Friday, November 09, 2012

Voter Turnout in Latin America

Roque Planas has a good discussion of voter turnout in the United States and Latin America.

We obsess a lot about turnout in the United States, including the incessant but well-meaning exhortations to vote from our fellow citizens, with talk of "civic duty." Often it mirrors the age old demand to clean your plate since kids are dying in Africa. You need to vote because people elsewhere in the world cannot. It doesn't matter if you don't want the food on your plate. Eat it.

In the spirit of contrarianism, then, it's worth thinking about the negative side of voter turnout.

First, it can mean your country is so polarized that the election is viewed as life or death. In Venezuela, turnout was high because the two sides detest each other. This is not a desirable state of affairs, and so lower turnout would signal more contentment and less hatred.

Second, it can mean your government is forcing you to vote, giving you no choice but to make a choice. After many years of obligatory voting, Chile changed the law, which led to lower turnout but sighs of relief.

Third, your government is authoritarian. Turnout in Cuba is high, and many votes are fabricated. The same was true in the heyday of the PRI in Mexico.

This is not to knock voting, as in fact I vote regularly. But sometimes it is useful to step back from the knee-jerk "vote or else" attitude that is often prevalent.


Defensores de Democracia 8:09 AM  

HuffPost : The share of the Latino vote increased in Nevada (up 4 percent), Florida (up 3 percent) and Colorado (up 1 percent). Increased turnout and increased support for Obama among Latinos exceeded the margin of victory for the president in these three swing states.

Mitt was buried by Women, Blacks and Latinos. Here is the Arithmetic :

From Huffington Post :

"The Latino vote, which increased as a share of the electorate (from 9 percent in 2008 to 10 percent in 2012) and broke even stronger for Obama than in 2008 (from 67-31 in 2008 to 71-27 in 2012, according to CNN exit polling)."

My Comment :

There is something more Important than storm Sandy, more important than Mitt Romney's 47% Declaration in Boca Raton Florida before the Millionaires of the Fundraiser. More important than the TV Debates.

And that was Mitt Romney during the Republican Primaries talking about "Illegal Aliens". Let's do some Arithmetic :

Obama had a 58,720,700 (50.1%) to 56,145,950 (48.4%) lead on Mitt Romney for the popular vote.

58.7 plus 56.1 is a total of 114.8 million votes plus a tail.

so the 10% is 11.48 million Latino votes ( roughly ! ).

and the 71% of that number is 8 million votes ( approximately ) that voted against Mitt.

8 million Latino Votes for Obama and less than 3 million for Romney from Latinos.

So Mitt was buried by 5 million net Latino votes that he could not make up with a Shrinking White Electorate.


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