I didn’t vote in 2000 because I didn’t like the candidates. It was the first and last time I abstained from my civic duty to vote. After GWB’s first term, I realized that it’s just not worth it to stay home.
Now I’m even campaigning in my circle of friends. I’m telling them that they don’t have to vote for Obama, but they can’t vote for McCain and still go to sleep at night.
“Just how many votes were you going to cast in how many states?”
Well it all depends on which state Nando lives in. If it is Florida then one vote might have done it. With thier screwed up hanging chad fiasco who knows what vote total it would have ended up with.
I live in Massachusetts and here abstaining is an easier political statement to make as there is about a 0% chance that MA would vote McCain in November.
Russell Hanneken |
June 16th, 2008 at 10:11 am
Mike wrote, “Well it all depends on which state Nando lives in. If it is Florida then one vote might have done it.”
That is incorrect. Bush won Florida by 537 votes. If Nando had voted for Gore, it would have been necessary for him to cast at least that many votes to change the outcome of the election.
If he had voted for a different candidate, he would have needed to cast tens of millions of votes in many different states.
Or perhaps you meant that Nando could have reasonably believed the election would be decided by one vote, before the vote totals were in? I don’t believe any presidential contest in history has ever been decided by exactly one vote.
I voted for Pat Buchanan in 2000, and supported him in 96. And if he hadn’t been on the ballot, I would have voted for Browne. In 2004 I didn’t vote. Because much like the election this year, which I will be voting for Bob Barr, the two main charactors are jokes.
Nando, you mean if only you had voted in 2000, George Bush would not have won the election? Just how many votes were you going to cast in how many states?
I know one vote USUALLY doesn’t make a difference. In any election, only two votes matter: the vote that creates a tie and the vote that breaks one. Most of us are well aware of this. However, we all have influence with our friends. I’ve so far convinced at least 20 of my friends to go out and vote fore Obama instead of McCain. I’ve done this by educating myself on the issues and then showing my friends how Obama being President would benefit them more than if McCain won the election. Most of them are here in Virginia, where Obama actually has a shot of winning the state this year. The more people I can convince, the more I can get to vote against McCain. That’s why this election matters.
BTW, I did the same four years ago and got about 30 or so people who had voted for Bush in 2000 to vote for Kerry in 2004. If we actually care and show interest and enthusiasm, it’s quite easy to get your friends to vote and participate.
I voted for Bush because I didn’t know any better at the time. I’d venture a guess that most people didn’t know any better, either. Those who say they knew are those same people who vehemently claim they knew your child was going to be a boy or a girl.
Well it was +537 for Bush in the first set of results. +154 in another recount and some numerous other figures in other unoffical recounts. With the numerous recount inconsistancies I would be surprised if a single additional vote for either canditate entered into the system would result in a single additional vote being counted. I’m not crying over spilled milk here though, anytime the voting is that close the candidates don’t have much right to complain It’s basically a coin toss niether candidate ‘earned’ Florida its thier fault for not running a better campaign.
As you say though I was attempting to point out that in FL at least a single vote had a lot more importance than a single protest abstension/3rd party vote in any other state.
I voted Harry Browne, but in MA it certainly didn’t matter if I liked Gore/Bush at the time as MA was unquestionably going to vote Gore. If I had lived in FL I certainly would have have put more thought into my decision. I think I was actually leaning Bush at the time.
Russell Hanneken |
June 16th, 2008 at 11:25 am
Nando, if you have influence over a lot of people, you could change the outcome of a presidential election by persuading people to vote in a particular way. (I would think more than 20 or 30 friends would be needed.) But you have no realistic chance to change the outcome of a presidential election by personally casting your one vote.
That’s an interesting hypothosis but I would disagree. Certainly in the 2000 Florida contest I would argue that 1 vote did have a substantial chance to change the election.
I don’t believe it is a straightforward math problem in that had Nando voted in florida that day the result would have been Bush by +536. I think it depends on numerous other factors, how was the weather that day, Did the JCC bus break down instead of bringing voters to the poll? With Bush winning by a margin of 0.009% your essentially in the noise and everything becomes significant.
I can’t actually remember who I voted for in 2000. It wasn’t Bush or Gore or Nader, I know that much.
Russell Hanneken |
June 16th, 2008 at 1:46 pm
Mike, we know in retrospect that 1 vote would not have changed the outcome. That is just a fact. Moreover, before the election, the odds of the presidential race being decided by exactly one vote were infinitesimal.
Yes, many things influence the outcome of the election. But your vote doesn’t change the weather or cause the JCC bus to break down. So when you’re deciding whether or not to vote, I don’t see how these other factors are relevant.
You wrote, “With Bush winning by a margin of 0.009% your essentially in the noise and everything becomes significant.” I don’t know what this means. Your vote is significant if it causes an exact tie or breaks an exact tie–as tallied by the people who count the votes.
I always shy away from trying to persuade people to vote for “my” candidate…the way I see it, if people want my opinion they will ask for it, and I believe that everybody should take the time to read up on the candidates and their stances. Of course, it’s not my place to go out and start schooling people on politics. After all, my view is shared by many, but it is also disputed by many. I’ll let each person come to their own stance about the candidates, and I will not push them one way or another.
P.S. I’ll be voting for Bob Barr this year…can’t bring myself to vote for Obama or McCain, since neither really matches my views even remotely.
“Mike, we know in retrospect that 1 vote would not have changed the outcome. That is just a fact. Moreover, before the election, the odds of the presidential race being decided by exactly one vote were infinitesimal.”
That is true in a completely ideal system where there are no measurement errors. That is not the case here. How many times did they recount the votes? The 537 number you quote is from the initial count. The first recount was +154, I’ve heard +478,-15,-115,-424,-216…. Did they ever come up with the same answer twice? I don’t believe they did. I would say that a difference between the candidates of 0.009% is below any useful measurement threshhold. So the results are essentially random.
What is the source of the voting inconsistancies? I don’t believe there is an conspiricy theory here it is just an imperfect system and any change to the inputs could result in a 0.009% change in the output. So at that point I’d argue that there is a non-negligable chance to change the results of the election with a vote.
I should also have said 2000 was the last time I voted. I was persuaded just afterwards that voting is immoral. I later also was convinced that the votes aren’t actually counted anyway. The infamous “they” dial in the desired results.