So Why Didn’t More People Vote?

If you’re one of the nearly 126 million people who voted in this past election, give yourself a pat on the back. Unlike you, there are millions of people who didn’t participate in this election, which shouldn’t come as a surprise. Even in 2008, which had the highest voter turnout in decades, only 62% of eligible citizens voted. Compared to that year, 5 million fewer people voted in 2012 for a total of 93 million eligible citizens who did not vote.

When this figure is compared to those of other countries, the U.S. ranks quite poorly in voter turnout, ranking below the Dominican Republic and 120 other countries. When nations like Australia and Singapore can have regular turnouts of over 90%, why don’t more people in the U.S vote?

Read more…

The Elephant In The Room: Five Ways Republicans Can Get Elected Again

Neoconservatism is dead. Just four years after Bush/Cheney moved out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, we live in a country that has realigned its priorities in accordance with the greatest economic downturn since before your parents were born. Most Americans support gay marriage and think global warming is a serious threat; most Americans want the ultra-rich to cough a couple of bucks; pot legalization is now a viable revenue option; one in six senators is now a woman who wants to keep Roe v. Wade intact; and Americans rejected the idea that 47 percent of the country is a bunch of welfare queens. If they want to survive 2016, the Republicans need a modern-day political makeover.

Some people may not want to hear this. The phrase “Republican rule” conjures up bad memories of torture memos, “traditional families,” Jonathan Franzen novels and a government by, for and of Halliburton. We’re the ugly flower children of the Bush years – it’s only natural. But that notion of severing the opposition is undemocratic: One-party groupthink detracts us away from this idea that we can and should have choices. The Founding Fathers said so.

So, listen, Republicans: Want to get back in touch with the American people? Here’s what you’re going to have to do: Read more…

New Hampshire Chooses A Delegation Of X Chromosomes For The First Time

Tuesday’s General Election was the apex of a political frenzy lasting weeks on either side of voting. Now, it’s a matter of parsing through hundreds of state and local elections to see what the hell just happened.

Among the stories which emerged from Tuesday’s tallies comes this one from the prickly New England swing state of New Hampshire: for the first time, the “Live Free or Die” state selected an all-female delegation. Democrat Maggie Hassan replaces outgoing Democratic Governor John Lynch; Carol Shea-Porter reclaimed her House seat from 2010 Tea-Partier Frank Guinta; Democrat Ann Kuster booted GOP incumbent Charlie Bass from his House seat; finally, Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte remain in the Senate with four years left in their terms.

This makes New Hampshire the first state in history to elect a delegation composed entirely of women. Additionally, 80% of those women are members of the Democratic Party. Read more…

Gays Won The Election: A State By State Rundown

As we told you last month, four states had some kind of marriage equality issue on the ballot yesterday. Maine put marriage equality up to a popular vote, in order to reverse a referendum from 2009. Maryland and Washington passed  state laws earlier this year to legalize gay marriage, and the voters in those states were deciding to approve and uphold them, respectively. Minnesota voters had the option to change their state constitution to ban gay-marriage. Here are the results:

Question 1, the measure that would overturn a 2009 ban on gay marriage, was approved yesterday, with 53% of the votes. Equality Maine collected signatures over the summer and gained enough support to put the measure on the ballot. Maine’s historic measure was the first in the country to put gay marriage to a popular vote and win. Read more…

Don’t Break out the Cheetos Just Yet – Colorado and Washington Face Federal Challenges After Legalizing Pot

Hell hath no fury like a federal government scorned.

In a first for the nation, and in the wake of an election that saw tremendous victories for the liberal populace, Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize the recreational cultivation, sale, and possession of marijuana – a drug that the Obama administration still considers a schedule 1 controlled substance, and which they annually spend billions of dollars to fight against.

While Massachusetts joined 18 other states in passing legislation to allow for medical marijuana dispensaries by a landslide, and though Colorado and Washington passed their historic legislation by whopping margins of 6 percent and 10 percent respectively, a showdown with an unbending Department of Justice is imminent. Read more…

Yup, Obama Won, But Is It A Democrat’s Paradise Now?

Yup, Obama won. That was only one reason why last night was great for Democrats: two states legalized marijuana—making the United States the most liberal country in the world for drug laws, interestingly enough—and four states passed marriage equality laws. Multiple Republican candidates with bigoted views on rape and abortion lost. More on those later from our crack team of experts.

