SURVEY SAYS: Did You Vote?

November 4, 2010 ( - Tuesday, of course, was Election Day. 

This week, I asked readers if they voted – and if so, when and how.

The vast majority of this week’s respondents had, in fact voted (97%, in fact).

Among those who hadn’t, or tried to and couldn’t, were the following interesting explanations:

No because I am somehow registered in 3 states, except for the one I currently live in.

…but had trouble doing so as I was not on the roll

Became sick to my stomach yesterday afternoon (something to do with food, not the lack of qualified candidates)…

As for how they voted (now who), most (84.6%) did so in person, while about 8% did so via absentee ballot and the rest did so via mail.

As for when they voted, a plurality (44%) did so before work, just over a third (35.2%) did so after work, while the rest:

13.6% - via mail/absentee

 4.0% - during work (other than lunch hour)

 3.2% - during lunch


There were a fair number of verbatim comments – most disdainful of the plethora of negative ads, many disparaging of the media’s bias (“right” and “left”) in covering the candidates, and a mix of comments from folks who either weren’t happy with the Administration’s current approach, or with the possibility that it would now change.  Oh, and there was cynicism aplenty for politicians and the political process alike.

So, without reliving all of that bad feeling (though, as always, I appreciate your being willing to share it), here’s a sampling:

It's too bad politicians don't focus on what they can do to improve our government, rather than what the last guy didn't do or how poorly he didn't do it.

Just a dream, but it would sure be nice if campaigns didn't descend into contests of mud-slinging and extremism.  Maybe we need a rule that limits all campaigning to the 30 or 60 days leading up to the election.

Why does it seem that, in some contests, the decision to vote for one candidate or another rests on the determination of which one committed fewer felonies?

I'm sick to death of negative campaigning.  Tell me what YOU want to do.  I need a reason to vote FOR you, not against someone else. 

It's unfortunate that I know very little about what any candidate stands for, their positions, or policies.  I know a lot about what they say about the other guy

No more attack adds! So happy I won't receive more negative phone calls and listen to radio and TV ads that explain why the other candidate is such a bum. Is that a reason to vote for someone? The person you are voting for may be a bigger bum. I wish they spent more campaign money on explaining who they are rather than trying to slander their opponent. When I start seeing a lot of attack ads, I think desperation is setting in and seriously consider voting for the person being attacked.

Please stop the madness - no more screaming, lying and twisting the truth.  I would prefer that no television ads be allowed in the future.  We need to believe that compromising is ok and that winner takes all is not always good.

This whole election has crystalized for me the essence of what American politics has become, a sadly polarizing rather than a uniting process. We will never move in the right direction if we do not move together. We need to learn to talk and listen with each other, not shout rhetoric and line up behind the party leader. Maybe HR should run the country?

Kudos to New York for using new voting machines that made the whole process 10 times longer than it used to be.  Next year I'll have to vote via absentee ballot--it will be a lot quicker.

Voting good, elections okay, politicians bad.

But this week’s Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who said, “If my election choices are any indication of my "luck," I think it's safe to say that I won't be playing the lottery any time soon.”