Saturday, November 22, 2014

How to increase voter turnout? No Vote, No Light … by gimleteye

If you voted, you get a tax credit.

If you register a car, you pay a penalty if you fail to vote. Finding the people who vote or don't vote is not a problem in this age of data collection.

In the Miami Herald, Maurice Ferre urges civics classes to educate children and increase voter turnout from the abysmal rates that plague elections.

I remember civics in grade school. What I remember is how many Americans died in wars to protect our democratic freedoms. Voting honors those sacrifices, I learned. I vote.

But it's not enough to save our democracy. Such is the peril today from an apathetic public.

In visits to India, one is amazed to see voting days declared as national holidays. Nearly everyone votes.

Why not, here? Shut down the stores. Turn off the traffic lights.

We have to try something. We have to change low voter turnout and the dynamic of American elections.

Watch Congress do nothing.

Perhaps the Miami-Dade County Commission and League of Cities should take up the issue.

I'd favor turning off everyone's electricity on election day UNTIL people vote. Tie it to the phone number on your electric bill. No Vote, No Light.

That's how strongly I feel about low voter turnout.


Anonymous said...

Millions of dollars have been spent on voter suppression. Don't forget about that.

Anonymous said...

Major employers should demand civic engagement as a sign of corporate responsibility. If you don't vote, you lose a vacation day. The County Commission should be the first to act. Those county employees who sit on the sidelines would quick walking past those voting booths in the lobby of the Stephen P. Clark Center if they know they will lose a vacation day. Let's get the Knight Foundation and Miami Foundation to start a movement.

Anonymous said...

to above anon: , the county labor union contract DOES give time off to vote, not a whole day but an hour. It was one of the things the mayor wanted to cut in the new agreement, too expensive he said.

So it looks like zero support from business on that item.

Secondly, there were 90 county workers suspended last year for using their "voting hour" to leave early on voting day but then not voting (Really? they didn't know it's public record? They should have been suspended twice, once for skipping out and once for being stupid about it)

So one would expect county workers to have a much higher voter turnout as they both get paid to vote AND have a direct stake in elections but it turns out they are just as pathetic as the public.

Lastly studies have show that the uninformed voter is more likely swayed by slick campaign ads or simple name recognition than issues so the last person you want voting is the casual voter (or one who is just voting to get their lights back on.

Maybe we could follow the lead of states will all mail-in voting.

Anonymous said...

There's a lot of kids out there that didn't vote in the last election. Since they don't have children, I guess they don't realize the direct impact Scott is going to have on the way their children will have to adapt to Florida after he and his people get done with it. My 20 year old knows the importance of voting (along with eating non-GMO foods) because of the effect it will have when she decides to reproduce. These kids that think its not important deserve what they are going to get; however, my daughter and future grandchildren do not! People, please make sure your kids vote!

Anonymous said...

Three states -- Oregon, Washington and Colorado -- conduct all elections by mail. A ballot is automatically mailed to every registered voter in advance of Election Day, and traditional in-person voting precincts are not available.

Our Mayor wants to balance the budget? At $4 million an election, how about saving money this way? Oh, but I almost forgot, in one of his infamous quotes he said there will be pain...and this idea wouldn't be so painful.

Anonymous said...

Then how would those "special" elections timed to ensure that there is low to no turnout going to help the corporate billionaire?

For example:
"The Miami Dolphins and their owner, Stephen Ross, spent a staggering $10 million over the past six weeks on a special election that never happened.

Leading up to a planned May 14 referendum asking voters to help pay for renovations of Sun Life Stadium, the Dolphins’ political action committee, Friends of Miami First, raised $4.97 million and spent $4.49 million since April 1, according to a campaign finance report filed Friday. All contributions came from the Dolphins and Ross, through South Florida Stadium LLC, the corporate entity that owns the stadium.

