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04 November 2008

VOTE! If you're eligible to vote in the US, and haven't already done so, get out there and make some change! And if you're in a non-battleground state, vote third party! Given the focus of debate in this country the last few weeks, I'm considering voting socialist. [More:] Because there's no way I'm voting for Bob Barr. That dude is just a republican in libertarian's clothing.
I voted. Go me.
posted by fluffy battle kitten 04 November | 06:52
Today's the day, y'all. YIPES! (Voted ages ago, myself)
posted by Stewriffic 04 November | 07:02
Voted via absentee ballot. *crosses fingers*
posted by Specklet 04 November | 07:07
I'm going to make a plea for people not to vote third party if you care about the results.

This is not in the bag at all despite the polling nmbers. Factor in overconfidence, computer "failure", dirty tricks or long lines at the polls, and apathy. The other side is getting out their vote. How will you feel if Obama loses without your vote???
posted by DarkForest 04 November | 07:18
DarkForest, I live in Massachusetts. If McCain takes this state then there's something wrong that a single vote would never fix.

Note that though I don't support Obama, I am very carefully not arguing for folks to not vote for him. I just want to make sure everyone gets out and votes. But if they don't like Obama, then don't vote for him. It also means that just because you don't like Obama, you don't have to vote McCain.

I know, I know. I'm wrong to believe that those votes for Nader in Florida were not Al Gore's votes, but Ralph Nader's. But I still believe in voting for your choice, and not what you're told religiously, mathematically, strategically, etc. to vote for.

Were I forced to vote for McCain or Obama, I'd stay home. But I don't have to. I have a choice. A lot of people don't realize that, because our first-past-the-post system marginalizes third parties (and, by extension, folks who don't think in a strict, linear fashion of binary "for" or "against"). I want those folks who don't realize they have a choice to get out there and vote.

Yes, this is the wrong forum. Yes, you're all voting for Obama. Wonderful. But it's my MetaChat, too, and I figured I'd share my point of view. Hopefully I've been respectful in doing so.
posted by Eideteker 04 November | 07:29
Just to share, eideteker, I have no problem at all with voting third party in general. I voted third party this year in some of the lesser races. I think this year the presidential race is just too crucial. I voted for what I want to see happen. That's my opinion. You are welcome to your opinion.
posted by DarkForest 04 November | 07:48
Sounds like we agree then. =D

It sounds like you're saying you voted for the person you wanted to see in office, and I'm going to do the same.
posted by Eideteker 04 November | 07:50
I voted a while ago. I was a teeny bit melancholy about early voting because voting on November 4 is exciting and the way I've always done it. Now I have no regrets. It's rainy and blustery here and I think the lines are going to be longer than the hour and 15 minutes I waited.

I voted Dem this year and last election but I need to change my voter registration to Libertarian or Independent.
posted by LoriFLA 04 November | 07:52
I just went to try to volunteer, and locally they have more volunteers than they even need. I believe "glut" was the word they used. So instead, I'm going to go north to a smaller, more rural district at about noon. They are lacking volunteers, and frankly, I'm hoping we can do more good there anyway. I know people in my neighborhood are voting Obama almost without exception. Up there? Not so much.
posted by Stewriffic 04 November | 07:56
Our local offices have been overwhelmed with volunteers as well. WE had planned to spend the bulk of the weekend canvassing, and when we got to the office there were about 100 new volunteers all lined up. I have never seen anything like it.

I'm usually against voting just to 'send a message.' We only have one vote each, and I strongly feel it should be used to shore up one of the two choices who can actually win. Their policies are so drastically different, and the outcome is not definite no matter where you are, and the mandate matters. With Supreme Court nominations, a war, and a monster federal debt staring us in the face, the only message I want to send is "fix this, and don't let it get worse.'

THird-party activism is awesome, but honestly it's far more effective at the local and state level where candidates stand a chance to get into office and to grow their parties. If you envision a world with a real third-party choice that is viable, the place to make the difference that will make that a reality is really in local elections.
posted by Miko 04 November | 08:17
I'm lifting this from a friend's LiveJournal:

If you see something weird or discomforting (or arguably illegal) going on at your polling place tomorrow, you've got two choices as to where to phone in your information, according to Daily Kos.

First off, there's Obama Voter Protection... call 1-877-US-4-OBAMA (1-877-874-6226) and let them know what problems you're seeing. If you can't get through, use this online form and/or call your local campaign HQ.

In addition, you should call Election Protection, a nonpartisan organization. For immediate assistance, call the 866-OUR-VOTE hotline; you can even contact their teams through Twitter.

You can also keep an eye on voting issues as they are reported at the OurVoteLive Blog, and follow breaking voting news and issues at the 866OurVote Twitter account.

