Questions tagged [voting]

To be used in relation to questions about the process in which a representative democracy elects its representatives, including how they are physically counted. Not to be used for questions about how the votes are scored, which are covered under voting-systems.

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94
votes
16answers
29k views

Why allow convicted criminals to vote?

According to a 1998 HRW report, The United States may have the world’s most restrictive criminal disenfranchisement laws. We know of no other democracy besides the United States in which convicted ...
71
votes
11answers
5k views

What challenges remain for online voting?

In 2011, nearly a quarter (24.3%) of participating voters in Estonia cast their ballot by remote electronic voting (that is, on their computer/phone/tablet via the Internet). Several larger countries,...
62
votes
7answers
13k views

Paying people not to vote at all

I have recently heard an idea from a local journalist that even surprised the moderator (greatly simplified): Pay some amount for people that do NOT vote Heuristically this should lead to better ...
56
votes
6answers
16k views

Why isn't Election Day a federal holiday in the US?

Inspired by this question The United States has low levels of voter turnout as compared to other developed democracies. As seen in the above question, low-income individuals are less likely to vote ...
52
votes
5answers
10k views

Why is it that an American in Timbuktu can vote for president but an American in San Juan cannot?

I was surprised to learn that Puerto Ricans, despite living in a US territory, were not entitled to vote in the presidential elections. I was even more surprised to learn that US citizens are allowed ...
44
votes
7answers
14k views

Are there cases of Democrats engaging in voter suppression?

Modern Republicans are often accused of trying to suppress the right to vote for minorities. Are there cases where the modern Democratic party (ie post Jim Crow) is accused of suppressing the right ...
43
votes
8answers
67k views

What are the advantages/disadvantages of a mandatory voting system?

Living in a country where mandatory voting exists and experiencing the results in another without mandatory, I'm wondering: What are the advantages and disadvantages of mandatory voting?
41
votes
2answers
11k views

Can a polling station in the UK shut early if everyone has voted?

If everyone on the voting list for a polling station had been to vote and have been marked off on the list the polling clerks have, would the polling station shut early? Or would it remain open until ...
39
votes
8answers
15k views

Why are “the rich” more able to identify the party which represent their interests than “the poor”?

Consider the following premises, for which I think there is fair degree of consensus (at least according to my knowledge of political history of Latin America, but perhaps more broadly): the majority ...
36
votes
2answers
7k views

If someone sends in an early vote, but then dies, is their vote counted?

This question was inspired by Donald Trump's claims about Hillary's supposed illegitimate votes, but is not about those claims. Suppose I had cast my vote last year in an early ballot. Between then ...
35
votes
5answers
8k views

Why did Wisconsin Republicans oppose postponing the April 7th election despite COVID-19 shutting down nearly all polling places?

After last minute, party-line decisions by the US and Wisconsin Supreme Courts, Wisconsin will hold their presidential primary and a hotly-contested Supreme Court election tomorrow (April 7th) despite ...
34
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9answers
15k views

Is anything preventing non-US citizens from illegally registering to vote in non-Voter-ID states? [duplicate]

Let's say a non-US citizen (legal or illegal immigrant) is resident in the US and has a valid postal address in a state without "Voter ID" laws. Would anything prevent such a person from registering ...
32
votes
2answers
6k views

How could people in Texas erroneously vote when they were ineligible?

There are people in Texas who were ineligible to vote but erroneously voted and therefore were jailed for voter fraud: You’re right, there are really strict punitive criminal measures to try to ...
31
votes
5answers
9k views

Do compulsory voting systems allow blank votes or “none of the above” options?

I am wondering if compulsory voting systems allow for blank votes. By blank votes I mean an explicit act of choosing not to tick any option. Wikipedia seems to mix blank vote with various types of ...
31
votes
7answers
12k views

What arguments are there against ranked-choice voting?

In America, most elections are based on first-past-the-post voting, where whoever gets a plurality of the votes wins. For instance if candidate A gets 40% of the vote and candidates B and C get 30% ...
29
votes
4answers
5k views

Why are candidates expected to win their home state?

