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#1 Edited by Max_Cherry (1572 posts) -

I am determined to vote this year. I was going to vote Democrat, but these Green Party candidates sound a lot better. However, I remember how this line of thought with voting for Ralph Nader back in 2000 cost Gore the election. But, even if even if I do vote for a Green Party candidates and they lose, It should send a message that the Democrats should adopt their platform. What should I do?

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#2 Edited by cmblasko (2895 posts) -

Go for it. Vote for the candidate that most aligns with your values, even if they are only going to get 1% of the vote. If that 1% costs a party the election then it is up to them to change their platform in a way that gets them the votes they need for next time.

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#3 Posted by someoneproud (448 posts) -

I second this sentiment, vote for the party/candidate you'd like to see win.

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#4 Posted by Shaunage (933 posts) -

Vote for someone who can win.

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#5 Edited by BBAlpert (2884 posts) -

Normally I'd agree with cmblasko, but to be honest I feel like there's too much riding on this one to do a "send a message" vote. This isn't an "oh well, better luck next time" year if the election goes sideways, this is a "some people might not survive to see the next election" year if things go bad.

Edit: And I'm not saying the Democrats are great. Hell, most of the time I'm not even convinced they're good. But there's shitty and ineffectual and then there's fucking evil, and the margins are way too narrow to both sides this one.

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#6 Posted by YoThatLimp (2475 posts) -

@bbalpert said:

Normally I'd agree with cmblasko, but to be honest I feel like there's too much riding on this one to do a "send a message" vote. This isn't an "oh well, better luck next time" year if the election goes sideways, this is a "some people might not survive to see the next election" year.

This.

Vote with your heart during the primaries, and be pragmatic during the actual election season. Elections have consequences and these things are too important to squander.

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#7 Edited by shivermetimbers (1674 posts) -

I don't know much about the Green Party, but you seem willing enough. I can't vote for you.

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#8 Edited by shivermetimbers (1674 posts) -

@yothatlimp said:
@bbalpert said:

Normally I'd agree with cmblasko, but to be honest I feel like there's too much riding on this one to do a "send a message" vote. This isn't an "oh well, better luck next time" year if the election goes sideways, this is a "some people might not survive to see the next election" year.

This.

Vote with your heart during the primaries, and be pragmatic during the actual election season. Elections have consequences and these things are too important to squander.

I'd also tend to agree. Voting is not like dating and you should go for someone who has a chance of winning rather than pick the one who suits your personal needs better. It sucks to think of it that way, but yeah.

You can organize and see if you can make Dems adopt what you'd like from the Green Party. That's the best I got for ya. But like I said before, can't vote for you.

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#9 Edited by frytup (1232 posts) -

Symbolic votes are a waste. At this point, it's vote for the party that's going to do the least damage to things you actually care about.

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#10 Posted by Milkman (19249 posts) -

I’m Pokémon going to the polls in about half an hour and I’m considering doing the same thing, at least in the governor race. I have zero interest in adding another vote to Cuomo’s totals when he’s already a virtual lock to get re-elected. If you lived in a state with a competitive race like Georgia or Florida or Texas, I would recommend being more pragmatic with your vote. But here in New York, almost all the elections are already decided. I would recommend doing some research first though. See how close the races actually are or if there’s any Republican held seats in your district that can possibly be flipped. I live in an extremely blue area but I know I have one incumbent Republican in my district that I would like to see voted out.

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#11 Edited by BonOrbitz (2615 posts) -

@frytup said:

Symbolic votes are a waste. At this point, it's vote for the party that's going to do the least damage to things you actually care about.

Absolutely this. Before 2016 I was all for for third party and independent voting, but I've seen that it caused too much damage to the only party that can actually put a stop to what's happening in the US.

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#12 Posted by SquirrelGOD (596 posts) -

Vote for whoever has earned your vote.

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#13 Posted by Efesell (4261 posts) -

Honestly I feel like times are a bit trying to be sending messages, better to vote on something that has an actual chance.

