voting when traveling/living elsewhere (1 Viewer)

ali

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Something i have pondered a lot over the years is if i should vote.

For most of my life, i have not been registered to vote anywhere. This is because i left the country of my birth as a child, so never registered there on turning 18. I was never a citizen of anywhere else until i moved to Canada. But shortly after i got my Canadian citizenship, i moved again, so haven't voted there either.

A few years back i did vote for the first time in my life, in a local election in Berlin, where they allow city residents (even if they are not citizens) to vote. I voted for a fringe candidate that had no chance of winning, because i figured for the first time i voted i'd at least like to get my real opinion recorded.

Now i am back in Canada again, i have been thinking of finally registering. It's not because there is an election coming up, but thanks to the American election pretty much all the media everywhere keeps talking about voting, so it's on my mind.

Anyway, my question for folks here is how do you feel about voting while away from your "home" address? Are you registered in whatever state of your driver's license or your friend's house where your mail goes? Do you only vote on certain levels (e.g. national) and not on others (e.g. local)? I can understand not wanting to vote at all as a drifter, since that's how i've lived most of my life, but do some people still do it anyway? I did find some 10-year-old threads about this, but i wonder if people's opinons have changed.
 
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MFB

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This will be unpopular here amongst all you political go-getters...

I've never voted nor will I ever.

You know the difference between a democracy and a dictatorship?
In a democracy you vote, and then take orders.
In a dictatorship you don't have to waste your time voting.

If voting could actually change things; it would be illegal. ;)
 

ali

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@starfarer not everyone has to vote in Australia! I lived there for many years and was not eligible due to not holding Australian citizenship. This is actually one of the reasons i am kind of down on voting - i have lived, worked, paid taxes and contributed to lots of communities in my life, but (except for Berlin) i was always disenfranchised due to an accident of birth.

@MFB i'm not entirely as cynical as you, in the sense that i think voting at least succeeds in creating a formal record of your political opinion, even if your chosen candidate does not win (or does win and doesn't change anything). I guess you could look at it like... better to have that opinion recorded than to just be lost in the whatever percent of people who didn't show up at all.

On the other hand, i still struggle with the fact that lots of people in the community - both immigrants/travelers like me, and other folks (teenagers, felons, people without ID etc) - don't get the opportunity regardless.

Still, having spent a few years living in a dictatorship where nobody can vote, i think there is something to be said for at least a token enfranchisement. It's hard to be objective, though, because most dictatorships also come with heavy restrictions on other freedoms (notably expression/information/press etc).
 

Matt Derrick

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i've never voted. considering doing it for this election just to get rid of trump. either way im leaving this country for good within the next few years. im done with the stupidity here.
 

Coywolf

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Another incredibly unpopular opinion on StP:

I vote, every time. We have been presented with system of government where the only thing we can do as people who live here (in the US) is either protest, contribute money, revolt, or vote. It seems as though most of the before mentioned methods do not work. I'm hoping for the second and third to start making a difference, as we have seen recently, but I am not holding my breath.

I will continue to do everything I can to further justice for all people in this country with all of the above, but I am getting tired. I am about to give up all hope. Quit my job, and hit the road for good. Follow what makes me happy and continue to fight for everyone who needs fighting for.

As far as voting, I've usually used absentee ballots when I was traveling, and then checked my vote status, to make sure it was counted. Some western states allow you to maintain an 'address' in that state while houseless, usually a forest road, cross streets, or a shelter, and will allow you to get an absentee ballot mailed to you if you update whatever mailing address you have at the moment, if you update your mailing address at least a month before an election. (It can be out of the state you are registered in...) look it up on the states SOS website. Oregon, Washington, and CA come to mind.

This is completely dependent upon checking your voter status with the secretary of state's office in the state you are voting in before you vote. Make sure you are registered. This is only having to do with the US...not sure how other countries do it
 
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Coywolf

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Another thing about 'choosing to not vote'....why not? If you dont think the system works, why not at least troll it? Vote for the candidate who most aligns with your ideals? Even if they wont win?

In my mind, this choice will only allow fascism to further implant itself, even if the system is corrupt. As was stated above, its creating a record of peoples right to voice their choice.

For an example, from tonight's US presidential debate, Trump encouraged all of his supporters to go out to the polls and 'watch, watch the polls, because what is going on is dangerous...'

That is fascism. Its voter intimidation. It's trying to dissolve the ONLY way people in their country can *legally* voice their opinion.

I get it. The system here sucks. But shit. The world has a VERY good chance of getting worse than we have EVER seen it. Think about WW1/2. Think about WW3. That's it. That's the end of our lifestyle as we know it.
 

Tekamthi

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I've voted in every level of election available to me at least once in Canada... some I regret, some I acquiesce to as having been important in some way, but mostly I feel deceived... sometimes I have researched my candidate deeply, other times I have just picked at random when in the voting booth (municipal ballots tend to have a lot of candidates and positions all stuck on the same piece of paper).

Moving forward I will only vote for a candidate I can meet and speak to, at least briefly. I still like many that I do not vote for, and have even volunteered my time towards campaigns, and then not voted or spoiled my ballot etc. I feel best about participating in this way, somehow. Anyway, clearly I have no idea what the right choice is here, nor any practical advice to give you.

A favorite quote of mine comes to mind, considering we're talking almost exclusively about common law jurisdictions so far in this thread:
"Really I think that the poorest he that is in England has a life to live as the greatest he; and therefore truly, sir, I think it's clear that every man that is to live under a government ought first by his own consent to put himself under that government; and I do think that the poorest man in England is not at all bound in a strict sense to that government that he has not had a voice to put himself under." -Thomas Rainsborough, 1647

Your vote is your consent, according to Rainsborough. Fwiw, Rainsborough's camp lost the debate, and the man was murdered by his ideological opponents (perhaps with the aid of his allies, too) within a year of having made this statement -- though his opinion is now mostly enshrined via the various "universal suffrage" movements that have come to be the staple of western democracies.

Anyway, its a rare thing to never have voted, and perhaps an important statement of consent you are making to yourself, if no one else. imo your address or lack thereof is not so relevant.
 
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