Some are calling this a mandate—that is, a thumbs-up for liberal policies across the country. But with the very narrow popular margins that the President eked out, a consensus isn’t a reality yet. (Noted conservative tabloid Drudge Report currently has a photo of the cracked Liberty Bell with the headline “Divided States of America.” It’s kind of brilliant, actually.)

This election was a victory for the President, but it was arguably more of a loss for Romney. The Republican Party did not have its electoral act together, losing ground and sacrificing solidity—which is something they’re usually quite good at—for sideshows. The party was disorganized, unprofessional, and alienating for the entire campaign. Romney, too, was never going to be the charismatic candidate that brought the party together. The GOP was counting on the electorate to shrug and say “yeah, fine, just as long as it’s not Obama.” That was never going to be enough. Read more…

NYU Student, Does Your Vote Matter? Not At All… But, Really, Yes

Tripping over your decision to vote is like losing your religion. The whole prospect of choosing a leader makes the Average Joe into a red, white and blue agnostic on the Big Day. Every four years in America, you question your individuality and faith in the Grand Scheme of Things and start to have these existential thoughts about your entire action and role in the American political experiment. Why should I vote? Does my vote even matter? Do I even matter? What am I? And how did get here?

And yes, we feel for you: In a dark blue state like New York, the game-time decision to participate in a presidential election can be a confusing one. You’re just a college student in the middle of the deathly liberal bastion that is New York City; who the hell is waiting to hear what you have to say? Well, we’re here to tell you the cold hard truth of the American electoral system: No one is taking you or your vote seriously. But that still means you should give it a try. Here are a few points/counterpoints to make you budge: Read more…

How You Will Vote In New York (TOMORROW!) [UPDATED]

Tomorrow is the day that vicious headlines and skewed polls take a backseat to real things like election results and electoral votes. Hurricane Sandy subsided in time to allow New Yorkers to get to the polls, while the State Board of Elections has allowed an extension on the deadline for absentee ballots to accommodate out-of-state voters.

For New Yorkers:

When voting in state, you may only vote in your designated voting station, determined by the address you wrote on your voter registration form. (UPDATE: The governor has said New Yorkers can vote anywhere in the state. How cool is that?) After arriving at your assigned Election District polling station, you will simply sign your name on the list of registered voters as a way of “signing in” before being given a voting card and being directed to a voting machine. A guide to which mystical voting machines await you at each polling station can be found here.

Polling locations open at 6:00 AM and close at 9:00 PM local time. For assistance or information, you can always call the New York State Voter phone bank at 1.866.VOTE.NYC. Read more…

You’d Think Voting Would Be Really Easy, But America Is Having Problems With It

Election Day is tomorrow, no matter what anyone else tries to tell you. And while the act of voting is uncomplicated, problems arise—especially in swing states, where campaigns pour in with millions of dollars in ads. In the days leading up to the election, citizens from numerous states have encountered obstacles in exercising their right to vote. Some problems, like those brought on by Hurricane Sandy, were nobody’s fault. Other problems, like voter registration cards having the wrong date listed for Election Day, are more suspicious. But in any case, any irregularity has the potential to deter someone from voting, depriving them of one of their rights. Has your state been affected by problems that restrict voting?

New Jersey Residents Can Vote By Email Or Fax
New Jersey officials announced Saturday that registered voters can vote electronically. Any New Jersey voter displaced from their primary residence because of the storm will be considered an “overseas voter” and can apply for an absentee ballot by email or fax as late as 5 p.m. on Election Day. If the voter’s county clerk approves their application, the voter will receive a “waiver of secrecy” and a ballot either by email or fax, which they must return by email or fax no later than 8 p.m. on Election Day. Read more…

A Prematurely Nostalgic Look Back At The 2012 Election

As New York rights itself after Sandy, we must return to normalcy on Monday with an inconvenient truth in mind: Election Day is upon us. The media orgasm from this strung-out narrative is finally about to climax. We did it – we made it to November without tearing our eyes out. Guys, we’re finally choosing a president on Tuesday! Act excited!

Needless to say, it’s been a path of trials, tribulations and trends, filled to the brim with enough overdone commentary to make anyone obsessively following this election scared shitless of 2016 (read: the national section at NYU Local and, hopefully, America). But that doesn’t mean there weren’t times over the past year or so when our hearts were warmed with classic political banter that made for some damn good memes. So it’s about that time, before Americans even head to the polls, that we step back for a second to remember what happened. How did we finally get here? Like your high school yearbook, we’re taking a trip down memory lane. Cue Vitamin C’s “Graduation” and hope for the best. Read more…