santa cruz wharf

06 November 2007

Heads or Tails ~ VOTE

Little Bitty Baby Rant….believe me…this has been edited extensively from what I wrote last night… so I’ll just provide my own personal little non-partisan PSA on voting statistics…and (you’re-gonna-love-this) estimated cost requirements for this upcoming election.

I have three main points.

There is no reason the United States should be subjected to a presidential campaign which lasts almost two years. We are FINALLY one year away from the election. (twelve more months of this) I am already way past my tolerance level for partisan rhetoric and jockeying for media attention. By the time I actually get to vote…there is a chance it will be for the guy who annoyed me the least.

(campaign fundraising data below ~ read at your own risk)
The length of campaign…especially with the number of candidates…results in an unbelievable amount of money being spent on NOTHING productive. Don’t get me wrong….I am a capitalist. I believe Bill Gates deserves every penny he has earned. But the billion dollars (yep a billion) spent on travel and propaganda production and commercial time is a WASTE. Now I realize a large percentage of this money is donated. Great. If the campaign was shorter…the costs would be less. These donors…people and corporations could do something else with all that money. They could donate it elsewhere…or they can keep it for themselves and earn interest….I don’t care. Think about it...$100 million per candidate thru the end of 2007 alone.

Whenever anyone starts complaining about politics, politicians, or anything related to any law…I want to know if they vote. If they are registered and if they actually vote. If not…then THEY are the reason they have a problem. Period. If you complain and you don’t vote you are ….well…considering that is about a THIRD of you…I won’t say what I really think.

Interesting data to throw out at your office, cocktail party, or Thanksgiving table.

(from the November 2004 Presidential election via the Census Bureau…the data, reports, charts, and spreadsheets are broken down to the most minuscule detail of age, gender, state, ethnicity, et cetera ad nauseum. if you are a numbers'll love the links below)

total adults - - -215,694,000
citizens - - - - -
non-citizens - - -18,688,000 (not eligible)

registered - - - -142,070,000 (72% of citizens)
non-registered - -54,936,000 (28% of citizens)
(almost a third of you
are not even REGISTERED)

voted - - - - - - 125,736,000 (64% of citizens)
did not vote - - - 71,270,000 (36% of citizens)
(what do you want to bet this 36%
ncludes most of the complainers)

adults – humans over 18 years of age living in the USA
citizens – of the United States of America
registered – those who have registered to vote
non-registered – CITIZENS who have NOT registered to vote
non citizens – adults living in the USA – that we know of
voted/not-voted – in the 2004 presidential election

Miscellaneous factoids
Among citizens, turnout was higher for women (65%) than for men (62%).

The turnout rate for people with a bachelor’s degree or higher (80%) was greater than the rate for people whose highest level of educational attainment was a high school diploma (56%)

Citizens age 65 and older had the highest registration rate (79%) while those age 18 to 24 had the lowest (58%). The youngest group also had the lowest voting rate (47%), while those age 45 and older had the highest turnout (70%)

turnout rates for citizens were:
67% for non-Hispanic whites
60% for blacks
47%percent for Hispanics (of any race)
44% for Asians
These rates were higher than the previous presidential election by 5 percentage points for non-Hispanic whites and 3 points for blacks. By contrast, the voting rates for Asian and Hispanic citizens did not change. These data pertain to those who identified themselves as being of a single race

Follow the Money….
(I'm quoting here - emphasis mine)

The reported cost of campaigning for President has increased significantly in recent years. One source reported that if the costs for both Democratic and Republican campaigns are added together (for the Presidential primary election, general election, and the political conventions) the costs have more than doubled in only eight years ($448.9 million in 1996, $649.5 million in 2000, and $1.01 billion in 2004).

In January 2007, Federal Election Commission Chairman Michael Toner estimated that the 2008 race will be a "$1 billion election," and that to be "taken seriously," a candidate will need to raise at least $100 million by the end of 2007.

Can someone explain this to me?

If you want to know more here is the Census Report which includes all kinds of data for the past several presidential elections broken down into the finest details.

This link gives you dollar figures by candidate, party and quarter….raised, spent and debt amounts. And another...on some basic facts of the November 2008 election and comparisions to previous presidential elections.

Oh…by the way….Heads Or Tails is a weekly gig hosted by Barb over at at Skittles Place...this week is the subject of Voting.