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#14 Edited by RalphMoustaccio (262 posts) -

Keep in mind that while any choices you make are, of course, yours, the consequences of those choices when it comes to voting land on everyone. As such, I think it's critical to vote in such a way that the person/party/policy that has the highest chance of impacting the world, people, etc. around you most in the way you would like to see happen, wins. Or, at the very least, vote in a way that the person/party/policy that has the potential to cause the most harm, loses. This doesn't always mean voting for the ideal candidate based on their policy positions alone.

You have self-identified as a person with some degree of liberal beliefs, and if there is any chance that you live in a state (edit: just noticed you're in NY, so change that to district) that has a close election between a Democratic candidate who may be less-than-ideal and a Republican candidate who has effectively aligned themselves with a group that is bent on making as many people's lives as miserable as possible, you should not vote for a third-party candidate. Elect the person who has the best chance of doing some good, and work to improve their positions, don't potentially throw people's lives to the wolves.

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#15 Edited by Max_Cherry (1572 posts) -

Thank you guys for all the advice. I think I’ll vote Democrat for senate and congress, but I’ll vote Green for state positions like governor and comptroller. What’s the worst that could happen?

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#16 Posted by BladedEdge (1310 posts) -

@max_cherry:

I mean, the worst that could happen depends on how you feel about the Republicans winning the elections you vote for the Green party in. Your still well within your right to vote for them, but since you asked that is the answer you'll get.

Governor's and state officials in general are, in 2020 and 2021 (years the Governor your voting in will be in power) going to re-work the congressional lines. There is a real feeling on the Democrats side that during the last cycle (2010-2011) that the Republican party, through its widely held state-power, rework the House of Representatives maps, State by state, to make it a lot easy for them to hold. (Gerrymandering). If you look at the total of people who voted Red or Blue and estimate what the House should look like, vs what it does, this is pretty clear.

Other offices state-wide hold enormous influence in their specialized area, for your specific state. Sometimes, this is not political, sometimes it is. Your Attorney General either will or won't be on the list of people suing to over-turn Obamacare based on their politics, say.

The worst thing that can happen then, is that people who disagree with you (if they do) will have power and do things you disapprove of.

Also, as others have said. This really sucks. America's two party system is not ideal for people in your position. Its not ideal for a lot of people, say the Republicans in a deep blue state or the Democrats in a deep red state. It is what it is though.

No one should tell you how to vote. But hey, hearing what other people think about what voting one way or another means is the search too educate and enlighten yourself. The more information you gather the better IMO. The best piece of advice I've got is don't take anyone (even my) word for it alone. Your fully capable of finding different opinions on these issues from reputable sources if you wish to consider those before making a choice yourself.

Also horray on deciding to vote!

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#17 Edited by NTM (11542 posts) -

Write yourself in for fun (you seem to know what you want to do, so I joke).

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#18 Posted by Asmo917 (821 posts) -

@bladededge@max_cherry: The other thing to keep in mind is that we're talking about NY state here. Cuomo is going to win the governorship, so this is one area where I'd strongly urge voting for the candidate you most believe in in order to show that these positions, while safe for now, are far from guaranteed. And fight like hell in the next primary for a candidate that you truly believe in, even if they're not perfect.

I've cast some votes I've 100% hated because I knew that failing to do so in a close race would result in a worse outcome. It sucks, but the system we have today until we manage to band together and break it.

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#19 Posted by BladedEdge (1310 posts) -

@asmo917: Yup, where your voting and the likelihood of the race going one way or another is another factor that (sadly) if you want to really influence things, (if you can) you have to consider.

Like, I'm in Oklahoma. We are a deep red state and I have deep doubts any of the Democrats I voted for today are going to win. But, I've voted in every election I could since I was able to vote (minus a very few local school-board members). I've always voted Democratic..and I've never voted for a winning candidate on the State level (that I remember). Likewise nationally. I've never been able to vote a Democrat/someone I support into national office. I've certainly voted for the Presidential winner, but since we have an electoral college my vote did absolutely nothing to help them win.

