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Self-Test on How Our Vote Counts

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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: November 9, 2005
Latest Update: November 9, 2005

E-Mail Icon jeannecurran@habermas.org
takata@uwp.edu

Index of Topics on Site Self-Test on How Our Vote Counts

  1. If your candidate loses,does that mean your vote didn't count?

    Consider the difference between your vote being the deciding vote, in other words, the last vote cast that brought your candidate the number of votes he/she needed and your vote being one of the thousands that gave your candidate the majority he/she needed. If all of you who made up that majority had not voted for your candidate, he/she would have come up with no votes, which would have been much worse.

    Consider that if all of you who were trying to get an opposing candidate elected gave up and didn't vote, that would mean that the opposition would win by a land slide vote, 100% of the voters who voted, if there were only two candidates. So your vote counts, as in 2000, in which Bush needed Scalia to throw the Supreme Court to him. If so many of us had not voted for Gore, Bush would have won by a near land-slide of all those who voted. Get it? Our individual votes matter.

    Part of an ugly political game is to try to convince you that your vote doesn't count so that you'll stay away from the polls and they don't have to produce a vote of their own to counter every one of yours. Get it? Our individual votes matter.

  2. Last week I repeated a piece of information I had heard on KPFK, that the average turnout in special elections was 15 %, so that 71/2 % of voters would be enough to win on Schwarzenegger's four propostions. I didn't check the data. I just repeated what I heard. In Wednesday's analysis of the results I found references to the California Secretary of State's data on election turnout. What does this suggest about "trusting" what you hear without checking out the sources?

    Consider how easy this is to do when we're pressed for time. And then consider my embarassment when I finally did check. jeanne

  3. What was the voter turnout in Los Angeles County on November 8. 2005?

    County Status of Turnout . . . Backup


    Paul Duginski, Los Angeles Times
    Wednesday, November 9, 2005, at p. A 18

    What does voter turnout in special elections show over the years?

  4. State Map Showing Vote for and against Proposition 73 - Teenage Report to Parents before Abortion On Website of California Secretary of State. Interpret.

    Map of Vote Results for Proposition 73 from website of California Secretary of State

    The Map of Voter Results on Proposition 73 shows that the proposition was defeated primarily by coastal counties. Votes supporting the measure were found primarily in the inland counties. One plausible explanation for this pattern could be that the large metropolitan areas, where unionized workers comprise a large part of the working class, are more likely to recognize the dangers of teenage reactions to pregnancy when they do not feel that they can approach their parents with their dilemma.

    I made up that part about unionized workers comprising a large part of the working class. It is a plausible explanation, if it's true. You might look at the reference for labor union research I give for it. I don't have time to check it out right now, but it is important that we figure out why the coast votes so differently from the inland counties, and whether unions make a difference in that. jeanne

  5. Choose one of the Governor's four propositions and explain what the Map shows. Plagiarize, plagiarize, with quotes, of course. And be sure to admit it if you make up a fact the way I did. Good sociology, psychology, political science require solid and disciplined interpretation. Does the vote result follow the same pattern for each of these propositions? Recall our boxes and pattern recognition. jeanne

    Maps of Results of Voting by County -

    State Map Showing Vote for and against Proposition 74 - Teacher Tenure On Website of California Secretary of State.

    State Map Showing Vote for and against Proposition 75 - Union Spending on Politics On Website of California Secretary of State.

    State Map Showing Vote for and against Proposition 76 - Budget Control to Make the Governor King On Website of California Secretary of State.

    State Map Showing Vote for and against Proposition 77 - Redistricting by Retired Judges On Website of California Secretary of State.



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