Hot answers tagged

302

The most trite answer is a civil rights protection against the following algorithm: Win a legislative election. Pass any law which disproportionately imprisons the supporters of your opponents. Profit. This is relatively hard to prevent through other constitutional means, since the law doesn't need to be exclusively or primarily politically targeted to ...


128

Democracy: Criminals (including those in jail) are affected by the results of the political process. Allowing them to vote gives their an option for their opinions to be heard. If you want to signal criminals that they are not full members of the society, do it coherently: convicted criminals cannot vote, but they get to pay less taxes, too. On the other ...


112

There are two possible interpretations here, the cynical and the optimistic. Note that I am not naming any specific parties and for the purposes of this answer am not taking any side. The cynical: After looking at the demographics as they apply to you particularly, they've calculated a high chance that if you were to vote you would vote for them, therefore ...


94

This is a peculiarity as a result of the federal nature of the USA and the exceptional position of Puerto Rico as a territory but not a state. Within the States and Territories of the USA, your voting rights depend on residence. If you leave the States and Territories your voting rights depend on former residence or inheritance. In general most citizens of ...


92

The predominant explanation, especially since President Trump's victory in 2016, has been that the recent Republican presidential campaign efforts aren't even attempting to win the popular vote, and instead focus on winning the electoral college. For example, Trump himself, a week after winning the election, claimed that he would have campaigned differently ...


91

A democracy derives its legitimacy from voters. When elections are won by tiny margins, but huge numbers of people don't vote then there is a problem. US turnout is below 60% for presidential elections and has been since the 1960s. If even 1/10th of non voters showed up, they could be decisive in many states. While some organisations trying to drive election ...


87

Some problems I can see with this idea: Unbalanced incentives In point two, you claim that this system would encourage votes from people who "understand the value of the vote", but is that really true? Votes are very important in aggregate but a single vote, not so much - the overwhelmingly most likely outcomes of adding one vote are either 1) your ...


84

There's a process that's meant to be followed if someone arrives at a polling station to find that someone has already voted in their name or they're recorded as having received a postal vote (a 'tendered vote' can be made, although it isn't counted). If the polling station closed early then this might be made impossible. For this reason it would not make ...


81

Multiple, proportionally weighted, representatives per district. Gerrymandering is only an issue because a 50.001% majority for a precinct and an 80% majority are considered equivariant. We also consider 2 politicians as having equal vote on bills regardless of district size. In America; Montana has 994k people per congressman, Rhode island 1st district has ...


79

Why are “the rich” more able to identify the party which represent their interests than “the poor”? Mostly, because your assumption is just that, an assumption, and is an incorrect one at that. I won't go down the rabbit hole of disputing your Marx-influenced class based assumption that somehow, left wing parties[1] represent interests of "the poor" ...


72

There are so many false assumptions in your question. But one that wasn't addressed by the other answers is this: There are a lot of people who vote based on their moral principles. Whether rich or poor, one can believe that the proper role of government is to help to poor. Or one can believe that charity should not be compelled by law. One can believe that ...


69

Polling hours are set out in Schedule I of the Representation of the People Act, 1983, as "between the hours of 7 in the morning and 10 at night". There is nothing in the Act that allows a polling station to close early if all voters have voted.


62

Here are some actual arguments given in cases around the world, extracted from a paper focusing on the Irish case: Israel: after Yigal Amir assassinated Rabin, there was a court case asking for Amir's voting rights to be curtailed. The Israeli supreme court refused stating that Amir's imprisonment was his punishment and that in denying the right to vote ‘...


60

the Photo ID Voting Law was put in place because states wished to decrease voting fraud, right? That is the stated reason, yes. However, in-person voter fraud (the only fraud that would be caught by voter id laws) is essentially non-existent. There were 18 confirmed cases between 2002 and 2012 in Texas. The 5th circuit appeals court found that the Texas ...


59

This answer is tainted by my German experience and views, but I expect many instances of it to apply to the US, too. With the traditional concept of an election day, all people have the opportunity to make up their mind up to that very day. With postal voting, the vote needs to be posted some time before to make it to the counting station in time. Now ...


