1. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Day off for elections?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Wreybies, Nov 4, 2008.

    Here in Puerto Rico everyone has the day off for elections. Everyone but me, that is, because I work for a stateside company. Voter turnout in PR is upwards of 80%.

    Do you think that perhaps, given the historically poor voter turnout in The States, that this should be a national holiday?

    What's you take?
     
  2. Rem Nightfall
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    Rem Nightfall Banned

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    'Ello, I hope I answer your question. Voting is just voting. There is nothing exactly holiday about voting, though I can't say much because my job allows me to be at home...its a holiday everday for me, voting shouldn't be a holiday, people shouldn't be taken off work for voting. Though voting decides the world, doesn't mean you cannot stop working. Though this is just my view. I do not feel like celebrating my right to vote, I rather shove my vote in a box and knock people out with my vote.
    Hope that wasn't to confusing.

    Here and Now
    ~Rem Nightfall
     
  3. Speedy
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    Speedy Contributing Member Contributor

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    Would making it a national holiday, cause voting increases?

    I really dont think it would. Thats just opinion obviously.

    Think last Australian election was a weekend (i was off i remember, maybe i was sick lol), i voted with 15 minutes left before they closed.

    If i had a holiday id party the night before and sleep the next (holiday) away!
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I don't think it would make much difference. People can also vote by absentee ballot, but turnout is more affected by the passion toward (or against) government and major political issues than anything else.

    I haeard a radio host this morning asking listeners how long they would be willing to stand in line at the voting site before giving up and walking away.

    If voting is too "inconvenient", maybe these are the people who should leave it to those who do care enough to commit to it!

    Man and women have died, and continue to do so, to make sure we have the power to make these choices. I personally find it offensive that the same people who decide it's not worth their trouble to get out and vote make the most noise over the subsequent four years (or corresponding period in other democratic countries).

    <I now step down from my soapbox>
     
  5. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I do have to agree as to the idea of the impassioned voter. Voters in Puerto Rico are so impassioned that the sale of alcohol is discontinued for two days prior and two days after the election. We call it La Ley Seca (The Dry Law.)
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Yes, I'm sure no one stocks up in advance. :D
     
  7. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Huh? You're kidding, right? You get the day off, because it's an election?

    Though I suppose it must be taxing, having to tick a box... :rolleyes:
     
  8. Sandy
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    Sandy Member

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    This is the only year that I've truly wished for the day off...if for no other reason, just to find a parking spot at work. Yes, I work for a local government. The lines are wrapping around the building! People are parking on the side of the streets.

    Voter turn out this year is going down in the books, I think.

    Sandy
     
  9. AllWrite
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    AllWrite Member

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    You should get the day off to vote for the next leader of your country.

    There would undoubtedly be an increase in turnout and also people would be willing to stand in line for longer periods of time.
     
  10. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Alcohol sales are never higher than right before the elections! :D
     
  11. Foxee
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    Foxee Contributing Member Contributor

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    That's what I was wondering...are Puerto Rican elections really complex or something?

    And will some kind Australian put me straight? From what I understand Ozzies are fined if they don't go to the polls...and the ballots do sound really, really involved.

    Nope, here in the states you're expected to get a good day's work in and still vote...and where I am it's easy. The community's tiny so I only had to wait for about six people in line although the influx of voters was pretty steady. The actual voting took me just a few minutes. I don't go to bars so I'm not sure but I think in my state they don't even sell alcohol on voting day. You have to stock up ahead of time. ;)
     
  12. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    No, the system is just as easy as in the states. :rolleyes:

    The day is given off so that there will be no excuses for not going to vote. In Puerto Rico, transport is a bit dodgier than in the well organized US of A.

    And, even though I realize that the chiding is in good fun, voter turnout is better than 80% in Puerto Rico.

    How many states can come even close?
     
  13. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I believe the expected turnout across the country this year is on the order of 63%, and that is considered a record high level.

    And yet I have not met many citizens who don't have firm and loud opinionsx about how the country should be run. So where is that other 37% hiding?

    I get pretty disgusted about it, if you couldn't tell.
     
  14. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    If you require a day off before you can be bothered to vote, maybe you don't deserve to vote.

    I agree. As soon as Mr Brown calls an election, it is my intention to go out and earn my right to moan. If you can vote, what excuse have you for not voting? And if you don't vote, what do you have to complain about?
     
  15. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    There's only ONE election result I am watching with any real excitement...will Massachusetts voters repeal the income tax?

    If you guys vote "yes" on that, it will be the first serious challenge to the rule of our elected leaders in thirty years. It will make legislators cringe all over the country!
     
  16. SonnehLee
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    SonnehLee Contributing Member Contributor

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    I get the day off because they use the schools to vote in. and I'm happy with that.
     
  17. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    $10 says that even if they do repeal the income tax, elected officials will come up with something else. Furthermore, I don't see how the state of Massachusetts can overthrow federal law (Note: They can't).

    I don't see the point of a day off for voting. If you can't find a way to do it as is there's something wrong. Furthermore, I doubt it will boost voter turnout by that much. Time, is not the leading cause of not voting. Apathy is. And you don't get rid of apathy with a holiday (I'd actually think it would get worse. If I had a day off from work I'd be tempted to stay at home and do nothing).
     
  18. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    A similar item is up for bid in the local elections of Puerto Rico. Shortly after I moved to the island a sales and use tax of 7% was imposed to the outrage of many, if not most. The sales tax has been blamed for everything from failing economy to land erosion! :rolleyes: Anyway, maintaining (or not) the tax is one of the items on every parties agenda.
     
  19. Foxee
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    Foxee Contributing Member Contributor

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    Believe me, I am, too. We have good people fight and die for our right to vote and then we have a bunch of people sit home on their butts on election day then complain for the next four years. Puerto Rico is enviable with that high of a turnout. Kudos! :D
    But fun to try nonetheless. And it would give a pretty clear disgruntlement message and lots to talk about, wouldn't it?
     
  20. Gone Wishing
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    Gone Wishing Contributing Member

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    Yup - it's mandatory voting for State and National elections, and fines are issued for those (registered) who do not vote. The ballots themselves are as simple or complicated as you want them to be. Divided into two sections, you can vote in either one, but not both - in one section, you vote for 1 candidate only, indicating overall preference. In the other section is usually some 30-50 names which, if you choose to vote that way, you numeber each one in your order of preference - i.e. 1 = most desired all the way through to your least desired.

    Also, elections are always held on a Saturday. Aussies love their public holidays arguably more than anyone else (just yesterday there was some discussion as to whether or not the whole country should get one while the horsies race in Melbourne... :rolleyes:), but voting just doesn't take enough time out of the day with booths being set up at pretty much every school and various other places (I always have about 3-4 polling places within 5 minute walking distance).
     
  21. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Luis G. Fortuno takes the Governorship of Puerto Rico.

    Luis G. Fortuno
     
  22. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I seriously doubt it will pass, especially with the flood of scare ads that have been aired against it: "If the state income tax is eliminated, essential services will be cut. If the state income tax is eliminated, your property taxes will go up."

    Both of these arguments ignore the fact that the people have been demanding that the state eliminate waste, and that the people will continue to have a say in state and local spending.

    Although I know it won't pass, I voted for it to send the message that I will not be misled into consenting to more waste. Even if it does pass, the state will not enact it without a fight.
     
  23. Foxee
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    Foxee Contributing Member Contributor

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    This makes me feel really bad for the vote counters!
     
  24. ZionsRodeVos
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    ZionsRodeVos New Member

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    I don't need to have a day off to vote but would love to have another day off anyway.

    I like the idea of not having state taxes and it would irritate me if I lived in a state that votes to eliminate state taxes and then the elected officials figure out another way to take my money from me.
     
  25. ManicParroT
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    ManicParroT Contributing Member

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    People seem to be pouring scorn on the idea of election day becoming a holiday.

    If you have to work 12 hours a day, and public transport is dodgy, and you don't have a car, and your boss either refuses to give you leave or you don't have any leave days, having election day become a public holiday is very helpful.

    Not making election days a holiday can disenfranchise people on the margins of the economy.
     

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