Posts Tagged "voting"

Imagine we are all in elementary school.

The teacher says that for recess, we will either play kickball or tag. Let’s all vote! The sport with the most votes wins and everybody will play that sport.

You don’t like kickball or tag. You’re having trouble deciding which you hate more. So you decide that you will write down the sport you really want to play: tennis. You bring your “tennis” vote up to the teacher.

Your teacher tallies up the votes. Kickball wins! We’re all going outside now to play kickball. Nobody will be playing tag. Nobody will be playing tennis. Or handball. Or basketball.

It’s kickball for everybody. You’re not excluded because you didn’t want kickball. You’re picked and you’re playing. If you don’t like how the kids in your class play kickball then maybe you should have voted for tag.

If kickball ends up not fun, telling people you voted for tennis won’t matter. You didn’t vote for tag so tag didn’t win. Kickball won partially because you voted for tennis. And maybe Susie voted for pickleball and Jimmy voted for Mickey Mouse. Oh, Jimmy.

Your vote ended up not counting. Your only REAL choices were kickball or tag. Any vote for anything else pretty much went to waste. Even if a few of you had voted for tennis, it wouldn’t have been enough to beat the kickball majority. After all, most of the class weren’t writing in random votes. They were voting for the one of the two choices they’re given.

You may not have taught the teacher anything. Next recess, the choices may still not include tennis. Voting for tennis may not have “sent a message” to the teacher that we should be playing tennis. The next vote will probably be kickball (today’s winner) vs dodgeball (a new challenger).

You will live in the country under the winner.

Your best chance at having your vote be a meaningful addition to the final count is to place it for one of the two viable candidates… or against the other candidate.

The easy part this election cycle is that each candidate stands for completely different things. Nearly direct opposites. While each is flawed, chances are that in the Venn Diagramme of policies, ideas, needs, and preferences, one candidate is more of an overlap to yours than the other candidate. Your stances on immigration, LGBT issues, abortion, minimum wage, taxes, and the economy might help clue you into which candidate better matches you.

Another helpful clue is: would you rather see a liberal-leaning judge added to the Supreme Court or a conservative-leaning judge? Your answer there tells you which President you want to vote for.

Vote for that person that best matches you, whoever it is, among the two key candidates who have a shot at winning. We’re not playing tennis. We’re playing kickball or tag, so you might as well pick one.

Your “Don’t Blame Me, I Voted For Ted Cruz/Bernie Sanders” bumper sticker won’t win you any friends and might even lose you friends. Judging by what my friends tell me, it’s already ending friendships and the election is 2 months away. The people who wanted Trump will know your Ted write-in helped Hillary get elected. The people who wanted Hillary will know your Bernie write-in helped Trump get elected.

President Hillary Clinton. President Donald Trump. One of those probably made you naturally react bigger than the other. You have your clues. Act on them!

Learn from the Nader votes years ago. What did we learn from them? Did we suddenly turn into an equal three party system? Nope. Was the Nader voice so loud that it changed how elections went? Nope. Bush narrowly beat Gore. Or did he.

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I’ve noticed something very strange during this Presidential campaign season. There seem to be many people who have chosen Romney because of his (latest) stance on one issue. Romney has flip flopped, but it sounds like in general, he’s against abortion. He might even want to outlaw it. My anti-abortion friends love this, and are happy to vote for him.

Well, what do you think about him on foreign policy? What do you think about Romney on other women’s issues like fair pay? Funding for PBS? Access to contraceptives (many of my anti-abortion friends seem to be OK with contraceptives being available to people)? Views on the military? How do you feel about Romney’s specific plans to fix the economy? How do you feel about Romney’s approach to health care? How do you feel about how many US companies he’s hurt while sending jobs overseas?

And given some of the wiggly stances and “Romnesia,” do you really know what you’re getting? In 2002, he was going to “protect” a woman’s right to choose. In 2005, he said he was Pro-Life. In 2007, he wanted Roe v. Wade overturned. In March 2012, he was ready to shut down Planned Parenthood and overturn Roe v. Wade. In early October 2012, he was claiming that he didn’t know of any agenda in his binder 🙂 that would push to limit abortion. He said he wants to make sure federal funds aren’t used for abortions. Source:

So you may not even be getting the gallon of milk you think you’re buying, abortion haters. Are you sure your vote to end abortion is going to the guy who will really end abortion? Because I’m listening to him, and I’m not so sure he’ll do that.

Which means that the best way to go is to look at ALL of the policies. Look at everything the person has said and plans to do. Make sure that you are voting for the policies you want in place. Romney is about SO much more than his flip-flopping on abortion. Make sure you like what he stands for because you don’t get to pick or choose. You get the whole package deal when you vote for it.

For a full disclaimer, I’m a more liberal person. I believe that people need choices. I believe that not everything has to go a certain way because it’s the way I believe. There are plenty of things I want or feel are morally right, but I do not want to see anybody’s choices legislated based on what I would prefer. I can imagine being you and wanting what you want, so I want you to have access to those things even if I’d never choose that.

That means I tend to be against candidates or the style of thinking that says, “We don’t like this that way. Therefore, let’s make it illegal or make people unable to get it that way.” I’m not going to marry someone of my gender and I’m not going to have an abortion (I’m also happily not going to ever have children). But I can imagine being someone who wants an abortion. I can imagine being a gay person wanting to be married. And I want those people to safely have those choices available to them, even if they’re things I wouldn’t choose for myself.

I’m Debbie Levitt, and I approve this message. Please don’t let your vote hinge on one issue. Please look at everything any candidate is saying he or she will fight for or against. Make sure that is the world you want to live in.

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Asking Friends for Contest Votes

Posted By on Aug 24, 2012

My startup, CheckInOn.Me, is part of a contest related to a pitch event. Like any hungry startup, I’m using Facebook and Twitter to try to get my friends to vote for us. Would you please vote for us? 🙂

I’m asking ever so nicely, but I found I wasn’t getting a lot of votes. I only keep about 200 Facebook friends (people I care about who I believe care about me), so it’s not like these are strangers. They know my startup is important to me and others. Why wasn’t I getting more votes? Why don’t I have 200 votes, one from each friend?

Two reasons. One was that you had to log in with Facebook to leave a vote. And I think you end up on a mailing list that you can easily take yourself off of. But some people don’t like logging in with Facebook or feeling like they are sharing that with an unknown company.

But I found something interesting. Each time I posted to Facebook asking people to please vote, I got maybe one or two votes. So I tried something different. I came up with small goals, and posted those. First I posted asking for “just a few votes” because that would really help. And I got 3 votes. I posted a few days later that I’d love to get 5 votes since that would move us into 7th place. I got 5 votes.

I wonder if people saw the competition, figured OH they’ll never beat the guy in first place, my vote won’t matter. But in this case, it does. The conference is evidently going to take the TEN companies who get the most votes, and let them pitch live. So I don’t need to come in first. First would be great, but seventh still gets me into the event and pitching.

I think when I created small, concrete goals like “I would love to get 5 votes,” it made people feel like hey, their vote really did help me and matter. When I asked people to just “please vote,” I got very little response. It’s been an interesting lesson in human behaviour. Small, concrete goals that make people feel like they are really helping.

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