out, they win.  What we're seeing confirms the significant lead pollsters are finding. 
 
Pessimists view:  Democrats are indeed showing high intensity, but that is what you'd expect.  Anything less than high intensity would prove that the polls were wrong.  So this is basically just holding serve, and we'll have to see if the Republicans match that voter intensity with in person voting, which they probably will.  This doesn't confirm the polls at all.  If Republicans do show up AND lower intensity Dems do not, then Dems could very realistically underachieve their polls, including a Trump victory.  Not to mention of course the fact that in many key states absentee ballots will not be counted for many days after the election, which could cause problems when Trump makes trouble. 
 
Honestly, I think it's somewhat a mix of the two.  But the signs are pointing in the right direction, the Trump campaign seems (if possible) even more off message than ever and the election is just three weeks away.  Trump's mismanaging of communication + attitude wrt his own COVID diagnosis really blunts any potential benefit from some phony vaccine announcement that we all know is coming.  So it is looking more and more like Trump winning semi-fairly is less and less likely.  Winning unfairly is definitely still a concern. 
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https://drive.google.com/file/d/1zZdYPhVEQQ9ZATepZLjVA-RZbwMCoLuQ/view
 

From what I understand—which I’m more than willing to be corrected on—this was one of the few pollsters to predict Trump’s  victory in the state.

I still saw trumpters fretting over it on Twitter as if it’s not not the best polling he has in the state.

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6 minutes ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1zZdYPhVEQQ9ZATepZLjVA-RZbwMCoLuQ/view

From what I understand—which I’m more than willing to be corrected on—this was one of the few pollsters to predict Trump’s  victory in the state.

I still saw trumpters fretting over it on Twitter as if it’s not not the best polling he has in the state.

Trafalgar is a firm that can be relied upon to be 3-5 points more Republican than the current polling consensus.  So in the approximately 30% of elections where pollsters underestimate the GOP, Trafalgar looks good (see 2016).  In the elections where that doesn't happen, Trafalgar looks quite bad (see 2018). 

Trafalgar's latest polls have Biden up 2 points in PA and MI and 3 in WI.  That's got to be worrisome for team GOP.  There's still a couple of random polls showing Trump up in Florida and Arizona, but in the past 3 weeks Biden has been ahead in every single poll of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.  And that includes even the GOP leaning polls like Trafalgar. 

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7 hours ago, BigFatCoward said:

Yeah, I'm reading this like 'what the fuck'. Pretty much everyone in the UK can stroll down to their nearest polling station (most often in my experience primary schools) no queue and vote. And all the votes are counted within about 12 hours, some constituencies get them counted in an hour. 

Apparently we have 50000 polling stations, so one for every 1320 people. 

I bet we have 1320 polling stations for every 350,000,000 people.

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This will sound terrible of me and I truly feel pain for Peters lost—but I have to ask if this was the smart move electorally?

It just seems like this story could be easy propaganda fodder against him.
https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/politics/2020/10/12/senator-gary-peters-shares-his-family-gut-wrenching-experience-with-abortion/5969666002/

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42 minutes ago, Maithanet said:

However, if, as @Chataya de Fleury indicates, it is still 30+ minutes even on the slowest days in some locations, then that's unacceptable voter suppression, and changes need to be made.   

Yeah, I think there's potentially too much weight being put on the worst case scenario which is obscuring that even the best case scenario is unacceptably slow by the standards of other countries. I'm around the corner from the local town hall and my bus stop (starting to feel foreign after 8 months of working from home) is right out the front. There was a couple of weeks of early voting there before our election last year and the busy first day looked like maybe 10-15 minutes to vote and every other day was walk in and vote with zero delay. That's with most of the polling locations not open for early voting as they're schools. Obviously this election is unusual and there's a lot of early voting but that's just still too high.

Now I also take Fez's point about a lot of it just being the general starvation of services which is a much wider problem than the narrow one of voter suppression.

I think it's also heavily influenced by fundamental cultural attitudes towards voting. In Australia it's compulsory to vote, that makes it a duty that everyone needs to do and everyone needs to be given access to. In such a case it follows that you'll make it as easy to vote as possible, as pretty much everyone is going to vote anyway and if you make it hard to vote they'll try punish whoever they blame for that - normally the government gets the blame as they call the election.

My perception is that the US sees voting more like a privilege - something you should be honoured to be able to do, something that can be revoked if you misbehave (ie felons losing voting rights). With that mindset then it's easy to see how expending effort or investment to be able to vote can be seen as reasonable - if you're not willing to put in the effort then you don't deserve this privilege. That's entirely separate to the perverse incentive for reducing turn out in areas you don't expect to vote for you, and I think it probably gives Americans a higher tolerance for barriers to voting. You'd have Australians accepting the fine for non-voting and probably fighting it in court if queues were even just 1-2 hours on average because our cultural expectation is for no barriers.

No idea on the UK attitude to voting, other than that their politicians are mostly a bunch of twats :p

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1 hour ago, Fez said:

Yeah, longlines are an endemic problem across most of the US; but they often have less to do with deliberate voter suppression and more to do with decades of funding cuts and mismanagement (the same malaise that affects much of our public sector). I live in one of the richest counties in the US, and it's been run by Democrats for decades, the last two presidential elections I was still standing in line for close to two hours.

 

Two hours might be mismanagement, twelve is deliberate voter suppression. 

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Morning Consult came out with slightly more modest polls : Biden +8 nationally, Trump ahead in OH, TX, GA and well ahead in SC (looks like they now added it to the 'swing states' lol), but Biden ahead in the 3 2016 Trump states and AZ and FL. I like seeing a little bit of a spread (so we know there isnt herding), even assuming MC has a slight Republican lean it still is good news for Biden.

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2 minutes ago, IheartIheartTesla said:

Morning Consult came out with slightly more modest polls : Biden +8 nationally, Trump ahead in OH, TX, GA and well ahead in SC (looks like they now added it to the 'swing states' lol), but Biden ahead in the 3 2016 Trump states and AZ and FL. I like seeing a little bit of a spread (so we know there isnt herding), even assuming MC has a slight Republican lean it still is good news for Biden.

Yeah, those polls aren't great for Biden, but they're still dismal for Trump.  Biden leads in the core 6 swing states (MI, WI, PA, FL, AZ, NC) by between 3 and 8 points.  Even if we include the reach states of OH, TX and GA, Trump is at least 6 points worse than his 2016 result in every swing state he won. 

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