Taken together with the nonrefundable $4.8 million payment the Dolphins made to Miami-Dade County last month to cover election costs, the team spent nearly $10 million in publicly reported funds on its failed push for state and county tax dollars to pay for some of the $350 million in stadium upgrades.

That total does not include expenses that do not have to be reported because they were not part of the election campaign, including lobbyist and public-relations consultant fees incurred before county commissioners agreed to hold the referendum.

Even without the cost to cover the election, the Dolphins’ sprint of a campaign ranks among the most expensive waged in Miami-Dade. A successful, months-long effort to approve Las Vegas-style slots in 2008 spent more than $6.6 million."

Anonymous said...

My polling site had 9 workers. They were assigned from 5:30am - 8pm.

The behind-the-scenes jobs included trucking the machines to & from the site. Early election machines are different than the election day machines so there's a back and forth with polling machines.

All of the programs that were to be held in this space had to be cancelled.

While thousands of temp employees who are on the payroll will be impacted by a vote by mail change the true situation is that our system is a façade of democracy.

In the 12 hour period during the August election there were a total of 76 voters at my polling site. All of this true blue effort and taxpayer's dollars spent when the reality is embarrassing.

10% - 40% turnouts tell the true story and the system needs to adapt.

Anonymous said...

"how many Americans died in wars to protect our democratic freedoms"
Never Happened, ever, even to this day. This is why people do not vote due to lies, untruths, propaganda to justify invading foreign countries.

Anonymous said...

The problem is much deeper than just getting registered voters to actually vote. Many people are not even registered to vote. Contrasting the voting age population, and those who are eligible to vote with those who are actually registered to vote, would reveal a major discrepancy. And it is not who you think it is. Sometime ago I did voter registration drives at stores, shopping centers and the like. There were medical doctors, teachers, professionals of all kinds who for the first time in their lives, registered to vote. I am not so sure what the answer is, but it lies somewhere in the institutions of this community.

Anonymous said...

In terms of our democracy, these are invisible people, people who don't count, and do not exist. Our democracy is run by a tiny segment of the population who chose to get involved and participate in our society. Everyone else just rides off and goes along with whatever this tiny core group of voters decides. This is how Republicans rule. This is why they went directly to voter suppression. Why would you want to be an American if you don't want to participate in what makes America great? I agree, there should be some penalty involved for not registering, and not voting. Maybe we need to take a different look at citizenship. People who vote and thus count should be looked at an treated differently than those who don't vote and don't count. Maybe 1st class citizen-people who vote; 2nd class citizen-those who are registered but don't vote; and 3rd class citizens -those who are not registered to vote. From there many things can happen for 1st class citizens, that can't happen for the other.

Anonymous said...

I see what you mean. People who only vote every 4 years in presidential elections should be second class citizens because they don't participate in the full franchise.

Anonymous said...

It would take a constitutional amendment to put that in place. So a new immigrant who just becomes a new citizen, could skip over the majority of existing Americans who don't vote and don't count, and become a 1st class citizen by simply voting in every election?

Anonymous said...


I have voted in every election great and small since I have become voting age. I am now middle-aged. If the turn-out is 1% in Miami-Dade County, I am in it. People like me have carried the load for this community for a very long time, while others have been non-concerned and irresponsible.

Since only the people who vote really count, and that is a small group of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents, a constitutional amendment is possible.

Anonymous said...

Only massive advertising campaigns can get the vote out.

Harry Emilio Gottlieb said...

Compulsory Voting
(Like Compulsory Tax Filing)
May Be The Answer

It is indeed sad to witness the low voter turnout in the USA after all the years of wars, deaths and injuries that many citizens have endured for that precious right to vote. We tolerate a 50% attendance at the polls, while other newly democratic countries receive 80-95%. It is compulsory for all citizens to file tax reports each year. Perhaps it is time to consider the need for compulsory voting as well. It has been most successful throughout Australia, Switzerland, Austria, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg, Liechtenstein, Equator, Peru, Chile, Brazil, Venezuela, Uruguay, Argentina, Singapore, Fiji and Turkey. Make it everyone’s responsibility in the USA to vote, even if they only choose to vote for none-of-the-above. Glad to see that the Maurice Ferre Miami Herald column praised Senator Bob Graham and his efforts to champion the return of ethics classes to our schools. Every concerned citizen should read his book “America the Owner’s Manual Making Government Work For You”.

