The Willing but Not Able Election


Pollsters have a habit of polling registered voters, as those the are ones that can vote in an election.  That makes some sense, assuming you ignore Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and Washington DC, which actually allow same-day voter registration.  That is right. There are some states that go out their way to encourage all citizens to vote!

But, I will accept the idea of using registered voters as a fair basis for predicting election.  And, that has been the norm in polling.  However, Nate Silver noted this week that CNN has started polling a smaller group, called likely voters.   It seems this year, in particular, there is some frustration among parts of electorate with the choices available.  The result is that some voters will stay home and they feel the next two months will not motivate them to go to the polls.  Of course, if that is their choice, then so be it.  This is not Australia, where you are fined for not voting.

However, there is a fourth category that is new this year: Registered, but Unable, to Vote.  Pennsylvania, in particular, will be leading the nation in this camp.  People who are registered to vote, have always voted in the past, want to vote, but now lack some critical documentation that makes their registration null and void for all practical purposes.

I would love it the media would hammer it home by stating “In a recent poll of voters, who have been approved by the state, we found ….”.

I look forward to Nate Silver looking into the question of voter suppression laws in some detail.  For the first time in US history, we could have a substantial number of citizens who are willing, but not able, to vote, which doesn’t sound democracy to me.  And, it is certainly not Australia.

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About SamStone

A Steel City Skeptic who thinks science and reason is the light that we should follow to find our way in this world.
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2 Responses to The Willing but Not Able Election

  1. sk8eycat says:

    I thought the Diebold scandal was in 2004…that was when Prez de facto Cheney and his puppet were re-appointed by the Big Money White Men.

    I live in California where anybody is allowed to register as a Permanent Absentee Voter with no special conditions or excuses; you don’t have to be out of town on election day, in the military, permanently bedridden, nada. I’ve been voting by mail for more than 15 years…no hunting for a parking space, no standing in line for hours, no screaming children whose parents can’t hire a baby-sitter. It’s so pleasant to fill in my ballot in the peace and quiet of my own home.

    In Oregon and Washington (state) everybody votes by mail, and they have much larger “turnouts” than the other 48 states where most people have to “go to the polls.” Plus, the system saves the states a lot of money on stipends for poll workers, coffee and donuts, and hackable voting machines.

    We need to re-think the entire system…and get rid of the Electoral College, too.

  2. revelmundo says:

    How dare you lay claim to PA leading the pack in voter suppression efforts. Ohio has that dubious distinction. Days and hours in Rethug district were lengthened. Early days and hours in Demo districts were simultaneously shortened.

    John Husted (SOS) has his head buried deep inside his rectum and is having a ball sniffin’ away. He could give a good shit about what anybody – including the Justice Dept.,- thinks about his voter suppression strategy and he’s openly admitted.that he doesn’t give a good rats ass. He’s openly challenged a JD lawsuit.

    He and his hose-nose, asshole buddy, Mike deWhino, both world-class morons, Bush ass-lickin’, closet fascists, are doing everything possible to see to it that Mr. Obama suffers an ignominious defeat in November. It doesn’t matter to them how they pull it off.

    I think these pricks also help formalize the Diebold scandal in 2008 that helped BeanBrain stay in office.

    Fascist bastards.

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