Yet despite all that, I still vote, and will continue to do so. Because, to me, its important that I did so. I like having a political opinion and, in the right place, expressing it. I feel that if I don't vote, I don't have much ground to stand on to be critical of policies/government officials I disagree with.

You could absolutely say that I should have just stayed home all those times I voted, for all the good it did me. That I should never bother voting for President since my vote is completely futile and worthless. But, even so, I vote. I vote knowing all of that.

That to me is the crux of the whole thing. Be fully informed, understand what your vote can and can not do, then make up your mind. Sometimes that means holding your nose and voting for 'not this guy" sometimes that means voting just because it means something to you.

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#20 Posted by DocHaus (2755 posts) -

It's New York, Cuomo sucks but he'll probably win anyway. Go for it.

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#21 Posted by kcin (1000 posts) -

no

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#22 Posted by Octaslash (765 posts) -

I’m now remember every idiot who voted for Jill Stein because they thought Hilary was a shoe-in for president.

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#23 Posted by Milkman (19249 posts) -

@octaslash: Hey there. Jill Stein voting idiot here, checking in. (Hilary still won my state.) Relitigating the 2016 election is just about the most useless thing to do today but may I suggest nominating a less detestable war mongering corporate boot licker next time you want to win an election? Might be easier than blaming third party voters.

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#24 Posted by Octaslash (765 posts) -

@milkman: May I suggest voting for someone who can win instead of throwing your vote away on a dim witted, anti-science moron? I’m pretty sure minorties and queer people don’t give a fuck about why chose not to vote against the current president.

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#25 Edited by SethMode (1876 posts) -

I feel more inclined to ask why you phrased it "determined to vote" than who you are voting for. It makes me worry, what with the amount of suppression going on, that something was preventing you from doing it before.

I dont mean to offend here or finger point if you haven't, that was just what leapt out to me given the current climate.

Other than that, I would tend to side with the people that say vote the candidate closest to your values that has a shot. Our two party system is a bit of a dumpster fire but you're fixing nothing by voting for people with zero chance.

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#26 Posted by Nethlem (774 posts) -

Isn't pretty much every election where "you should vote for the one that has a chance to win"? When Bush Jr. was president that was already a thing, then with Obama in a reverse way from the Republicans, and now with Trump the same again.

No wonder third parties can't gain any real traction in the US.

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#27 Posted by StriderNo9 (1343 posts) -

Don't throw away your vote. Not today. I'm in NY also, keeping a Republican out is better than getting a Dem in.

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#28 Edited by Milkman (19249 posts) -

@octaslash: She did win my state. How is “throwing away my vote” any different than just adding another undeserved and meaningless tally onto what was already an overwhelming electoral victory in my state? If I lived in a swing state, would I have held my nose and voted for Clinton? Yeah, I would have. But it’s hard for me to get too angry at people who did vote third party in those states when they’re presented with these options. Focus that anger on people who actually deserve it like the incompetent morons of the Democratic Party who lost a election to a senile reality TV host.

@nethlem this is extremely true. Every election you hear the same rhetoric. “I know the two party system is bad but things are too important right now to do anything about it.” Sounds a lot like anti-gun control people after a mass shooting. It’s never the “right time.”

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#29 Posted by Octaslash (765 posts) -

@milkman: Fair point. I am just used to yelling at my friends in Florida who did that.

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#30 Posted by SethMode (1876 posts) -

@milkman: To be fair though, it's just as less likely that a third party candidate will enact any real change either. Not excusing it but like, it's literally the way our government is designed to work.

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#31 Edited by frytup (1232 posts) -

Eh. I'm pretty unconvinced Bernie would have done any better. He would have just turned off a slightly different but probably even larger group of swing voters.

