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https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2018/10/31/can-ranked-choice-voting-end-ugly-election-battles-this-november-maine-hopes-find-out/?utm_term=.6488380e0736

The two party system could actually crumble sooner rather than later.

The Maine Supreme Court ruled that while the ranked choice voting initiative ran afoul of the state constitution for statewide races, it does not do so for federal races. So Maine residents can rank the candidates for Senate and House races. This could possibly lead to something odd, but there's only a handful of House seats and one Senate race (which is already held by an independent), so we will be unlikely to see anything major.

However, the implementation of instant runoff ballots for the first time in a federal election could possibly spread to other states. I would not be surprised if the Democrats and Republicans join forces next Congress to pass a law requiring all federal elections to have plurality winners. This is within their power: Congress passed a law long ago mandating the use of single member districts. When it comes to determining the rules for federal elections, Congress has supremacy barring a constitutional question.

The caveat to all this is a look at Australia's electoral history. While the Senate has seen enormous gains by third parties under its PR-based system for each state, the single member, instant runoff districts in the House have helped keep two parties as the dominant forces. Instant runoff ballots help open up the gates of power, but proportional multi-member districts are a must to break them down. If we switch to instant runoff, we would likely see Socialists, Greens, Libertarians, etc. gain a few seats in the House, but the GOP and Democrats would remain the dominant forces. There is serious inertia to the two party system unless you really tear the foundation apart.

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Preferential voting isn't perfect, but the Australian experience is still a huge improvement over the duopoly in the senate, as seen by a good chunk of the senate seats taken by a Greens party that actually has an incentive to not be a bunch of lunatics (well, aside from parts of the Greens in New South Wales, but the entire NSW political scene is a goddamn madhouse in general for reasons nobody can fathom. Though NSW isn't Australia's version of Florida, that title goes to Queensland).

And we recently saw the by-election triumph of an independent MP in the blue-ribbon seat of Wentworth (which used to be the former Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull's seat until the leadership spill removed him from his position and, as promised, he willingly resigned from parliament - the problem for the Liberals was, he was pretty friggn' popular in Wentworth, whose constituents were not particularly happy about their man getting turfed due to what was basically a failed right-wing power-play) thanks to Labor and Greens preference votes flowing onto the independent candidate, which has actually forced the government into minority government status mid-term.

Granted, we also have populist (aka racist right-wing) dickheads like Pauline Hanson and Bob Katter, but in a US-style system they'd be part of the GOP equivalent anyway, but otherwise we've resisted the right-wing populist surge happening across the west. We haven't had anything close to a Brexit or a Trump yet, any attempts at emulating the latter have failed miserably (the closest thing we've had to a Trump-like figure in power was Tony Abbott, and he crashed and burned so hard his own party booted him in favor of Turnbull before he was even two years into his term), and the closest thing we've had to the former was the same-sex marriage plebiscite, which spectacularly backfired on its architects when it resulted in an undeniable 61% yes vote.

Oh, bloody hell, I'm rambling. But in any case, preferential voting is a big step forward in terms of making elections more competitive.

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2 hours ago, Candescence said:

But in any case, preferential voting is a big step forward in terms of making elections more competitive.

Oh, I wasn't disagreeing with that.

Just mentioning it should not be seen as an end goal. A lot of people seem content to just pass instant runoff ballots and then hang up on their hats on election reform. A full shift towards multi-member PR should be the end goal. Every vote really does matter under that system.

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https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/04/politics/sonny-perdue-cotton-pickin-florida-governor-andrew-gillum-ron-desantis/index.html

Still racking up those potential dogwhistles. In Florida's Governor race, the federal Secretary of Agriculture came down to argue for the election of the Republican candidate DeSantis. He said the race is "cotton pickin' important." While some have said the expression has a long history in the South that has nothing to do with slavery, the fact the Democrat is black makes it still a very poor choice of words in a race where white supremacist groups have been airing ads.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/04/politics/ip-forecast/

Trump's 2018 rallies tend to talk about him a lot more than whichever candidate he is ostensibly trying to help. Whether this backfires on the GOP or not remains to be seen.

