Hot answers tagged

311

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 ...


136

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 ...


108

Because Congress is accountable to their constituents. You are only accountable to yourself. If how they vote is secret, there's no way of holding them to the promises they made. They could just say "someone else voted it down, sorry" at the next election and you couldn't know that was a lie.


100

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 ...


95

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 ...


93

Mail-in voting and provisional ballots: In many states, mail-in votes are allowed to arrive well after election day, provided they are postmarked on or before election day. Voters who cast a provisional ballot on or before election day are also given an opportunity to "cure" it. In practice, this usually consists of going to the county registrar ...


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 ...


90

The whole foundation of the strategy that gives rise to these voter suppression laws is to avoid exactly that direct, causal link. The recent Supreme Court case Chamber of Commerce v. New York reaffirmed that it's not legitimate to simply target voters that don't agree with you. So you're essentially asking to be shown the ways in which people executing ...


89

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 ...


82

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 ...


82

Cosmopolitanism leads to social liberalism. It's been proven time and again since at least the 1950's: the more you're exposed to a variety of people and viewpoints, the more likely you are to have empathy and tolerance for other people. Empathy and tolerance are the backbone of social liberalism, and of the two major parties, the Democrats are more strongly ...


80

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" ...


73

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 ...


70

Simply put, because it is a crime. It is not allowed (e.g. in Minnesota) to move somewhere for a month to vote there. Plus, most people can't afford such a disruption to their life. When I registered to vote in Minnesota, I got a letter from my old state asking to confirm I'm no longer resident there (and reminded me if I had indeed moved, it was illegal to ...


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.


66

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 ‘...


65

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 ...


60

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 ...


59

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

Yes, in fact from Wikipedia's article on "United States presidential elections in Texas", we can see that Texas has elected a Democrat for president twenty-two times since 1876, most recently electing Jimmy Carter in the 1976 election. Republican candidates have only been elected fifteen times. The highest percentage vote that a Democratic ...


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 ...


55

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 ...


54

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 ...


54

Biden did particularly well in two demographics: Voters under 30 (62% for Biden vs. 35% for Trump) College educated voters (55% for Biden vs. 42% for Trump) So the reason why Biden did so particularly well in university districts could be that college students are the intersection of those two demographics. Another reason could be (but that's just my ...


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 ...


51

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 ...


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 ...


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