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Old November 5 2012, 07:11 PM   #1
Spot's Meow
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What If Our Elections Were Done This Way...

After voting in the TrekBBS presidential election, I had a thought about elections in general. What if the entire country did not vote on the same day, what if our election days were spread across several days, even weeks, with the votes counted after each one?

For example, let's say Florida has their election today and the votes are counted and publicized. Then California votes on Wednesday and then their votes are added to the total and reported in the media. Basically, unless you are in the first group of states voting, you would be able to see how people before you had voted and factor that in to your own upcoming vote.

The reason I thought of this was the feature here on board polls where you can click to see the current results before you vote. I must admit that sometimes in the past, say for an avatar contest, I then chose to vote for someone who I saw had zero votes because I felt bad for them.

For more important political issues, I don't believe I would do this, since the issues involved should be more important than whether or not someone feels bad about losing, but who knows. Perhaps there are many people out there that would let the current results have a big impact on how they choose to vote, especially for those in the middle who are truly undecided. Let's say you're undecided and see that Romney is ahead in the vote, so you decide to give your vote to Obama to "even it out" or some such reason.

I'm not advocating we should move to a system like this, but it certainly gets me thinking about the psychology involved in voting and how our elections are currently run. Would there be any upsides to such a system?
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Old November 5 2012, 07:17 PM   #2
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Re: What If Our Elections Were Done This Way...

Actually, usually elections are held in a way that seeks to minimise this (granted, the US seems to be a bit of an exception). Obviously, knowing the results in other parts of the country would influence voters who haven't cast their votes, yet, either energising them or making them not bother anymore. This can lead to a distortion of the result which is why it's usually avoided.
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Old November 5 2012, 10:46 PM   #3
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Re: What If Our Elections Were Done This Way...

That and all our elections would be decided by old folks in Winnebagos driving state-to-state with forty fake ID's, doing an "election tour."
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Old November 6 2012, 07:41 PM   #4
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Re: What If Our Elections Were Done This Way...

Count Pony wrote: View Post
Actually, usually elections are held in a way that seeks to minimise this (granted, the US seems to be a bit of an exception). Obviously, knowing the results in other parts of the country would influence voters who haven't cast their votes, yet, either energising them or making them not bother anymore. This can lead to a distortion of the result which is why it's usually avoided.
Well yes, I know it won't actually happen, I'm just curious about how it would affect people's votes, from a psychological standpoint. We do have it occur to some extent already in the U.S., with east coast polls closing before west coast ones, but a difference of days rather than three hours would make a huge difference. Just something interesting to ponder.

Though I just read the results are in from Dixville Notch, NH, which has 10 registered voters; it was a tie (5-5).
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Old November 6 2012, 07:53 PM   #5
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Re: What If Our Elections Were Done This Way...

Spot's Meow wrote: View Post
For example, let's say Florida has their election today and the votes are counted and publicized.
The problem would be with the publication. Wait until everyone has voted and publish. Now, that's not going to stop the rumours of course.
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Old November 6 2012, 08:10 PM   #6
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Re: What If Our Elections Were Done This Way...

Essentially, this is how the primaries are conducted. You plug through Iowa, and New Hampshire, and the Super Tuesday States, and the latter states to go are getting the presumptive candidate vs. the incumbant/presumptive candidate from the other party after the also rans drop out.

We do have it occur to some extent already in the U.S., with east coast polls closing before west coast ones, but a difference of days rather than three hours would make a huge difference. Just something interesting to ponder.
I voted about 7 AM Eastern today, and the polls don't close until 9 tonight. Were you really planning on waiting around for a projection from some New England state before scurrying into the booth?

That and all our elections would be decided by old folks in Winnebagos driving state-to-state with forty fake ID's, doing an "election tour."
I'll just let the complete stupidity of your post stand on its own without comment for the most part. You know you do have an assigned polling place, right?
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Old November 6 2012, 09:14 PM   #7
Spot's Meow
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Re: What If Our Elections Were Done This Way...

SmoothieX wrote: View Post
I voted about 7 AM Eastern today, and the polls don't close until 9 tonight. Were you really planning on waiting around for a projection from some New England state before scurrying into the booth?
No, that's my point, that nobody (or at least, most intelligent people) is going to wait around for projections that are only a few hours old to cast their vote, but in a system where there were days between voting then they would be waiting and that information would have an impact. As you pointed out it already occurs with primary elections. I wonder if such a way of doing things would make the two party system stronger or allow room for more third party candidates.

As for myself, I voted by mail weeks ago!
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