57

At least for those systems inheriting from British tradition and the Ballot Act 1872 the secret ballot was introduced a fraud mitigation exercise to protect against personal bribery & intimidation as the franchise was extended to more people, who were likely to be in debt or positions of weakness to landlords or employers. Note in particular that the ...


55

No, this isn't at all practical. You're removing virtually everything a voter could possibly use to decide who to support. If you don't know a candidate's identity, all you're left with is what policies they claim to support. But you can't even trust those, because you don't have any way to compare it with things they've previously done. There'd be no reason ...


54

Rural voters aren't afraid to go to the polls to keep a conservative state supreme court justice in power. The April 2020 ballot does include the U.S. presidential primary, but that will have little effect on state politics. After I first posted this answer, the New York Times echoed many of the points I make below, starting with: Former Vice President ...


53

Republicans prevented this change because at the core it is beneficial to their electoral prospects. There are many layers to fully understanding this issue, but to address it in brief I think a few facts are sufficient. One, the proportion of Republican voters is larger in rural areas than urban areas, see here. The dangers of COVID-19 are more ...


53

Both. Ballot secrecy is a voters' privilege that prevents others from threatening harm for failing to vote a certain way. No one can know how they voted for sure so they cannot do them harm based on how they voted. Ballot secrecy is a voters' obligation that prevents them from profiting directly by their vote. No one can know how they voted for sure so ...


52

This problem can be solved by a system called ranked-choice voting, aka instant-runoff voting First off, there are multiple voting systems based on ranking your choices. The system you're describing is just one example, and it's a pretty bad one, so it's frustrating that people refer to it as "ranked-choice voting", as if it's the only ranked system. This ...


51

The two cases mentioned in the linked podcast are those of Crystal Mason and Rosa Maria Ortega, who were both convicted of voter fraud under different circumstances. I'm going to firstly focus on the case of Crystal Mason, who was convicted after voting in the 2016 presidential election whilst ineligible to vote. She was able to be identified and charged ...


50

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? One important reason to not implement a license system that it is much more vulnerable to manipulations. Whoever runs the tests gets the power to decide who can vote and who cannot. There is no objective measure of "voting fitness" - the test's difficulty can range from only very simple questions that most people should ...


50

In some states, election day is a holiday. The counter argument you are looking for is that the federal government shouldn't dictate how states implement their elections. If the states wish to declare their own civic holidays on election day they are free to do so, without the federal government requiring it and the corresponding loss of productivity from ...


47

As far as I know, there are no reported cases of Democrats suppressing votes in the same manner as Republicans are seen to be doing, however there are still some accusations of voter suppression that have been leveled at the party. Scheduling Off-Cycle Elections Democrats have, in general, stood against attempts to bring local election schedules in line ...


47

It depends on which votes we're talking about. Votes happen on the House and Senate floor. But they also happen in committees and subcommittees. Most of the actual work of being a legislator happens in committee and subcommittee hearings and conferences where bills are being crafted. If you want to have a meaningful influence on legislation, it's much ...


46

Yes - the official totals according to the FEC were: Trump - 62,984,828 (46.09% of all 136,669,276 votes) Clinton - 65,853,514 (48.18% of all 136,669,276 votes) So in terms of difference in popular vote percentage, this gives us your first figure, 2.09 points. However, in terms of the percentage of the votes given to either of the two main parties, this ...


46

This is the modern mass-media era. Trump may have been speaking in North Carolina, but he — like any other national level candidate — is aware that he is speaking to the nation as a whole. Note that after he made this statement — as the article points out — he followed it with a tweet on the same subject, explicitly aimed at a national audience. If I were to ...


45

"Disproportionate representation" describes the result without making any reference to the cause. For example, States have disproportionate representation in the Senate is a perfectly reasonable description. If you want to be more specific as to what kind of proportionality you're talking about, you could specify with States have disproportionate ...


44

In their article, Localism in Presidential Elections: The Home State Advantage [1] published in the American Journal of Political Science, Lewis-Beck & Rice (1983) investigate the home state advantage using quantitative evidence, and try to explain the phenomenon. They discuss the fact that of all the public offices, the presidency is by far the office ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible