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Vote like your life depends on it, because it does: Election Day Open Thread

We need to do more than vote, but we definitely need to vote

By David Futrelle

If you haven’t already, GO VOTE and then come back to enjoy(?) this open thread. Tell us how it went. Talk about any shady sit the GOP tries to pull today. Discuss the results as they come in. Talk about your hobbies. Post pictures of animals. Post videos. Whatever it takes to get through this incredibly nerve-wracking day.

No trolls.

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Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
2 years ago

I voted last week when I went downtown to register my car. It’s never been very hard to decide, I live in a very blue dot in a very red state… but this election was much easier. All I had to decide between was screaming fascists and… not screaming fascists.

doomcup
doomcup
2 years ago

I’m sad to admit I screwed up a little. I voted the way I intended in the main election, but there was also a special election, and at the polls I blanked on who the candidates were.

It didn’t help that since it’s a special election here in Mississippi, the election is considered “non-partisan”, so none of the candidates had party affiliates listed.

I ended up accidentally voting for one of the republicans. At least it wasn’t for the incumbent, and there’s a good chance of a runoff later this month if nobody gets a simple majority.

Let that be a lesson for everyone: do a last second brushing up on your election right before you vote.

NinthCircleOfTexasHell
NinthCircleOfTexasHell
2 years ago

I voted early, which means I missed the shady shit. Last time I voted on “election day”, which is held in a different place than early voting. The place is a church with anti-choice signs adorning the inside. They of course stayed up during voting.

Outside the church, signs endorsing the republican candidates were leaning against the building. The very few democrat signs were near the road, where it was legal to place them.

There were also several people sitting near the entrance to the church holding signs for the republicans and blasting “PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN” on a really old boombox.

I’m glad I voted early and missed that shitshow.

JessicaRed
JessicaRed
2 years ago

Voting by mail was nice, a couple of weeks ago. My wife and I took our time and spent a while googling candidates, I mean, we voted all Democrats, but we googled the ones whose party affiliation wasn’t listed, like the various judges

It was hard to find information on any of them though. You’d think judicial records on rulings would be out there somewhere, or at least who nominated them. The biggest thing we could find was one supporting Wal-Mart against their workers, and we don’t need that, especially in a very pro-labor state.

Beyond Ocean
Beyond Ocean
2 years ago

I’m not from the US, but as a regular lurker, I wish you the best of luck. This is going to be a nerve-wracking day wold-wide.

I’m mildly optimistic, if only because I’ve seen some hopeful mobilization against despicable nationalists in recent elections in the country I live in, and I’m sure the US citizens can do even better!

Gaebolga
Gaebolga
2 years ago

JessicaRed wrote:

It was hard to find information on any of them though. You’d think judicial records on rulings would be out there somewhere, or at least who nominated them. The biggest thing we could find was one supporting Wal-Mart against their workers, and we don’t need that, especially in a very pro-labor state.

I know, right? It’s almost like the folks in power don’t want you to know the records of the judges you’re voting for. I was able to find info on some of the judges on our ballot, but there were three that I couldn’t find anything beyond “John Doe is a judge on the appellate court in Circuit 2.”

My rules for no-info votes is 1) vote out the incumbent and 2) vote for the woman. Not a perfect system by any means, but better than a coin flip…

Alex
Alex
2 years ago

We’re getting ready to vote this evening, husband has a migraine that could stop a truck and my mother’s in surgery, so it’s a lot of tension here. I’ve been trying to avoid the news. My nerves can’t take it. We’re watching Question 3 in Massachusetts really closely — we’re both trans and we want to move up to Boston to be with our sister-by-choice, but if Question 3 goes bad, we have to rethink if it’ll be safe or not.

There’s something incredibly sick about putting the civil rights and safety of oppressed, marginalised people to a popular vote. But America is sick, frankly. And I don’t know if there is a cure coming. It’s been 200 years and the sickness mutates, but remains, a cancer at the country’s core.

Victorious Parasol
Victorious Parasol
2 years ago

Sharing my voting story from this morning.

Mr. Parasol and I went to the elementary school, arriving approximately 5 minutes after the polls opened. The parking lot was already packed. Mr. Parasol let me out at the main school drive so I could get in line, which was already out the door and halfway down the length of the school building.

I love voting at a school, because (as I told Mr. Parasol) part of being an adult is modeling good behavior for kids we don’t know. There was a young girl on the safety patrol who was just adorable – glasses, hair up in little puffs, taking her job very seriously – who said she couldn’t wait until she was old enough to vote. One of the supervising teachers said, “As soon as you’re 18, we’ll stand in line together!” The look on that girl’s face said it all – she’s ready to tackle the world with both hands, and heaven have mercy on anybody who gets in her way.

Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
2 years ago

@ Gaebolga:

My rules for no-info votes is 1) vote out the incumbent and 2) vote for the woman

hmmm… mine, too… great minds think alike…?

Rule #1 paid it’s way when I found out later that an incumbent I had voted against had given a local man a 5-month suspended sentence for the sexual assault of a 12-year-old….

Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
2 years ago

@doomcup: Canadian here, but my city recently held a municipal election.

Elections at the provincial (equivalent to your states) and federal level here are almost no-brainers: vote for the candidate who is most likely to defeat the Tory (equivalent to your Republicans in the time of Reagan, mostly, with a smattering of the more fascistic sort sprinkled in here and there). The tricky bit there being there are two other parties viable to win the seat, and once in a while an independent with a serious shot. Polling data is helpful to gauge which of these is going to win, if the Tory doesn’t, and of course polling data typically shows much of the non-Tory support shifting to one candidate in a snowball effect in the run-up to election day.

The municipal elections are different. In this one, there was a mayor and a whole council to vote on, rather than just one pariamentary representative; and no party affiliations, just names. The lawn signs often showed colors commonly associated with the parties at the provincial and national level, but since the municipal candidates don’t run as part of any particular party, I reasoned that these might be meaningless or even sometimes downright deceptive.

The voting format was: vote for mayor, a straight binary choice between the incumbent and a single challenger this time, and the council vote, which had twenty candidates vying for six seats, not particular ones for particular seats but as an undifferentiated pool. You could vote for up to six. The six out of the twenty who received the most votes would then form the council.

And there was next to no information. No ads (misleading though they might be) as there are for higher level elections, the lawn signs (as always) are just logos without policy position information, and no significant social media campaigning, in the sense that nothing related to the candidates “crossed my desk” without a proactive search.

Ultimately I had to draw up a text file with a good, bad, and “meh” list and hunt down information on the candidates, starting with a list of all their names. Few had websites. Some had platform or other information in local news coverage. Most had Facebook pages, and most of those had platform planks in a pinned post or something similarly useful.

The issues mentioned mostly related to parks and recreation, attracting businesses, and (of course) taxes, with a bit on transit and infrastructure. Housing affordability, probably the #1 issue for me and I would imagine for all low income voters, wasn’t mentioned in anyone’s platform. Housing wasn’t mentioned in any platform, save one, which just said something about intending to have a housing plan. Whether that plan would favor landowners or renters, or anything else about it? No clue.

Some were clearly bad choices: the ones who talked heavily about businesses, or about lowering or not-raising taxes, could be assumed to be fiscal conservatives, and therefore hostile to the interests of low-income residents. This included the challenger for the mayor, so the incumbent would be receiving my vote as the lefter of the two candidates. The challenger’s website made clear they were campaigning to the incumbent’s right. As for the bad choices for council they landed on the “no” column.

Some council candidates had made progressive noises on issues like accessibility of transit or of recreational facilities. Two — only two — were women, with one overlapping with the “made progressive noises” category and the other not having made overtly fiscally conservative noises. So both women ended up in the “yes” column. I did count being not-a-white-anglo-saxon-male as a plus, since I feel the representation on the council should match the diversity of residents, and also that not ticking all of the privilege checkboxes correlates with being more progressive, and moreover more open-minded and receptive to progressive messages or lessons from others.

In the end I wound up with a list of exactly six names in the “yes” column for council, which was convenient.

There was one problem left: there was no way I would be able to remember all of these names all the way to the voting booth, and I had my doubts about how they’d react if I took a paper of crib notes with me into it. There was a new online-voting option, though, which I could do right away if I wanted to, and I availed myself of that option so there’d be no problem with forgetting who to vote for.

The thing that concerned me the most, in the end, was that housing affordability doesn’t seem to even be on the radar around here, despite so many people paying half or more of their income in rent.

Gaebolga
Gaebolga
2 years ago

@Weird Eddie

Damn, that’s nauseating. Ruleset for the win on that one….

Gaebolga
Gaebolga
2 years ago

@Weird Eddie

Damn, that’s nauseating.

Ruleset for the win on that one…

Redsilkphoenix: Jetpack Vixen, Intergalactic Meanie
Redsilkphoenix: Jetpack Vixen, Intergalactic Meanie
2 years ago

This may sound like a dumb question, but are there places in the US that don’t have early / absentee voting set up? I was talking / reading over some comments in the cbox of a game I’m on, and a couple of players mentioned not having that option available to them. So is that a state by state thing, or did they just not look in the right spots for it?

Nequam
Nequam
2 years ago

My vote-by-mail ballot got to its destination last week. Had anxiety dreams of a particularly ridiculous sort which I suspect was my subconscious telling me that going stabbity is ultimately pointless.

Button
Button
2 years ago

@Redsilkphoenix : Voting in the US is handled by the states, not the federal government. One of those small-r republican things in the Constitution. So every state has its own voting infrastructure and voting rules.

This has led to weird things like women getting the right to vote in Wyoming all the way back in 1869, and refusing to accept statehood unless women were allowed to retain suffrage. (Brothels were primarily run by women at the time, and accumulated a lot of wealth out on the frontier, which made Madams major political players.)

Sbel
Sbel
2 years ago

@Redsilkphoenix

It’s state by state.

All states have some kind of absentee voting afaik, but some states make it hard to get, require you to swear that you’ll be out of the state for the day, or something like that.

Redsilkphoenix: Jetpack Vixen, Intergalactic Meanie
Redsilkphoenix: Jetpack Vixen, Intergalactic Meanie
2 years ago

@Sbel,

Thanks for the info. Where should someone ask about how the absentee/early voting works in their area, if they’re curious and need to know for their own reasons? County Courthouse?

@Button,

That bit about the madams is giving me story ideas.

>:)

Sbel
Sbel
2 years ago

I’m sure there are lists somewhere, but I’d just google state name + absentee voting.

Example, first result for connecticut absentee voting: https://portal.ct.gov/SOTS/Election-Services/Voter-Information/Absentee-Voting

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
2 years ago

@Gaebolga

My rules for no-info votes is 1) vote out the incumbent and 2) vote for the woman

I tend not to vote for people with roman numerals after their name, under the assumption that they come from a dynasty and are therefore less in touch with the needs of ordinary citizens.

Juniors are okay, but III and IV are pushing it.

Ooglyboggles
Ooglyboggles
2 years ago

For the love of all that is decent Orange County, my county, flip blue so we can move on from bullshit GOP policies.

Ooglyboggles
Ooglyboggles
2 years ago

@David Futrelle
Glad to hear that people went for the paper ballots. Oh stars this mid term is going to be nailbiting as hell for me ever since the 2016 elections kind of fucked up my perceptions of probability.

Sbel
Sbel
2 years ago

@ Surplus to Requirements

there was no way I would be able to remember all of these names all the way to the voting booth, and I had my doubts about how they’d react if I took a paper of crib notes with me into it.

I don’t know about Canada, but notes are allowed in Arizona, and afaik all of the US.

Some groups hand out papers so you can check off how you want to vote and then carry it with you so you remember. Some websites let you fill out a “ballot” and print it out to bring it with you for reference. https://www.ballotready.org/ is one.

My problem with ballotready is their site doesn’t include most of the judges on my ballot. And that’s the part I have the most trouble remembering, so… not very helpful to me.

Luckily for me I vote by mail so I just spread my notes across my desktop while I filled out the ballot.

Mikey
Mikey
2 years ago

Good luck and I hope for the best.

Red R. Lion
Red R. Lion
2 years ago

Ok I Loled.

sylviabath
sylviabath
2 years ago

@Ooglyboggles

Good luck! I don’t know which OC district you’re in but how the hell is Dana Rohrabacher still in office?

sylvia bath
sylvia bath
2 years ago

@Ooglyboggles

Omg good luck! Idk which OC district you’re in but how is Dana Rohrabacher still in office?

Ooglyboggles
Ooglyboggles
2 years ago

@sylvia bath
Officially in the 39th district. I’m just glad that Ed R Royce is gone. GOP mate, it does things to protect monsters like Dana aka the person who was special assistant to Ronald Reagan.

K.
K.
2 years ago

As an update from last night, I unfortunately can’t drink my bottle of wine tonight as I’m now stricken with a damn cold.

Time for TheraFlu!

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
2 years ago

As a french, I wish good luck to all american. Let’s hope the remote possibility that the Democrat get both the house and Senate !

There’s a local election soon in my city (the old Prime Minister who was elected here have resigned to try his luck in Spain, good riddance). It won’t be anywhere as tense however ; will the second in command of the incumbent is not my first pick, he is roughly equivalent to electing Hillary Clinton, aka not ideal but not horrible.

The other mainstream option is the candidat of our “supposedly left-wing but actually kind of authoritarian” guy, named Melenchon. I suspect it’s the main bullet to dodge in the election, and it’s nowhere as bad as a trumpite.

sylvia bath
sylvia bath
2 years ago

That’s where my grandparents live! They voted straight ticket Democratic & are praying for the district to flip too.

Ugh I hate this feeling so much. I’m trying to keep my expectations low so I can’t be disappointed

Ooglyboggles
Ooglyboggles
2 years ago

@sylvia bath
Same. Yes I get how the stats how that GOP voters have gone way down over the years, but at the same time we’re at best “leaning left” not “yes for sure we’re in the clear democrat county.”

Matthew Currie
Matthew Currie
2 years ago

As usual, voted here in rural Vermont – no worries, no challenges, no crowds, no hacking (paper ballots counted and recounted with care).

Not a terribly exciting race here. Bernie Sanders is running but he’s a shoo-in I think. Ditto I think Peter Welch, the Dem. representative. The most interesting part is probably the race for Governor, in which a ground-breaking transgender Democrat is running against one of the least objectionable Republicans around – anti-trump, pro gun control, pro environment. My wife and I couldn’t decide which way to vote. I was favoring the Democrat and she the Republican this morning, and when we voted I decided at the last minute to vote for the Republican and she the Democrat. Either one would make a decent governor, so no worries.

My expectations for the country at large are bleak and pessimistic. I see so much stupidity and bigotry going unchallenged by people who are apparently such fools that they are not enraged to be taken for such fools.

Iseult The Idle
Iseult The Idle
2 years ago

I voted by mail a couple of weeks ago. It’s by far the superior option, IMO. I can sit here with the cat and a glass of wine, my voter info pamphlet, the googles, etc.

The cat thought it was silly to have weighted “first choice – second choice – third choice” options for unopposed candidates, but I explained that guy is really pro-treats so we’ll just give him first choice and keep movin’.

It’s the California ballot initiatives that keep me on my toes. Anyone can get anything on the ballot if they can get the signatures (and if it’s a legal proposition. The initiative to divide California into multiple states got cut this year, since only Congress can do that). We usually end up with some pretty weird shit to decide.

Virginia Howard
Virginia Howard
2 years ago

Good luck to my American cousins, May the Cheese Doodle and his enablers get their power thwarted.

Yours in Canada.

Robert
Robert
2 years ago

I’ve already voted, so I went out this afternoon to the two closest polling places to thank the poll workers for all they’re doing today. They seemed to appreciate it.

Then I got a bottle of Bourbon*, just in case I need it for breakfast tomorrow.

*Well, Bourbon-adjacent.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

Just voted. Poured a big glass of wine.

And so my watch begins.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

1st flip of the night! NBC is calling VA for Jennifer Wexton, defeating Republican incumbent Comstock!

Ooglyboggles
Ooglyboggles
2 years ago

@weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
I wish I could drink with you. But I got an essay to write. Or at least attempt to get down by tomorrow at 3.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

Another flip. Shalala wins Florida 27. 2 down, 21 to go!

Moon Custafer
Moon Custafer
2 years ago

I had no alcohol in the house, so I got a half-size bottle of vodka and a little mini-bottle of Kraken Spiced Rum (spouse likes it in his coffee.) Tip— should you ever wish to feel younger, go to a liquor store and buy hard liquor in small bottles— you’ll be carded so fast your head will spin (I am a month shy of forty-four).

Ooglyboggles
Ooglyboggles
2 years ago

@weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
Great news.

EDIT: Even better for me the essay is actually due on the 14th of November. I can watch the elections with y’all with great anticipation.

https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2018-midterm-election-forecast/house/california/39/

Fuck shit why do I have to vote against a fellow asian on this? Oh yeah because she supported Royce and is GOP the fuck.

sylvia bath
sylvia bath
2 years ago

Fivethirtyeight looks terrible rn…

Ooglyboggles
Ooglyboggles
2 years ago

@sylvia bath
To be fair it’s probably because of so many people checking in right now for current updates on this horse race.

Aaron
Aaron
2 years ago

Fivethirtyeight looks terrible rn…

Yeah, on the whole early signs don’t look too great for the Democrats; as of now, Republicans are either matching or overperforming the polls. (I mean, things aren’t horrible, but as of now we’re seeing no real indication of a “blue wave.”) Still, it really is early: people forget this, but back in 2016 Trump wasn’t looking so hot at first either.

Dormousing_it
Dormousing_it
2 years ago

I voted at around 6:30 PM ET. There were only a few people there. I live in a rural county in Pennsylvania. I’m trying not to look at any election updates, because I wish to sleep tonight.

cornychips
cornychips
2 years ago

I can barely look at the results coming in. Im so sick to my stomach. I live in texas. Go Beto!!!!

F is for 'Fro'
F is for 'Fro'
2 years ago

I voted the weekend before last; Today I was cut off several times by various Brodozers either rushing to the polls or rushing home to watch Fox or whatever.

Currently checking in and out while riding my skateboard back and forth on the stony parts of the floor. It’s not pacing if I’m on wheels, right? …right?

Talonknife
Talonknife
2 years ago

I got my voting done last week (absentee ballot since I’m in college in another county.) Unfortunately, my hopes aren’t very high. West Virginia is a very red state and it’s highly unlikely to flip red. About the best I can hope for is to keep Patrick Morrissey out of the senator’s position. Unfortunately, Joe Manchin isn’t much better. I really wish he would just register Republican already and let us have a real Democrat option.

Owen
Owen
2 years ago

Bricking myself here in NY, too. Much too much like 2016 for comfort.

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