Sunday, November 04, 2012

Voting Against The Machine

Polls show the US presidential election is a close contest. Yet a number of voters argue Obama and Romney are so similar that there’s no point in casting a ballot. Others say they will back a third party with no real chance of winning. By refusing to endorse Obama or Romney, could these citizens decide the next president and what would that mean? 

In this episode of The Stream, we speak to: 

Michael Moschella @MikeMoschella
Founder, New Leaders Council 

Jason Brennan
Professor at Georgetown University, author of "The Ethics of Voting" 

Kevin Gosztola @kgosztola

  1. In the highly contested US presidential campaign between President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney, many voters are disappointed with the positions of the two candidates. A key number of these, around five per cent of likely voters, plan to back third-party candidates, while others may not vote at all.

    Analysts say the election could end in a tie due to the electoral college voting system, with both candidates winning 269 out of 538 electoral college votes.
  2. Currently there are 32 combinations for a potential electoral tie. The map below shows one possible outcome.
    What do you think? Are Americans who are voting for third-party candidates wasting their vote or changing the system?

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