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McCain, Obama make final push for votes

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Can any reader who is familiar with the history of American politics please explain to me why the U.S. presidential election is held on a Tuesday, which is a working day? In every other country, as far as I know, elections are held on a Saturday or Sunday, when people are more likely to vote. How did the Tuesday election day system come about and what is the rationale?

Also, why does it take so long for the transition? In Australia, last year, new PM Kevin Rudd was sworn in less than a week after winning the election. Is there some historical significance to Jan 20 in U.S. presidential politics?

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In every other country, as far as I know, elections are held on a Saturday or Sunday

In Canada they're always held on a weekday, whether municipal, provincial, or federal, but at least we too get our federal elections over and done with in 6 weeks.

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smartacus: Answers.com/

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Every other country seems to get the elections over and done with in a matter of weeks, AND spends far less money. Money which could have been spent more wisely. This has dragged on for a year now, and I'm just glad it'll be over soon.

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In the UK all elections are held on Thursdays.

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In every other country, as far as I know, elections are held on a Saturday or Sunday

Please, you expect the puritans to vote on a Sunday?

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Is there some historical significance to Jan 20 in U.S. presidential politics?

inauguration used to be march 4th. fdr changed it to the present date.

elections on or around november 4th.

nation founded on july 4th

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In the meantime, Republican supporters, finally realizing a three-month long campaign of lies, deceit, and rumor-mongering has had little effect on the electorate, is reverting to more traditional forms of influencing and election they can't possibly win honestly:

http://news.aol.com/elections/article/some-voters-hit-with-dirty-tricks/235328?icid=100214839x1211933231x1200808087

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When the Constitution was written, four months was deemed an appropriate amount of time for a president-elect to get his affairs in order and make the move to Washington (remember, this was horse-and-carriage days). Thus the original date of March 4th.

November was convenient as it was after the harvest, but the weather still would be reasonable for travel. Nobody really knows why Tuesday, but presumably because it would take voters a day to get to the county seat and a day to get back to their farms, and not impinge on the Sabbath.

FDR didn't change the inauguration date, Congress did (presidents can't change the Constitution, much to G.W.Bush's consternation, no doubt) by passing the 20th Amendment in 1932, to make the lag-time less, and more in keeping with the more modern transportation, etc. available at the time. A majority of the states ratified it in '33.

Obviously, none of these logistics really matter to most voters or to the presidency today, and there's no real reason why Election Day couldn't be some other time (& a national holiday for that matter), or why the president shouldn't be inaugurated sooner -- except that it's tradition, and the standing president during the change wouldn't technically serve exactly four years.

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bill clinton relates what really happened when the financial crisis first became apparent:

"I haven't cleared this with him and he may even be mad at me for saying this so close to the election, but I know what else he said to his economic advisers (during the crisis)," Clinton told the crowd at a Wednesday night rally with Obama in Florida. "He said, 'Tell me what the right thing to do is. What's the right thing for America? Don't tell me what's popular. You tell me what's right -- I'll figure out how to sell it.'" [...]

unfit to lead.

http://elections.foxnews.com/2008/10/30/clinton-suggests-obama-uncertain-economic-crisis/

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Why has this turned into a discussion about the day that the election will be held?

The only comment I have is that - as polls are increasingly suggesting - I hope we see a deserved, massive landslide victory for Obama and once and for all America becomes the truly liberal country that we know it to be. The militarists, the religious crazies, the racist and homophobic bigots and those who believe America can do anything that it wants in the world, are going to get a big reminder of their increasing insignificance. The true patriots - those who really love freedom rather than the freedom to impose their views on others - are going to be victorious.

I can't wait - and all I can say is that I hope all of the posters cheerleading for the continuation of massive and damaging failure under the Bush regime by means of McCain are gracious enough to turn up and admit that they were wrong. We all know that they won't have the guts, though

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The true patriots - those who really love freedom rather than the freedom to impose their views on others - are going to be victorious.