Get A Grip said...


Force people to vote? REALLY?????
Rather that cutting off peoples electricity, threatening to chop their nuts off or fining them into destitution for not voting for the "lesser of two evils" why not just ad a choice NOTA (None of the Above). Maybe just maybe more people will show up to show their displeasure with all the idiots those of us who vote have elected?

If they don't vote then that's their right to we live in a "FREE" country (at least it was freer before a bunch of busybodies like us and special interest voted for a bunch of numskulls who little by little are taking away our freedoms).

Anonymous said...

I don't think people should be forced to vote. If you have maybe four different classes of citizenship, those who do not wish to exercise the voting franchise would be 4th class citizens. And certain things would be available to them, and certain other things wouldn't.

Anonymous said...

US REP 8, US REP 9-11, US REP 10-12, GOVERNOR-73, AGRICULTURE-29, FL REP 46-39, SCHOOL-401, TOTAL 565


Voters also took the write-in opportunity to offer other suggestions as to how to fill the seats in question. Some of the submissions:

* A Moderate
* Almost Literally Anyone Else
* Any Non-Politician
* Any Other Crook
* Anyone With Sense
* Can't Even Choose the Lesser Evil
* Dismantle the School Board
* Eliminate the Position
* My Cat Would Be Better than Scott or Crist
* Someone Better Than Any of There [sic] Choices
* Someone Honest
* Sorry

We contacted Seminole County Supervisor of Elections Michael Ertel to see if he had a similar list available. Ertel provided the list of the top five invalid write-in candidates from Seminole County from the November 2014 election. They were:

* Jeb Bush - 39
* Mickey Mouse - 23
* Nan Rich - 12
* God/Jesus - 6
* John Morgan - 5

Ertel pointed out that many people will write in their own name or a neighbor's name on a write-in line on a ballot, but Ertel's office doesn't specifically track each and every name.By Gary Darling, Special Projects Producer Tuesday, November 18, 2014,

Anonymous said...

We can do what we want. Take away as many freedoms as we want, because you don't vote! You don't count, are invisible, and don't exist.

Anonymous said...

What the libs really want to impose is no vote no food stamps.

Anonymous said...

at the very least make the November Presidential and Mid-term elections a paid holiday -- I don't think that requires an amendment -- and then have lots of public service announcements about voting. Maybe stores (coffee shops, yogurt places, etc.) could give people free lattes or something if they come in wearing one of the I voted stickers. That might be a better use of some of the campaign funding than the off-putting ads and phone calls.

Conchscooter said...

Proportional representation. Then your vote counts.
I am an immigrant and I've voted every election since I became a citizen, always the lesser of two idiots. I firmly believe the US is wasted on native born Americans.

Anonymous said...

A separate study, requested by the presidential commission from the nonpartisan Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, noted state-by-state voting problems and highlighted issues in Miami-Dade as well as in Orlando’s Orange County and Tampa’s Hillsborough County. Among them: insufficient electronic poll registries to check-in voters at precincts, cramped early-voting sites in small libraries and city halls, and poorly trained poll workers.

Some Miami-Dade voters waited between five and eight hours to cast ballots during early voting and Election Day. A county review later blamed a variety of factors, including an unusually long ballot, fewer early-voting days and ill-prepared precincts.

Read more here:

Anonymous said...

You know, I hadn't thought of food stamps. But that might be something only first class citizens could get. Voting would be a small price to pay to get food. That would work with very poor people, but what about medical doctors, nurses, teachers, professors, business people, engineers, accountants, and a whole lot of other middle class Americans?

Geniusofdespair said...