In coverage of primaries and elections I often hear it stated that candidates are expected to win their home states, or that it is embarrassing not to. I've seen this assertion here, such as in Has a ...
29
votes
8answers
2k views

Is it possible to implement an electronic voting system which is as secure as pen-and-paper voting?

There is ongoing criticism of voting machines, due to the ease of manipulating the outcome of a vote that is counted digitally. I have heard the opinion that every computer-implemented voting ...
28
votes
6answers
14k views

Does gerrymandering not affect elections for US Senators?

Gerrymandering is a problem; a Representative could have their voter base diluted across neighboring districts at the whim of the controlling party. But Senate elections are statewide, and states don'...
27
votes
7answers
9k views

Why don't all States switch to all postal voting?

Currently four states: Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington run all their elections exclusively by mail. This seems to have the significant advantage of allowing people to vote at any time they ...
27
votes
3answers
6k views

Why would people protest the Puerto Rico statehood referendum by boycotting?

I was confused by the logic of the Puerto Rico boycott of the statehood referendum. While it's true that 97% voted for statehood, that represents a paltry 23% of the residents in total From the NY ...
26
votes
11answers
10k views

What is the difference between nullifying your vote and not going to vote at all?

When there are multiple parties to vote with (let's say A, and B), what difference does it make when one nullifies their vote compared with another person that does not vote at all? I heard some ...
26
votes
4answers
5k views

What is gerrymandering called if it's not the result of redrawing districts?

The result of gerrymandering is a set of voting districts that are not representative of the overall demographics in a larger region. Gerrymandering refers specifically to obtaining that result by ...
26
votes
4answers
7k views

Why can't voting be fair if there are more than two alternatives?

I've heard that mathematically it can be shown that given any voting system with more than two choices, voters can cheat the system by not voting their true opinions in order to game the system and ...
25
votes
9answers
8k views

Is candidate anonymity at all practical?

We are all aware voting is largely biased. Of course, it would be attractive to reduce that bias as much as possible because greater policy-based voting allows laws and regulations to better reflect ...
25
votes
2answers
5k views

Can homeless people vote?

Can a homeless person vote in a United States election, assuming they are a citizen? I suppose one barrier would be that they don't technically have a "residence", so it's not clear what their polling ...
24
votes
5answers
3k views

What is the motivation for felony disenfranchisement?

Felony disenfranchisement is to take away someone's right to vote during or after this person is in prison. It appears particularly common in the United States. What is the aim of such a rule? Is ...
24
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3answers
1k views

Has “none of the above” ever been added to a ballot? What was the effect?

Besides Nevada having the option to vote none of the above (NOTA) are there any other places in the world which allow for voters to tick NOTA? If this is the case, are there any studies on the effect ...
23
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4answers
5k views

Was the Texas Photo ID voting law implemented to decrease voting fraud? If so, how effective is it?

First, the Photo ID Voting Law was put in place because states wished to decrease voting fraud, right? If not, please explain to me why it was implemented. I think I did well enough research but there'...
23
votes
2answers
2k views

What is Israel's long-term plan in the West Bank?

A lot of liberals and other Palestine supporters make the following argument about Israel's control of the West Bank: Currently, the Palestinian people living in the Israeli-controlled territory in ...
23
votes
2answers
53k views

Which US states give proportional Presidential electoral college votes to candidates?

The US Presidential election uses an "electoral college" system, where each state gets a certain number of "electors" (votes), and those electors cast the official votes for President. Each state's ...
22
votes
1answer
2k views

Is there a higher incidence of electoral fraud in states that use all-mail voting?

Currently Oregon, Washington and Colorado use all-mail voting, with Hawaii set to join them in 2020. Is there a higher incidence of election fraud in these States compared to US States that lack no-...
22
votes
5answers
3k views

Why isn't a Condorcet method used?

A Condorcet method is an election system where voters rate their candidates in order of preference. As an example, for candidates A B and C, a valid vote can be [A > B > C], [C > B > A], [B > A > C] ...
21
votes
3answers
2k views

Is it possible to use blockchain or public ledgers for voting?