Schmoop said...

As candidates become less and less up to the demands of the office, the more money they have to spend in order to make them look like they can handle the job. Cheers!!

Baba Doodlius said...

Sadly, they don't let birds vote so I'm out in the cold. Consarnit.

Oswegan said...

You go girl, get fired up!

I like your analysis about who you will probably vote for, i.e. the one who pisses you off the least.

At the risk of pissing people off myself, I am going to probably vote for the blue who I think has the best chance of beating the red.


Unknown said...

You go, girl! This is excellent. I've finally decided that I'm not going to vote for who I most closely like that has a chance of winning. This year I'm going to vote for the candidate that most closely represents my ideals...even if they have no chance of winning. I'm so sick of politics and the campaign that I, like you, am not happy with most all of the candidates.

Misty DawnS said...

What an awesome post!

Travis Cody said...

This has no explanation. Democracy in action eh?

I'm with you on this. It's not a partisan issue, it's a citizens' issue.

Term limits are called elections. Maybe it's time we had limits on the amount of time for campaigning. Maybe people would actually vote if, as you say, it didn't come down to the candidate who annoyed them the least.

katherine. said...

mateo: we need a hero!

Bada: got a human?

oswegan: this was the calm me...I thought everyone in Lake Oswego was red??

Steven: I voted for 20 years...and have yet to find a presidential canditate (in the final two) I really liked. sigh.

misty: thanks much

Travis: what do you think? eight months??

Jeff B said...


As the cost of everything around me goes up. Wasteful spending like this is really irritating.

Marilyn said...

Matt-man for president!

I was so excited when I was old enough to vote. What's the matter with these kids today? Had they been paying attention somebody in the whitehouse might have a brain. I want to see IQ tests this time around... seriously. And some proof that they can pronounce "nuclear"... no person who can't say it ought to have control of it. (Sorry. I'm a bit angry these days.)

Mel said...


Oy brother.

Hey. As my daddy always told me ('cuse his language, please....)"If you don't vote, don't bitch".
I vote! LOL
'Nuff said!


Liz Hill said...

I have never missed voting--even in one issue elections.

What Matt said is brilliant.

Two years is far too long.

And I don't care if it pisses people off. I am voting for the person who will give me a twofer--I want someone who knows what they are doing.

Desert Songbird said...

I take my right to vote very seriously. I have been registered to vote since I was 18 years old, and have voted in nearly every election at which I was eligible to vote.

I think because my parents were legal immigrants who fled from country to country for the right to live has made me more appreciative of the fact that I live in this nation where the right to vote is one of the most important and powerful tools at my disposal.

I am disgusted by how much money and time is spent in presidential campaigning, and if only for peace and quiet, would love to see a law passed that limited actual campaigning to a three-six month window prior to an election.

Vinny "Bond" Marini said...

Never got to this post yesterdday (I seem to always read you one day late - time zones and when i read)

Brilliant post Katherine...I also wonder if the complainers are those who are not registered...

First thing I do when I move is to register...make sure my tiny voice can be heard...many tiny voices equal a roar...

Travis Cody said...

I think surely no longer than 8 months. Maybe only 6.

Andree said...

What an excellent post! This should be required reading for classrooms; it is non-partisan and factual and documented. This took a lot of time for you to compile. Excellent.

Amazing Gracie said...

If you find out, please let me know!!!
Honestly, we need another "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington." I'm getting so jaded and so angry with this mess. The guy I wanted is so low on the list he won't make it...I can't stand the perfectly coiffed guys who have "Politician" stamped on their foreheads.
I agree with everything you said, 100% and then some!!!

JAM said...

Good stuff. I've stopped watching debates, they all speak in politician's non-answers and are a waste of time.

Your post is logical and to the point, too bad none of our politicians are that way.

A down to earth, plain spoken person with conviction would be such a breath of freash air, but these are the very ones who don't have a chance without the amounts of cash generated by the front runners.

Travis nailed it with his take on term limits. I've never thought that legal term limits were of any use, that's what elections are, but then again, I'd hate to see the same President term after term like some of our Congressmen and Senators.

Rositta said...

I'm not American but follow your countries politics closely. I don't understand two years of campaigning either, we have less than two months of it and it gets tedious. Our voter turnout is even lower than yours and then people complain. I always say, people get the government they deserve...go vote or don't complain...ciao