You DO NOT WANT EVERYONE VOTING. I knew a guy named stupid Steve. I worked with him and called him that. His most famous quote "Hitler ain't a bad guy." Anyway while questioning stupid Steve about The Supreme Court (he did not know what it was), I said "Do you vote?" He said "No." I said that is the most responsible thing you can do. I am proud of you.
To this day I hope he kept his promise because with his collection of black jokes I know he would have not voted for Obama only because he was black.

Anonymous said...

The freedom to be stupid is an American virtue... We cannot penalize those who do not vote... It would be unpatriotic to do so... Our country was founded on the basis of rebels who were being persecuted and sought freedom...

I do believe in the cost savings of going to an all mail system. It really is is a great opportunity for everyone to save time and money...

Anonymous said...

LOL Steve wouldn't have voted for Obama only because he was black?

So how do you feel about the millions who voted for him only because he IS black including a lot of liberals and virtually every black in the country.

Sort of makes the point about the stupidity of the voter.

However there is a phenomenon known as wisdom of the crowd. Google it.. basically it says with a large enough sample an uninformed crowd will collectively make the correct decision.

Anonymous said...

From the very beginning of this republic voting was meant to be for the privileged male. This attitude has not changed for the rabbit right til today.
Other bones of contention:
Redistricting, utterly corrupt.
Winner take all, leaving minority's begging and treated like Palestinians in their own land.
Fraudulent & misleading posting of ballot questions.
Candidate qualification: Every truck driver or medical doctor has to undergo extensive training and examination; In politics it's how much fundraising or buying power one has.
Truth in advertisement; The Fed alphabet soup agencies get their undies all in a knot if the unwashed masses lie to them. Its no problem in reverse or done by politician or candidates to the people.
You want to know how sick the balloting and candidate proposals are in this land? Sit down, close your eyes and think president Sara Palin!
You may barf now.

Anonymous said...

I have an idea. What about a NO VOTE TAX. Everyone who is eligible to vote, and does not register, and then does not vote, would have to pay this tax.

CATO said...

Though the though of President Palin stirs a sharp bowel movement in me the thought of another Clinton or Bush in the WH makes me want to barf a la exorcist.


Anonymous said...

Democracy as presented to us by the founding fathers over time has devolved into just a theoretical construct. Huge numbers of the voting age population who are eligible to vote are not registered to vote, we will call them x. We see the largest voter participation rates in presidential elections when 50% of the registered voters nationwide show up to vote. So x + 50% means that the vast majority of citizens are not interested in our democracy and by not voting, agree to give their power to others. What we are realizing is that we are increasing governed by a small elite class of democrats and republicans who vote and carry our society. In the state of FL it is even worse when 60% of the registered voters don't even show up for a statewide election.

Anonymous said...

We have to confront the reality of who we are. We are a democracy of the concerned, living in a country where the majority of the people are unconcerned.

Anonymous said...

You know, that is the problem in Ferguson. People are not registered to vote, and those who are, are not voting. For a city that is 60% Black, the elected officials, City administration, the police force, the judicial system are all White. That is the problem there. They need to immediately begin massive voter registration drives. At the same time they need to pull together a progressive slate. And importantly, they need single member districts, and removal of any impediments to voting if there are any. Then they have to vote, vote, vote, for the rest of their lives, every time an election occurs- every time until they die!

The answers they seek and the solutions they need, are all right there within Ferguson. They simply have to look in the mirror. Some people are going to have to step up to lead, not because they want to, but because they have to, they have no choice. It is almost like the civil rights movement never happened there. Some people there are going to have to do the heavy lifting for the city. Otherwise, there is no long term solution for Ferguson.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, if they are too stupid to understand the importance of voting I'm happy with them staying away from the poles. Which is worse, low turnout or low information voters?

Anonymous said...

Sorry, if they are too stupid to understand the importance of voting I'm happy with them staying away from the poles. Which is worse, low turnout or low information voters?