In addition, the triangulation continues. Democratic leaders in Congress are being approached by Trump administration officials to try and work out an infrastructure deal. There is full anticipation that the House will be lost in less than 48 hours.

Robert Mueller has been quiet due to Justice Department guidelines that call on prosecutors to suppress information for 60 days leading up to an election. It is quite possible some major news could drop shortly after the polls close.

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3 hours ago, SSF1991 said:

A bit? I'm very nervous.

Siiigh please America, don't fuck up this election.

I’m really on pins and needles here in Georgia. But at the same time I’m confident that the rest of the country might help usher in a blue wave. Then again I was sure that America would do the right thing and not elect trump, and we all know how that story ends.

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19 minutes ago, Jiren (Metro) said:

Every voting machine in my county is down, fortunately all of my county's precincts offers paper ballots. Still, this is no coincidence.

Let me guess, Gwinett county? Kemp is such a piece of shit.

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27 minutes ago, Johnny Boy said:

Let me guess, Gwinett county? Kemp is such a piece of shit.

No, Williamsburg county SC. Granted i've heard reports of the same thing happening in Georgia as well.

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9 minutes ago, Jiren (Metro) said:

No, Williamsburg county SC. Granted i've heard reports of the same thing happening in Georgia as well.

Luckily they provide emergency paper ballots for my state as well. But this kind of shit is happening in other states right now. In Detroit a bunch of voters at a voting precint were turned away because “the machines were locked in a closet”. 

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https://www.politico.com/story/2018/11/06/what-time-do-polls-close-2018-poll-closing-times-by-state-map-945421

Breakdown of when polls close, all in Eastern Time. Highlights:

Indiana closes at 6 PM EST. That's one of the vulnerable Democratic seats and might give us an early idea of where the Senate is headed.

Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and Virginia at 7 PM. Florida's going to be hugely important to the Dems for both its state races and its suffrage restoration initiative. But if Dems do well in Florida and Georgia, it means there is a serious wedge in the South that could pave the way for Democratic gains in future races.

7:30 PM, West Virginia and Ohio. Two more vulnerable Democrats.

8 PM is when things really get juicy. Texas, North Dakota, and Mississippi, all key Senate races. If Dems can win in one of these states, their odds of a Senate majority skyrocket.

Last big wave of note is the 10 PM polls. This is when Nevada and Arizona come in, and those are key races to watch.

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4 minutes ago, Meta77 said:

Well i voted. i pretty much just went down randomly picking people. wrote in like 4 names i think. Doom Guy was one of them sad that was the only thing i could think of on the spot it was nerve wracking in there.

You wrote in Doom Guy? From what I see in Florida, the dems have flipped at least one seat and held on to those unopposed, but otherwise it's looking pretty "rosy" there. Veritas might have dealt a light finishing blow in the race for Governor.

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Small, yet satisfying news:

Quote

Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who went to jail in 2015 for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, has lost her bid for reelection.

https://jimheath.tv/2018/11/kim-davis-loses-reelection-bid-kentucky-official-jailed-for-not-issuing-same-sex-marriage-licenses/

GorEoIA.gif

 

Shalala basically fucked up in every way possible during the campaign. That she has won anyway is a good sign... I hope.

Good stuff, Democrats need every vulnerable senator to win.

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3 minutes ago, Tailikku said:

Let the BLUE WAVE BEGIN!

Or Blue Salt. Never shoot the gun too early. The news in Kentucky may cheer up The Young Turks, because from what I've heard, they've begun to freak out again. (Never really ones that tickled my fancy, either way)

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Just now, Patticus said:

Good news for the Democrats in the senate. Meanwhile...

3dTcQ1F.gif

Anything can happen but I wouldn't hold out on the traditional red states to flip much. Keep that in mind, folks.

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Joe Donnelly is expected to lose the Indiana Senate race to the GOP candidate. With only 50% of the vote in however, there's still a chance for that to change.

Florida is 86% in with the GOP having a lead of less than 1%. This will be tense.

In good news, the Florida Voter Restoration amendment has passed. That's 1.5 million people who will be able to vote again in 2020.

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