Guess that's why Obama threw those three reporters off his plane yesterday when their papers endorsed McCain. Let freedom ring!

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The militarists, the religious crazies, the racist and homophobic bigots and those who believe America can do anything that it wants in the world, are going to get a big reminder of their increasing insignificance.

'militarist' is hardly limited to foreign intervention. obama has called for a national security force which will rival the armed forces in size and power.

religious crazies? are you referring to obama's disgraced pastor and spiritual guide, shrieking for America's damnantion from the pulpit of all place?

racist bigots? how did obama win the nomination in a country that is 15 percent 'black'?

homophobic? like obama's predecessor kerry four years ago, gratuitously bringing up in nationally televised debate cheney's daughter's sexual orientation?

The true patriots - those who really love freedom rather than the freedom to impose their views on others

obama's infomercial ran simultaneously on all three networks, meaning those w/o cable couldn't surf away. unprecedented.

work for a paper that didn't endorse obama. off the campaign plane you go.

I can't wait - and all I can say is that I hope all of the posters cheerleading for the continuation of massive and damaging failure under the Bush regime by means of McCain are gracious enough to turn up and admit that they were wrong. We all know that they won't have the guts, though

i'll be here. although i do not endorse the man it will be a somewhat historic day, one that speaks of America's greatness.

question is, will all those who have come here saying bush shredded the constitution, the country is virtually under martial law, the patriot act was the end of America, they've got bin laden in captivity and will use him as an october surprise etc etc be brave enough to show?

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It's all over, bar the shouting. According to the latest CBS poll Barack Obama continues to lead John McCain by 13 points among likely voters, 54 percent to 41 percent. McCain is going to have to do a lot of pushing if he wants to occupy his eight property. I don't think the old boy's got it in him.

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In a BBC interview David Icke said that he believes McCain is a reptilianhumanoid that has been picked by the "Bohemian Grove" crowd to take over the US and then the world. He also stated that Barack Obama is a pawn of the Illuminati that has been selected to take on the reptilianhumanoids and return humanity back to its innocence. Both Obama and McCain however are backed by the Rothschild family. I dont take him seriously, but the conspiracy theory is entertaining.

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In a BBC interview David Icke said that he believes McCain is a reptilianhumanoid that has been picked by the "Bohemian Grove" crowd to take over the US and then the world.

This also explains why elections are on Tuesday, the traditional retilihumanoid day of rest.

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This also explains why elections are on Tuesday, the traditional retilihumanoid day of rest.

Ours is Wednesday.

Klapurbah zoiggnoit adfushwa!

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"CNN will use hologram technology to beam three-dimensional images of its field correspondents onto its Election Center set."

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-et-election3-2008nov03,0,3272446.story

Sweet.

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The Republicans give to Democrats a country in crunch and in four years more after the people ate Obama they come back to White House.

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"It's all over"

Yeah? The latest Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby poll has Obama up by six points. Around 7% of voters are still undecided. And the news that Obama has an aunt who's been living in a slum in Boston for 5 years has just come out. Hmmm...

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Viva Obama!

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Viva McCain!

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And in this final push to Election Day, leave it to the Republicans to bring out the dirty tricks:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/dirty_tricks

"Complaints have surfaced in predominantly African-American neighborhoods of Philadelphia where fliers have circulated, warning voters they could be arrested at the polls if they had unpaid parking tickets or if they had criminal convictions."

"In New Mexico, two Hispanic women filed a lawsuit last week claiming they were harassed by a private investigator working for a Republican lawyer who came to their homes and threatened to call immigration authorities, even though they are U.S. citizens."

"The White House contest of 2004 was marked by similar deceptions. In Milwaukee, fliers went up advising people "if you've already voted in any election this year, you can't vote in the presidential election." In Pennsylvania, a letter bearing what appeared to be the McCandless Township seal falsely proclaimed that in order to cut long voting lines, Republicans would cast ballots on Nov. 2 and Democrats would vote on Nov. 3."

Sad, very sad.