I'll happily agree, though, that it's pretty pathetic all the party could come up with was an ancient crank, a dynastic machine politician with the charisma of a rock, or... maybe Joe Biden?

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#32 Posted by Rejizzle (1070 posts) -

Vote for whomever you want, but keep it a secret otherwise it won't come true.

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#33 Posted by sammo21 (5958 posts) -

Anyone who tells you that you are wasting your vote because of who you are voting for is objectively an a-hole.

Vote for who you want to support and if you have moral objections against voting or if you don't support any of the people on the ticket then stay home. Anyone telling you that you have to vote, or need to vote, is also wrong.

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#34 Edited by Jaalmo (1744 posts) -

Everyone just said, "go vote", they did not say whom to vote for… *wink*

Here’s what I think. In any other situation, I would say vote for the party that is closest to your principles or simply don't vote, either is a valid option. However, this is a very unique situation. Despite what you think of the Democrats and the current state of politics, Trump is clearly a loon that needs to be stopped. And stopping him won't just benefit America, but the world. Do whatever it takes to destabilise his power and then go back to your usual business.

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#35 Edited by nophilip (680 posts) -

The absolute shitshow that was the 2016 US elections have probably turned me into a 3rd party voter for life.

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#36 Posted by TheFlamingo352 (332 posts) -

I have a friend from Australia that told me there you can cast multiple votes, one for your absolute favourite candidate, and another secondary vote for a major party. If your first candidate gets like a really small percentage of votes that vote is nullified and then your second vote is counted instead (I think). I have no idea the specifics, or whether it's an effective system, but it sounds like a pretty smart solution to your question.

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#37 Posted by deckard (332 posts) -

As someone who had their first presidential vote be for Ralph Nader in 2000 and have regretted it ever since, I would advise against it. But hey, you do you.

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#38 Posted by Max_Cherry (1572 posts) -

@dochaus: Yeah I voted for the Green Party candidate for the NY governor’s position.

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#39 Edited by Max_Cherry (1572 posts) -

Ok. I voted! I voted for the Green Party candidates where I could (especially against Cuomo), but,otherwise, I voted for the Democrats.

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#40 Posted by Wandrecanada (1008 posts) -

You should vote as you like but in a first past the post system you must recognize that any vote for a candidate that isn't in the top 2 will behave as a spoiled ballot.

If you want a video explaining how voting strategically is important check out the CGP Grey video.

Loading Video...

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#41 Posted by Max_Cherry (1572 posts) -

Please, if you haven’t already GO VOTE!

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#42 Posted by Milijango (203 posts) -

@theflamingo352: Yup, we use a single transferable vote where voters simply order candidates from most to least preferred. If no candidate receives an outright majority of votes, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated and anyone who voted for them has their vote redistributed to their second preference. Then you keep eliminating the next least popular candidate until someone reaches majority.

While it hasn't completely eliminated strategic voting (the system can get touchy when there are 3+ parties who are very close in the numbers) I think it's a great system that lets you support small parties or independents without feeling like you're gambling.

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#43 Posted by jchenderson (146 posts) -

Latest Radiolab episode is a great piece on preferential voting.

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#44 Posted by nutter (1815 posts) -

Vote how you want. If you actually want to support someone and aren’t just voting for the lesser evil, that’s great.

It’s few and far between, the chances I have to vote without pinching my nose.

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#45 Posted by SethMode (1876 posts) -

@theflamingo352: Yup, we use a single transferable vote where voters simply order candidates from most to least preferred. If no candidate receives an outright majority of votes, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated and anyone who voted for them has their vote redistributed to their second preference. Then you keep eliminating the next least popular candidate until someone reaches majority.

While it hasn't completely eliminated strategic voting (the system can get touchy when there are 3+ parties who are very close in the numbers) I think it's a great system that lets you support small parties or independents without feeling like you're gambling.

If the US could dig its way out of it's own ass, this seems like a really great system.