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Primary Voting Advice for Beginners - Somewhat TN Specific

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posted on Feb, 11 2016 @ 09:20 PM
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Needing advice about voting in a primary...mostly specific to Tennessee, but also some general questions.

So, I am not a first time voter in general, but I am deciding on whether I should vote in the primary.

I admit that I have never been involved in the process for a few reasons. First is that my excuse has been the arguably cynical view that the system is "rigged" anyway - either by direct manipulation of votes and districts or my the fact our choice is an illusion because they are all owned by the same "them." Maybe that is realistic or maybe I am just shirking my American responsibility. Second, as a new-ish voter, I never really had a passion for politics. This meant I never looked much further than the basic Candidate opinion pro/con decision and Election Day vote.

I knew the way that worked for the most part. I was at least not a person who thought it was a straight majority vote.

I don't like the tedious system we use, but now that I am looking into primary voting, I am shocked to find the regular election process is actually the simpler one!

I know they make it intentionally intimidating to keep voters away. That much is obvious. HERE is the simple explanation in our local paper. It makes it so much easier to understand! Or...not...especially when I get my "sample ballot" in the mail today...along with list after list of empty ballot spaces for districts, committeemen and committeewomen, a slew of other local offices, and about 95% of the spots are empty and say write in only and No Candidates Qualified.

To even further com!plicate this...this all only explains the GOP voting. I believe that I have no choice on who I can vote for outside the Dem. Party because I am registered as such. Rules say I may only vote within my party, so I guess I am out of luck should I decide not to vote Dem? I have honestly not decided, but now I guess my options are limited anyway.

So, I need some help.

1. Why should I vote in a primary? How does this affect the general election?
2. Are there any good, simple websites that give a better description of what I should expect the day of?
3. Is voting early different than voting on TN primary official day?
4. Am I required to choose in every category on a ballot or will leaving blanks void my ballot?
5. Why do I both choose a candidate AND delegates?
6. How closely should I research the delegates because I have to choose 14!
7. Why is there such a huge difference in the way the parties hold primaries?
8. Is it intimidating to have to openly declare your party - is there typically much scruitny? I have heard some bad experiences.


It isn't simple to me, and I know this is elementary to some people. I know it is my responsibility to have known this before now.

I am not really meaning to spark a debate. I just wanted to explain that I am looking for genuine help here. So, information from several viewpoints is welcome, but instead of really discussing the for WHOM should I vote, let's stick with the WHY/WHEN.

It may be too late to "care" in some opinions, but I feel compelled to fully follow through. Maybe it just seems a lot more important - all things in the current world political climate considered. I don't honestly expect my vote to matter at all, but inaction isn't getting any of us anywhere good right now. I feel better at least taking steps in the real world instead of endless, passive, pointless debate.

If anyone can help, thanks! (Not checked for grammar, spelling, and bad autocorrect!)




posted on Feb, 11 2016 @ 10:36 PM
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a reply to: BarefootInWinter


1. Why should I vote in a primary? How does this affect the general election?

It is part of the process...

The case of US presidential primary elections shows that voter turnout is far lower in primaries than the turnout in the ensuing general elections. This is due to the fact that it is mainly only the most dedicated and strongly committed party members who are interested in voting in primary elections. The low turnout in the US primary elections thus leads to an exaggerated influence of a small group of ideological voters. This then puts pressures on the party candidates to cater to the often more ideological and extreme positions of primary voters during the primary season and then emphasize more moderate positions to appeal to the more centrist general electorate during the election campaign following the party convention.

Furthermore, voter turnout is generally higher in primaries for the majority party, because the winner of that primary is said to have a better chance to win the general election. Hence, one can observe tactical voting tendencies to achieve the desired result for the political party preferred. Especially in states where the open primary system is applied, voters decide tactically in what primary election to vote to strengthen the position of their favorite candidate. For example, in southern states, one can note high voter turnout including conservative “Republican” votes in Democratic primaries. As a result, a conservative Democrat has been selected several times.



2. Are there any good, simple websites that give a better description of what I should expect the day of?

Rock The Vote


3. Is voting early different than voting on TN primary official day?

No,
www.tennessean.com...


4. Am I required to choose in every category on a ballot or will leaving blanks void my ballot?

Write yourself in!


5. Why do I both choose a candidate AND delegates?

I don't understand the ?


6. How closely should I research the delegates because I have to choose 14!


If the GOP delegate process seems a little confusing, just remember one thing: In the end, Tennessee’s 58 Republican presidential delegates will be awarded proportionately to candidates based on the candidates’ performance in the primary.
“The only thing that will determine how the delegates are allocated is who gets the most votes for president,” Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Ryan Haynes said.


“For your average voter, the delegate process does not matter,” Haynes said. “In a lot of ways, it’s kind of an inside baseball type deal. A lot of politico people support those delegate candidates, but your average voter doesn’t really need to worry about the delegates unless they see somebody they like.”