CNN has a voter hotline to report polling irregularities, too... it's

877-GOCNN-08 / 877-462-6608

N.B. I'm not connected with the voter hotline nor with CNN's election coverage this year.
posted by BoringPostcards 04 November | 08:40
I voted for Ms. McKinney here in Texas. It was a hard decision, but honestly a vote for Obama here doesn't "shore him up" at all - the only way a Democrat could win Texas recently was if the Republican promised to raise taxes, end on-shore drilling, and personally sleep with every farmer's daughter. And even then it would have been a hard-fought battle.

The entire electoral system would need an overhaul before third-party presidential candidates are viable, IMO.
posted by muddgirl 04 November | 08:44
Just voted in Tallahassee at about 8:30 EST. It was extremely quick, apparently I came in just after the commute crowd. Early voting crowds had been huge, which is why I voted until today. It worked out well.

On the half mile drive to the poll, I must have seen a couple dozen of new Obama signs placed at every intersection. At least two per corner, facing every direction. At long turn lanes, there would be four or five signs in the median, flipped to alternate between Change & Obama/Biden.

As I neared the Elk Lodge my precinct votes in, there was a major intersection blanketed with Obama signs, including one ENORMOUS yard sign (must have been 8 feet wide, 5 feet tall). Traffic was honking at the senior ladies waving Obama signs on the corner. They looked incredibly happy.

I've never seen this kind of support and unity during an election and I'm actually a little choked up about it.
posted by empyrean 04 November | 09:16
I'm usually against voting just to 'send a message.' We only have one vote each, and I strongly feel it should be used to shore up one of the two choices who can actually win.

I believe you have just contradicted yourself. Vote for the candidate you believe in, for the one who closely reflects your beliefs. If that's Obama, great. I would like to reiterate that I'm not voting just to send a message. I'm voting for the candidate I believe most strongly in.

I wholeheartedly agree with you about supporting third parties from the ground level up. But I don't stop at the top just because my vote "won't count." That's the point I'm making here. We need election reform, but support for third party candidates at all levels makes that more likely, not less. It's a bit of a chicken and egg problem.

But above all, folks, please get out there and vote. Vote your conscience.
posted by Eideteker 04 November | 09:54
Yay, voting! I can't vote, of course, just having a green card, but we live across the street from a school, and I'm watching the voters there. Mr. gaspode voted on the way to work this morning and was only on line for about half an hour. I'm gonna take the sproglet out soon on and wander round and soak up the atmos.
posted by gaspode 04 November | 10:06
I voted. No lines, unlike 2004, when it took a good 45 minutes of waiting (at 8 in the morning). That year the wait was so long a older woman passed out from standing for so long.
posted by Joe Invisible 04 November | 10:26
I voted!
I waited in line for a while, then saw my roommate coming out who told me which district we are in, so I got to go straight to that line. It took about an hour to wait and vote (some people vote so slow) but it was well worth it.
We had one prop- about veteran benefits, so I voted to expand those.
posted by rmless2 04 November | 10:47
I voted for a 3rd party guy going up against Rangel because Rangel's a douche, and I didn't like the Democratic candidate.
posted by TrishaLynn 04 November | 11:46
I'm for third parties but am also ecstatic that VA is a battleground state this year. My friends are reporting low vote turnout for this morning, and there were only 3 people at lunch, but really that could be for any number of reasons.
posted by moonshine 04 November | 15:46
I'm going to make a plea for people not to vote third party if you care about the results.

In a word: bullshit. Just because someone votes for a third party does not mean they do not care about the results. There is no such thing, I repeat, NO SUCH THING as a "wasted vote". You are still making a point when picking a third party candidate, whether anyone listens is another matter, but it is a perfectly worthwhile choice.
posted by King of Prontopia 04 November | 16:19
I voted first thing this morning, around 7:30 (well, first thing for me!). My stepdaughter voted for the first time ever today. She had to fill out a provisional ballot due to a glut of newly registered voters, and the elections office being unable to keep up. I did get a bit teary eyed, for whatever reason.

Mr. V and I have been arguing (slightly) about the whole voting thing. While I changed my mind from one party to another as I learned more (hint: I'm with the majority here), he has no faith in either candidate. But today, riding back from our oncologist appointment, he admitted that he didn't feel right not voting at all, and was leaning toward Nadar. So, Eideteker, if he decides to vote Column C, at least he votes for what feels right for him. It's a right I don't want to see casually thrown away.
posted by redvixen 04 November | 16:57
I don't do this often, or lightly, but: (((redvixen))). Give your hubby a peck on the cheek for me, too. Once he's voted. ;)
posted by Eideteker 04 November | 19:58
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