As a software developer, I routinely get asked this question and frequently see it being asked online too; it seemed like a great question to pose for the wonderful StackExchange community. For a ...
20
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9answers
10k views

Does voting really matter as a Democrat living in a solidly Republican state?

I am a Democrat living in a solidly Republican state. I have tried to research this, but I only get the standard opinion that I should vote no matter what. Same with people I talk to. Is there any ...
20
votes
9answers
2k views

Are there any solid representative district planning strategies that can avoid gerrymandering?

According to Wikipedia's article on Gerrymandering: In the process of setting electoral districts, gerrymandering is a practice that attempts to establish a political advantage for a particular party ...
20
votes
4answers
11k views

Does it cost $25 to obtain a “free” Voter ID in any state?

This article at pbs.org seems to indicate that getting a free Voter ID in a state can cost as much as $25. Voting law advocates contend these laws disproportionately affect elderly, minority and ...
20
votes
5answers
2k views

What was the largest popular vote election ever held?

What was the largest popular vote election ever held for a personally-held position? This means an election for an elected position, with people directly voting for the choice of candidates (e.g. US ...
18
votes
2answers
2k views

What election rules and voting rights are guaranteed by the US Constitution?

Following the recent US Supreme Court decision that gerrymandering for political purposes is not prohibited by the US Constitution, I realized that it can be hard to understand what rules related to ...
18
votes
2answers
451 views

What legal impediments might there be to alternate voting systems?

Most jurisdictions in the US use first-past-the-post voting. This appears to me to be a historical artifact; I'm not aware of any legal impediments on a federal level that would prevent states or ...
17
votes
2answers
3k views

Why don't I need ID to vote in the UK

Voting in elections in the UK does not require you to bring any form of ID to the polling station. Why is this? Could someone vote multiple times by giving different addresses?
16
votes
11answers
3k views

What are some arguments for why a “license to vote” is a bad idea?

I conversed with someone the other day who said that just like we study and take tests to obtain a driver's license, we should similarly study and pass tests to get a voters' license. She said that ...
16
votes
1answer
1k views

What are the reasons for the date of Election Day?

As far as I can tell, the date of Election Day in the US was set in 1845: the electors of President and Vice President shall be appointed in each State on the Tuesday next after the first Monday ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

Why do Republicans oppose the Voting Rights Advancement Act?

On December 6th, The House of Representatives passed HR4, the Voting Rights Advancement Act, which updates the 1965 Voting Rights Act in light of the 2013 Supreme Court ruling which invalidated ...
15
votes
2answers
947 views

Can Spider-Man legally register to vote (without revealing his identity) like he did in this PSA?

In the 90s, there was a PSA where Spider-Man tells people to register to vote (at their local video store, strangely enough): At one point, Spider-Man signs his name on a voter registration form not ...
15
votes
1answer
3k views

How do Whips enforce control over MPs in the UK Parliament?

Whips are often used to 'persuade' MPs in their party to vote the way the Party wishes them to vote. What power, or powers, do Whips have over backbench MPs to enforce this wish?
14
votes
6answers
2k views

Is there any reason to vote against the predominant majority?

Let us take the example of voting in a U.S. presidential election. If one lives in a blue state for which the outcome of the vote is known to always favor the Democratic candidate, is there any reason ...
14
votes
3answers
4k views

Why do proportional representation voting systems not evolve to first past the post systems?

The first past the post voting system tends to favour a two-party system. Suppose an election is held using a proportional representation voting system. Then suppose that the two largest parties, ...
14
votes
1answer
6k views

Why do all states have equal representation in the U.S. Senate, regardless of population?

For example, while California (population: 39,144,818) has two senators to represent them, Wyoming (population: 586,107) also has two senators to represent them. The population of California is more ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

How do states without Voter ID laws ensure that people are who they say they are?

In the United States, requiring voters to show photo-ID is very controversial. Many claim that it is discriminatory. In states where requiring photo ID is not allowed, how do election officials ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there any mechanism in USA to prevent someone from voting by mail AND in person?

Theoretically speaking, there are mechanisms that prevent someone from voting twice (you are only allocated to vote to one polling place based on your residence address, and that polling place has a ...

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