7. Why is there such a huge difference in the way the parties hold primaries?


The case of US presidential primary elections shows that voter turnout is far lower in primaries than the turnout in the ensuing general elections. This is due to the fact that it is mainly only the most dedicated and strongly committed party members who are interested in voting in primary elections. The low turnout in the US primary elections thus leads to an exaggerated influence of a small group of ideological voters. This then puts pressures on the party candidates to cater to the often more ideological and extreme positions of primary voters during the primary season and then emphasize more moderate positions to appeal to the more centrist general electorate during the election campaign following the party convention.

Furthermore, voter turnout is generally higher in primaries for the majority party, because the winner of that primary is said to have a better chance to win the general election. Hence, one can observe tactical voting tendencies to achieve the desired result for the political party preferred. Especially in states where the open primary system is applied, voters decide tactically in what primary election to vote to strengthen the position of their favorite candidate. For example, in southern states, one can note high voter turnout including conservative “Republican” votes in Democratic primaries. As a result, a conservative Democrat has been selected several times.



8. Is it intimidating to have to openly declare your party - is there typically much scruitny? I have heard some bad experiences.

Not to me.
Certification of Candidates
I hope some of the links help!



posted on Feb, 11 2016 @ 10:58 PM
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a reply to: TNMockingbird

I have some reading to do, thanks! I might ask a bit more when I get a chance to go through what you posted.

I think Dems do their delegates differently...and then there is the whole superdelegates thing. It seems like less voter input for D than R on that part...but if it doesn't matter so much, it just adds to the confusion or intimidation for inexperienced voters like me. I think that is by design to keep out some people.

Thanks again!



posted on Feb, 12 2016 @ 01:17 AM
link   

originally posted by: BarefootInWinter
Needing advice about voting in a primary...mostly specific to Tennessee, but also some general questions.

So, I am not a first time voter in general, but I am deciding on whether I should vote in the primary.

I admit that I have never been involved in the process for a few reasons. First is that my excuse has been the arguably cynical view that the system is "rigged" anyway - either by direct manipulation of votes and districts or my the fact our choice is an illusion because they are all owned by the same "them." Maybe that is realistic or maybe I am just shirking my American responsibility. Second, as a new-ish voter, I never really had a passion for politics. This meant I never looked much further than the basic Candidate opinion pro/con decision and Election Day vote.

I knew the way that worked for the most part. I was at least not a person who thought it was a straight majority vote.

I don't like the tedious system we use, but now that I am looking into primary voting, I am shocked to find the regular election process is actually the simpler one!

I know they make it intentionally intimidating to keep voters away. That much is obvious. HERE is the simple explanation in our local paper. It makes it so much easier to understand! Or...not...especially when I get my "sample ballot" in the mail today...along with list after list of empty ballot spaces for districts, committeemen and committeewomen, a slew of other local offices, and about 95% of the spots are empty and say write in only and No Candidates Qualified.

To even further com!plicate this...this all only explains the GOP voting. I believe that I have no choice on who I can vote for outside the Dem. Party because I am registered as such. Rules say I may only vote within my party, so I guess I am out of luck should I decide not to vote Dem? I have honestly not decided, but now I guess my options are limited anyway.

So, I need some help.

1. Why should I vote in a primary? How does this affect the general election?
2. Are there any good, simple websites that give a better description of what I should expect the day of?
3. Is voting early different than voting on TN primary official day?
4. Am I required to choose in every category on a ballot or will leaving blanks void my ballot?
5. Why do I both choose a candidate AND delegates?
6. How closely should I research the delegates because I have to choose 14!
7. Why is there such a huge difference in the way the parties hold primaries?
8. Is it intimidating to have to openly declare your party - is there typically much scruitny? I have heard some bad experiences.


It isn't simple to me, and I know this is elementary to some people. I know it is my responsibility to have known this before now.

I am not really meaning to spark a debate. I just wanted to explain that I am looking for genuine help here. So, information from several viewpoints is welcome, but instead of really discussing the for WHOM should I vote, let's stick with the WHY/WHEN.

It may be too late to "care" in some opinions, but I feel compelled to fully follow through. Maybe it just seems a lot more important - all things in the current world political climate considered. I don't honestly expect my vote to matter at all, but inaction isn't getting any of us anywhere good right now. I feel better at least taking steps in the real world instead of endless, passive, pointless debate.

If anyone can help, thanks! (Not checked for grammar, spelling, and bad autocorrect!)


The only reasons the politician parties and the politicians are put there is give you the illusion of choice and to keep you things you are still living in a democracy.

For many, they will swear until they are black and blue in the face, when in direct view of the worst of tyranny, that because they can still cast a secret (??) ballot, they therefore live in a democracy.



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