## Why do people care about low voter turnout

Lies, damned lies, and statistics.
Nyarlathotep
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### Why do people care about low voter turnout

So, I have seen a lot of people complaining about how [insert bad/unwanted result here] was a result of low voter turnout. With the implication that if more people voted things would be different.

What I don't understand is how they come to that conclusion. What makes people think that if all the people who didn't vote did vote, that things would turn out at all differently, except the absolute numbers would be higher. For instance if you had 50% turnout and Candidate X was elected to office over Candidate Y with 1.1 million votes to 1 million votes, why do they suppose that getting the 50% who did NOT vote would do anything except make the results 2.2 million for Candidate X and 2 million for Candidate Y?

I suppose these people think this great silent majority is on their side, but what (other than wishful thinking) puts that idea in their head?
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Rob Lister
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### Re: Why do people care about low voter turnout

I suppose they think that those who do not care enough to vote would vote in their direction if forced.

Abdul Alhazred
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### Re: Why do people care about low voter turnout

I think it's somewhat akin to religious belief.
Any man writes a mission statement spends a night in the box.
-- our mission statement plappendale

Anaxagoras
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### Re: Why do people care about low voter turnout

Apparently in Australia they care enough to make voting mandatory. I think the penalty for not voting is a small fine or something, but it's the law.

I'm not sure why, but there it is. There are probably arguments though.
A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.
William Shakespeare

Doctor X
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### Re: Why do people care about low voter turnout

It is Sports Fan "if only" type of thinking. Yes, if all of those who "woulda" voted for your candidate did, while forgetting that all those who "woulda" voted for the other candidate would as well, YOU win!

There is some point for lower-tier races. This is an issue in California where, due to the open primaries, you can have two candidates of the same party run for, say, governor. A governor attracts more interest than congressman. So one of the fears was if two Democrats were to run this year, enough Republicans would stay home to affect close races for congressmen.

--J.D.
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"just like Doc X said." --gnome

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gnome
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### Re: Why do people care about low voter turnout

My reasoning is simple--the more people that vote, the broader the variety of opinions that need to be appealed to. A smaller group of voters is more efficiently manipulated.

If we can reduce it so that only irratonal, rage filled blowhards with knee-jerk opinions ever vote, then it's the easiest of all. Woo hoo!
"If fighting is sure to result in victory, then you must fight! Sun Tzu said that, and I'd say he knows a little bit more about fighting than you do, pal, because he invented it, and then he perfected it so that no living man could best him in the ring of honor. Then, he used his fight money to buy two of every animal on earth, and then he herded them onto a boat, and then he beat the crap out of every single one. And from that day forward any time a bunch of animals are together in one place it's called a zoo! (Beat) Unless it's a farm!"
--Soldier, TF2

Abdul Alhazred
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### Re: Why do people care about low voter turnout

I would say there are otherwise sensible people who nevertheless think a faction of the ruling class is on their side.
Any man writes a mission statement spends a night in the box.
-- our mission statement plappendale

Grammatron
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Location: Los Angeles, CA

### Re: Why do people care about low voter turnout

gnome wrote:My reasoning is simple--the more people that vote, the broader the variety of opinions that need to be appealed to. A smaller group of voters is more efficiently manipulated.

If we can reduce it so that only irratonal, rage filled blowhards with knee-jerk opinions ever vote, then it's the easiest of all. Woo hoo!
Agreed.

Giz
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Location: UK

### Re: Why do people care about low voter turnout

I think that it is a, somewhat true, meme for the left as;

- older people are more likely to vote (and tend rightwards)
- young people, minorities and poor people are less likely to vote (and tend leftwards)

So for a left leaning candidate, it makes sense to try and get a bigger turnout (because all the old fogies are already turning out to vote, so the “extra” voters will most likely be left voting young/poor)

Mentat
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### Re: Why do people care about low voter turnout

And the meme of the right is to actively discourage voter turnout, to gerrymander, and to kill and terrorize a couple folks here and there to keep the rest in line.
It's "pea-can", man.

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Doctor X
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### Re: Why do people care about low voter turnout

Nyarl?! Did you leave the lid off again?!

I seem to recall much of the intimidation came from . . . the Left.

People being "killed?" That was a favorite tactic of the rather Pro-Democrat KKK back in the day.

Perhaps that was Ruskie Fake News.

In the rain.

--J.D.
Mob of the Mean: Free beanie, cattle-prod and Charley Fan Club!
"Doctor X is just treating you the way he treats everyone--as subhuman crap too dumb to breathe in after you breathe out."--Don
DocX: FTW.--sparks
"Doctor X wins again."--Pyrrho
"Never sorry to make a racist Fucktard cry."--His Humble MagNIfIcence
"It was the criticisms of Doc X, actually, that let me see more clearly how far the hypocrisy had gone."--clarsct
"I'd leave it up to Doctor X who has been a benevolent tyrant so far."--Grammatron
"Indeed you are a river to your people.
Shit. That's going to end up in your sig."--Pyrrho
"Try a twelve step program and accept Doctor X as your High Power."--asthmatic camel
"just like Doc X said." --gnome

WS CHAMPIONS X4!!!! NBA CHAMPIONS!! Stanley Cup! SB CHAMPIONS X5!!!!!

