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Citizen Participation

Voter apathy an embarrassment

July 10, 2013

As we recently passed the 150th anniversary of West Virginia becoming the 35th state, a great deal has been written and spoken about the ideals that led to that memorable even....

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(32)

AaronS

Jul-10-13 12:20 AM

The religious right stayed home because they couldn't support a moderate. A large majority of moderate democrats stayed home because they cannot support a liberal. Young people stayed home because they just don't care.

And now comes the lie that West Virginias stayed home because they're by and large bigots.

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denver

Jul-10-13 5:31 AM

Maybe its because we didn't have a convicted criminal serving time in a Federal Correctional Institution in Texas, on the ballot last November?

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neocurmudgeon74

Jul-10-13 7:31 AM

The problem is broader than just the Presidential race. How many voters come out for meet-the-candidates events, or incumbents' "town hall" meetings? Are those who don't come getting as much information through other channels?

Important as the Presidential race is, we're not practicing democracy if we don't participate in down-ballot politics.

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AaronS

Jul-10-13 8:33 AM

But we are not practicing democracy Neo, or at least we shouldn't be. We are a Constitutional Republic, which is vastly different and I think part of the problem. We have evolved into a society in which the majority believes we are a democracy thus they get disenfranchised when a President is elected and his policies are not enacted without question.

We hear shouts of mandates, obstructionist, are inundated with polls showing what the people want and are subjected to leaders who go on national campaigns to force their policies on the opposing party. Barrack Obama is not the first to engage in this type of leadership, he just happens to be one of the better ones.

No matter how much you dislike the actions of the House and Senate Republicans, they are acting on behalf of the constituents who sent them to Washington and doing the job they were elected to do. We are not a monarch and no one man rules us. Perhaps if citizens would learn that, they would come to the polls.

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neocurmudgeon74

Jul-10-13 9:10 AM

I used some shorthand regarding the word "democracy". But aren't we basically making the same main point? Which is: pay more attention to down-ballot races.

& surely we agree that the Founding Fathers told us that the citizenry have to study the issues & vote accordingly, if the experiment is to succeed.

We're not entirely in agreement. I don't think members of Congress are acting on behalf of the constituents as much as you seem to think they do. Maybe if voters paid more attention to those races, that might change.

Whatever you call our system of government, it requires practice on the part of the citizens. So if the citizens don't practice how to make good choices in local government, I doubt their readiness to vote for higher offices.

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AaronS

Jul-10-13 9:38 AM

I agree that voters should pay more attention to down ballot races. In fact, I believe the most critical races are local, county and state. Far too often voters go in with no clue who the candidates are or what they stand for and vote the party. That's the biggest reason WV has been a one party state for so long.

I understood your shorthand. I used it to point out what I see as a fatal flaw in the perception of most voters. Far, far too many think we are a democracy, the winning candidate should rule and everyone else should get in line. Thankfully, we are not that type of nation.

I firmly believe Congress is acting more in line with their constituents than the President, who is out of touch. The further he goes left, the more ‘obstructionist’ I believe Congress should be. But then I’ve always felt that Congress has relinquished too much of their authority as it is they who govern this country, not the President, who is more of a figurehead.

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manydemocrats

Jul-10-13 10:08 AM

The majority of the people of West Virginia are poorly educated in their political beliefs and choices. As Denver noted in his post, the WV voters that voted for a convicted felon in a Texas prison, clearly proved the "backwoods hillbilly image" that the rest of the nation has of WV is very "TRUE". Bigotry, racism, ignorance, stupidity, and all of the other derogatory depictions of WV are alive and well. Is it any wonder that new industries or businesses are reluctant to move into this state. Here we are today in 2013, clinging to a dying industry of COAL,{a 19th century product} while the much of the rest of the nation is moving into the 21st century technologies. Much of our states population lives in poverty, dependent upon Federal subsidies to survive and yet we return the same politicians to office year after year. The same politicians that "DO NOTHING" but enhance their personal wealth or the wealth of the corporations that they work for.

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AaronS

Jul-10-13 10:31 AM

"…the WV voters that voted for a convicted felon in a Texas prison, clearly proved the "backwoods hillbilly image" that the rest of the nation has of WV is very "TRUE". Bigotry, racism, ignorance, stupidity, and all of the other derogatory depictions of WV are alive and well."

Interesting that no one noted that this vote occurred during the primary election, when individuals vote for the party they are affiliated with, thus the individuals md described above are reflective of the Democratic Party.

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manydemocrats

Jul-10-13 10:35 AM

I will predict that WV sadly, will remain mired in their ancient beliefs, political ignorance, religious bigotry, hate and racism. For example, Yesterday, in Fairmont, Coal Miners held a rally protesting PATRIOT COAL'S CROOKED bankruptcy tactics that eliminated the pensions and health care benefits of 10,000 miners. Yet many of these same STUPID miners will vote for the Candidates that take hundreds of thousands, {perhaps millions} of dollars from these coal MAGGOTS. Rightfully our politicians should work to remove these corporations ability to conduct business in this state and seize their assets if they don't honor their contracts. Instead, what will happen, is the politicians will negotiate with these rapist corporations for a less than fair settlement and then convince the stupid miners, of how they {the politicians} are their heros. THE RAPE OF WEST VIRGINIA ALWAYS HAS AND ALWAYS WILL CONTINUE....