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"predominantly African-American neighborhoods of Philadelphia"

Obama can count on at least 98% of the voters in those hoods.

"fliers have circulated, warning voters they could be arrested at the polls if they had unpaid parking tickets or if they had criminal convictions"

Heaven forbid the laws should be enforced!

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Srage- great post buddy.

the types that vote for Obama are likely to be bad guys. Let's enforce the law, and have a great McCain victory.

Heck! I've even bought the bubbly! Way to go John boy!!!!!

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Heaven forbid the laws should be enforced!

Oh, please, Sarge. Give it a rest, already. Can the Republican Party really be this pathetically desperate to win that intimidation at the polls is the way to go? You can't really be rooting for that a party that out of idea, can you?

Cowards, hypocrites, and opportunistic liars, one and all, usurping the democratic process. You preach "America" and "liberty" and "freedom," but the one thing that makes all those things possible, namely the unimpeded right to vote, is perfectly acceptable to disrupt in your eyes. Truly, truly sad. You really should be ashamed of yourself and your party if cheating is all that you've been reduced to.

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Oh, please, LFRAgain, give it a rest already.

"cheating"

Yeah, that's what ya'll be claming when Obama loses.

You really hould be ashamed of yourself and your party,which has benefited from ACORN's bogus voter registrations.

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Throw what you will at McCain but I believe that he represents American values far more than Obama. McCain reminds me of the America of the last century that actually had a can do attitude instead of the "government should do for me" attitude that is so prevalent now. As for all the bull about this being a historical election what is so historical about it? Say it with me Obama is an African American. So what, in policy he is just a young fresh faced retread of what the democrats have been pushing since Carter.

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frontandcentre: America is not a liberal country in the PC democratic party way. I would like to belive that America is more of a Libertarian country, it certainly was at its founding. Tell me please how great Europe is which is truly liberal?

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You really hould be ashamed of yourself and your party,which has benefited from ACORN's bogus voter registrations.

LMAO!! A bogus voter registration doesn't benefit any party. Not until Mickey Mouse and Elmer Fudd show up to cast their ballots.

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So what, in policy he is just a young fresh faced retread of what the democrats have been pushing since Carter.

Leave it to a Republican to preach to people about Democrats. I'm sure you just hated the years of peace, prosperity, job growth, and budgets coming into balance under Bill Clinton.

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I would like to belive that America is more of a Libertarian country, it certainly was at its founding.

You really need to go back and study history. The US at its founding was just as sharply divided amongst those who wanted a strong, central government and those who wanted more power to the local governments as it is today. That's just the problem: People want to see history as a reflection of what they would like to believe, rather than what really occurred.

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I'm sure you just hated the years of peace, prosperity, job growth, and budgets coming into balance under Bill Clinton.

the only democrat president since fdr elected to two terms came between the end of the soviet union and 9-11.

think about it...

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"You really hould be ashamed of yourself and your party,which has benefited from ACORN's bogus voter registrations."

For the umteen-millionth time, a fake voter registration does not a fake vote make. I doubt very much any election official is going to count a vote from "Mickey Mouse" as valid. Do recall, an prosecutor from your own party said the same. You keep reaching, and you keep looking all the more foolish for doing so.

the only democrat president since fdr elected to two terms came between the end of the soviet union and 9-11.

And that one won by a landslide against a supposed shoe-in Republican candidate.

Hmm . . . Much like the Obama will in one short day.

Apparently, Democrats are getting better at their elected jobs while Republicans seem to be getting, well, worse. Think about it . . .

Republican policies appeal only to a narrow subset of Americans, and when you strip away all their window dressings, like "family values" and "Patriotism™," all that remains is policy that helps the wealthy get wealthier at the detriment of the remaining 85% of society. That isn't representative democracy. That's shameless greed, something that hasn't panned out too well for societies, historically speaking.

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Yabits, nice assumption but I am not a Republican. I am an independant and happened to have voted for Clinton twice and probably would have voted for his wife as well. I just don't accept this inexperienced product of the Chicago Machine as the messiah so many others do.