Mentat
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### Re: Why do people care about low voter turnout

And they you have the pathological case of the right who do not personally care for such extremes, but still want it normalized so they can make their ridiculous claim of being centrist when the overton's window is shifted to the extreme.

To them, the treats and acts of violence is just a means to their twisted end, and they can fuck off with the rest of their sicko pals.
It's "pea-can", man.

Lapis Sells . . . But Who's Buying?

Giz
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Location: UK

### Re: Why do people care about low voter turnout

What are their treats? The tax cuts?

Doctor X
Posts: 68238
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2004 8:09 pm
Title: Collective Messiah

### Re: Why do people care about low voter turnout

So, no evidence to support the partisan temper-tantrum?

Just . . . more temper-tantrum?

--J.D.
Mob of the Mean: Free beanie, cattle-prod and Charley Fan Club!
"Doctor X is just treating you the way he treats everyone--as subhuman crap too dumb to breathe in after you breathe out."--Don
DocX: FTW.--sparks
"Doctor X wins again."--Pyrrho
"Never sorry to make a racist Fucktard cry."--His Humble MagNIfIcence
"It was the criticisms of Doc X, actually, that let me see more clearly how far the hypocrisy had gone."--clarsct
"I'd leave it up to Doctor X who has been a benevolent tyrant so far."--Grammatron
"Indeed you are a river to your people.
Shit. That's going to end up in your sig."--Pyrrho
"Try a twelve step program and accept Doctor X as your High Power."--asthmatic camel
"just like Doc X said." --gnome

WS CHAMPIONS X4!!!! NBA CHAMPIONS!! Stanley Cup! SB CHAMPIONS X5!!!!!

Mentat
Posts: 10271
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2007 11:00 pm
Location: Hangar 18

### Re: Why do people care about low voter turnout

You mean like the violence our resident expert Thug Apologist loves to defend?
It's "pea-can", man.

Lapis Sells . . . But Who's Buying?

Giz
Posts: 1467
Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2004 5:07 pm
Location: UK

### Re: Why do people care about low voter turnout

Thug apologist (don't know if he posts here):
6444612.jpg
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Doctor X
Posts: 68238
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2004 8:09 pm
Title: Collective Messiah

### Re: Why do people care about low voter turnout

As is this guy:

sadly. Best part of the whole worthless film.

So all of that "killing" and "violence" claimed was just . . . "a lot of nuthin'?"

Valiant Thugge Fighter

--J.D.
Mob of the Mean: Free beanie, cattle-prod and Charley Fan Club!
"Doctor X is just treating you the way he treats everyone--as subhuman crap too dumb to breathe in after you breathe out."--Don
DocX: FTW.--sparks
"Doctor X wins again."--Pyrrho
"Never sorry to make a racist Fucktard cry."--His Humble MagNIfIcence
"It was the criticisms of Doc X, actually, that let me see more clearly how far the hypocrisy had gone."--clarsct
"I'd leave it up to Doctor X who has been a benevolent tyrant so far."--Grammatron
"Indeed you are a river to your people.
Shit. That's going to end up in your sig."--Pyrrho
"Try a twelve step program and accept Doctor X as your High Power."--asthmatic camel
"just like Doc X said." --gnome

WS CHAMPIONS X4!!!! NBA CHAMPIONS!! Stanley Cup! SB CHAMPIONS X5!!!!!

Mentat
Posts: 10271
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2007 11:00 pm
Location: Hangar 18

### Re: Why do people care about low voter turnout

I will not buy this record, it is scratched.
It's "pea-can", man.

Lapis Sells . . . But Who's Buying?

RCC: Act II
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Joined: Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:56 am

### Re: Why do people care about low voter turnout

Nyarlathotep wrote:So, I have seen a lot of people complaining about how [insert bad/unwanted result here] was a result of low voter turnout. With the implication that if more people voted things would be different.

What I don't understand is how they come to that conclusion. What makes people think that if all the people who didn't vote did vote, that things would turn out at all differently, except the absolute numbers would be higher. For instance if you had 50% turnout and Candidate X was elected to office over Candidate Y with 1.1 million votes to 1 million votes, why do they suppose that getting the 50% who did NOT vote would do anything except make the results 2.2 million for Candidate X and 2 million for Candidate Y?

I suppose these people think this great silent majority is on their side, but what (other than wishful thinking) puts that idea in their head?
Data suggests that high turnout tends to benefit liberal causes, but the effect is probably not as great as some would imagine.

The important question is whether vote turnout is being affected by policies that are not demographically uniform. When it isn't, greater turnout will favor the side whose participation the policy currently affects.

If you charge $100 to vote, and one year turnout is unusually high, it means the extra voters are those that this time decided that$100 was worth paying to vote. If that subset of people favor policies that favor the less affluent, then candidates that favor those policies will benefit.

This is generally why you have one party wanting to expand access to the ballot as being essential to protect democracy, and the other advocating additional obstacles to ballot access meant to reduce fraud as essential to protect democracy.

Nyarlathotep
Posts: 47933
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2004 2:50 pm

### Re: Why do people care about low voter turnout

That makes sense in combination with the argument above that higher turnout is to the benefit of demographics that usually have lower turn out, and by extension that the side which those demographics favor would benefit.

What I wonder, in that case, is whether that effect is really enough to turn major elections. I dunno.
Bango Skank Awaits The Crimson King!