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manydemocrats

Jul-10-13 10:41 AM

Aaron get off your political bandwagon and admit that regardless of which party, WV voters are MOSTLY STUPID IMBECILES. We have been historically RAPED by many, on both sides of the isle.

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neocurmudgeon74

Jul-10-13 11:17 AM

aisle

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AaronS

Jul-10-13 11:48 AM

I'm an Independent voter who studies the issues and candidates. I don't believe voting is a right,it's a responsibility and as such, would have no problem if a knowledge test were required to vote. I have no political bandwagon.

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SocialWorkRocks

Jul-10-13 1:38 PM

@ManyDemo: I know that many of the women that I work with who have survived sexual abuse and rape hate when people like you throw it around so carelessly. Try to show a little compassion.

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manydemocrats

Jul-10-13 4:08 PM

Social, RAPE: That term or word, is MILD if one considers my "actual opinion" of the abuses of power that many of political figures and corporations impose upon the uneducated, vulnerable and impoverished electorate, especially here in West Virginia. It's pathetic, but many of those persons that are literate and aware of those abuses, turn a blind eye and deny the horrendous acts of some political figures and their corporate BUDDIES. RAPE is an UGLY WORD, but it perfectly describes the conduct of many of the WV coal corporations and the political parasites that feed off them, to the detriment of us all. I refuse to bury my head UP MY *** and pretend it isn't so...

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RANDOM21

Jul-10-13 4:44 PM

Bury it deep in Obama's, now that's a entirely different and seemingly OK with many democrats.

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neocurmudgeon74

Jul-10-13 4:47 PM

AaronS, I would have no problem if an objective, relevant test of knowledge were required to vote. But how can either objectivity or relevance be assured?

It's much like re-districting after each Census. Modern computer processing, wielded by the incumbents, would probably impress Founding Father Elbridge Gerry more than our airplanes & TV.

Similarly, data-mining would probably stack the voter-testing process in favor of the party in power, against the opposition party & against any meaningful 3rd-party challenge.

2 qualifiers: I don't think WV has much of a redistricting problem, mainly b/c it's hard to gerrymander when you only have 3 Congressional Districts to work w/.

& I may have been too hard on Mr. Gerry.

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RANDOM21

Jul-10-13 5:00 PM

WV democrats showed their true colors when they were the ones that voted for the convicted felon in a Texas prison and not for unindicted co-conspirator residing temporarily in the White House. The liberal left thinks nothing of continuously stirring the pot but scream bloody murder when that pot boils over and burns their fingers. That's why they need "free" medical services so often. It's needed to tend to their burns. The pot has really been stirred as of late and is about to boil over once again. Never are they happy or satisfied with the way things are, they must stir the pot to achieve a nonexistent Nirvana built on hope. Hope and a dollar will get you a cup of so-so coffee but not much more. As long as low information voters still vote for many democrats, not much will change and little hope be had.

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AaronS

Jul-10-13 7:33 PM

We require a citizenship test perspective citizens, how hard can it be? It doesn't have to be overly complex or difficult. Incorporate general questions about your state and locality that are easily researched and give that to citizens. Make it available online and make it mandatory anytime someone registers to vote. If they want to vote, they'll study and pass the test.

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AaronS

Jul-10-13 7:33 PM

We require a citizenship test perspective citizens, how hard can it be? It doesn't have to be overly complex or difficult. Incorporate general questions about your state and locality that are easily researched and give that to citizens. Make it available online and make it mandatory anytime someone registers to vote. If they want to vote, they'll study and pass the test.

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RANDOM21

Jul-10-13 7:43 PM

Aaron: YYou're asking way too much for the average uninformed/low informational democrat voter. Study.........HA HA HA!

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AaronS

Jul-10-13 8:47 PM

I don't believe for a second that he low information voters are confined to the Democratic Party Random.

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Privatized

Jul-11-13 10:41 AM

On the subject of the Texas felon receiving votes:

I don't understand how so many missed the real point. The fact that he was on the ballot points to the flaws or loopholes in our voting system. ALL candidates should be fully vetted BEFORE being placed on the ballots. By law, the man couldn't cast a vote at all, but there he was, on the ballot. And he couldn't even vote for himself.

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Suttle

Jul-11-13 11:12 AM

When West Virginia voters supported a convicted felon for President, they forfeited their right to vote. No West Virginian should ever by allowed to vote again! West Virginians have proven themselves to be politically challenged and should be restrict from ever getting within a hundred feet of a polling booth. Even better, those West Virginians that vote for the incarcerated presidential candidate in Texas should move there since most of politicians in Texas are crooks.

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SocialWorkRocks

Jul-11-13 1:18 PM

@Demo: So much hate.... if you need someone to talk to just let me know. The anger you spew on all of these boards must come from something terrible in your past. There are good things out there everyday, you just have to look for them. Dont let this anger consume you.

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RANDOM21

Jul-11-13 9:53 PM

Suttle: hate to agree with you ,but I wish what you want would come to pass. Removing 40% of DEMOCRATS from WV voting would be a Godsend to this state. Keep up the good thoughts.

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