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Yabits - Good to hear you voted for Clinton. Truthfully, a Hillary administration might not have been too bad, but it could still happen in a later election.

Anyway, I do find your use of the term "messiah" interesting; I've heard plenty of Republicans (which I realize you're not) use that term to describe Obama, but never heard it from a Democrat.

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"I doubt very much any election official is going to count a vote from "Mickey Mouse" as valid."

No, but they will probably count a vote from "Ed Smith" as valid.

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And they'll count a vote from USAFdude for Barack Obama valid!

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Anyway, I do find your use of the term "messiah" interesting; I've heard plenty of Republicans (which I realize you're not) use that term to describe Obama, but never heard it from a Democrat.

I've heard it, and that's my greatest worry -- That Obama's coming in with such high expecations from the public that people will be let down by the ugly realities of politics, which necessitate cooperation, compromise and often circumstances beyond one's control.

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Republican policies appeal only to a narrow subset of Americans,

as was pointed out, clinton is the only post war dem elected to two terms.

are you actually going to protest that the re-elections of eisenhower, nixon, reagan and gw bush, all in a span of less than 60 years, were flukes?

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"And they'll count a vote from USAFdude for Barack Obama valid!"

I see we're gonna hafta tighten up the standards on voter registration nyuk nyuk nyuk!

And they'll count a vote from Sarge for John McCain valid!

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I see we're gonna hafta tighten up the standards on voter registration nyuk nyuk nyuk!

Yeah, I'm sure you'd love to see the military vote suppressed this time, but, just like I've said about a McCain victory, ain't gonna happen!

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Dude - Calm down! Heck, I sure don't want to see the military vote suppressed - the military mostly voted for Bush, and, contrary to your claims, they're mostly voting for McCain.

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and, contrary to your claims, they're mostly voting for McCain.

Sigh... As usual, Sarge, you only give part of the story:

"The results of the Military Times 2008 Election Poll are not representative of the opinions of the military as a whole. The group surveyed is older, more senior in rank and less ethnically diverse than the overall armed services.

- Airforcetimes.com"

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Oh wait... There's more:

"Sen. John McCain enjoys overwhelming support from the military’s professional core, a Military Times survey of nearly 4,300 readers, indicates, though career-oriented black service members strongly favored the Democratic Party candidate."

So it might be more accurate to say that older, Caucasian officers support McCain 3-1. Not exactly compelling.

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LFRAgain - I didn't say the military as a whole is going for McCain 68% to 23% for Obama, I just said mostly, meaning the majority, meaning over 50%.

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"career-oriented black service members strongly supported the Democratic Party candidate"

Is that surprising? Obama is getting around 95% of the civilian black vote.

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sarge -

I didn't say the military as a whole is going for McCain 68% to 23% for Obama, I just said mostly, meaning the majority, meaning over 50%.

You're backpedalling! xD

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Dude - Am not!

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Sarge, you said at 09:55 PM JST - 4th November:

"...the military mostly voted for Bush, and, contrary to your claims, they're mostly voting for McCain."

One, "most" does not mean "majority" or "50% or more," and if it did, that would make your claim even less impressive since a vague 51% of military support would logically imply a converse 49% of opposition or lack of support.

Two, you have no basis for this claim, as I already pointed out. The poll cited only speaks to the opinions of largely older, non-black, career oriented soldiers. That, by any definition, is NOT the makeup of "most" of the US military. Currently, the ratio for officers to enlisted sits at around 1 officer for every 6 enlisted.

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LFRAgain - Why would McCain be suing the Virginia board of elections to count the absentee military votes if most of them are for Obama?

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I'm just spit-balling here, but perhaps it's for the same reason Theresa M. Petrone, a Democratic member of Chicago's Board of Elections, asked that the federal government force states to count absentee ballots until 14 days after the election.

I dunno. Call me crazy, but maybe it's because McCain's a concientious American who believes all citizens deserve to have their vote counted, just like Ms. Petrone.

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