Talk Back: Tell Us Your Election Stories

Ever notice anything strange around town when elections are coming up?

Our latest podcast, “Wildfires, Cops, and Keggers,” looks into the odd by-products of electoral politics — that is, not just which politicians get elected, but what kind of below-the-radar shenanigans happen before (and sometimes after) an election, usually inspired by how an incumbent’s incentives are lined up. Maybe property taxes dropped in the run-up to an election, only to spike once an incumbent had won another term. Maybe more cops and firemen were hired during campaign season.

Given that many of these election-cycle fluctuations occur in less-scrutizined local elections, we want to hear from you any interesting examples you’ve witnessed. Tell us your election stories in the comments below! 

Leave A Comment

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

 

COMMENTS: 21

View All Comments »
  1. James says:

    Australian politicians rush for their “budgie smugglers” at every election – nothing like photos or tv footage of a 50 yo man in lycra demonstrating their virility to put you off breakfast.

    Check out this newspaper article…http://bit.ly/rAMLgf – like an Australian Vladimir Putin.

    I can find no economic rationale for this, and it has a pretty poor track record.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  2. garcia.larry@gmail.com says:

    Miami is getting crushed from lower property taxes the housing crisis. Property taxes are the main source of funding for the city. Well we had an election yesterday, but of course this article came up 3 days before that.
    http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/10/28/2477154/more-police-on-the-way.html

    50 more cops being hired after a long hiring freeze.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  3. AJ says:

    Every election day I sell my vote. I honestly don’t think my single vote will change much of anything and I can’t be bothered to take time out of my day to stand in line and cast my meaningless vote unless I get something out of it. I have a lot of friends who take voting *very* seriously and are willing to pay me to cast my vote in their favor (usually 10-20 dollars). Oddly enough, I’m usually able to sell my same vote to several people – I just have to find people who all want me to vote for the same things. I usually make about a hundred bucks every election day. THAT is worth voting for.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5
  4. Mike says:

    During the 5th grade election for Class President, there were two girls and two boys running in a class of about 25 students.

    As campaign manager of one of the boys, I convinced the other boy running to drop out so we could have a male Class President. (In the 5th grade, there is no cross-gender voting)

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  5. Gary says:

    My best story is when a couple dozen citizens united to defeated a referendum that would allow a casino to be built in our small rural town. Nine weeks to build a coalition and reverse the 60% favorable polling numbers. Strategy sessions, fund-raisers, public forums, creating our own commercials for local cable, going on talk-radio, mailings, dealing with harassment, lobbying the local politicians. We won handily despite being outspent 20 to 1 by the promoters. American democracy and group wisdom at work.

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1
  6. Dom says:

    In the NJ gubernaorial election in 2009 there was an independent candidate for governor that was doing well in the polls leading up to Election Day, drawing enough interest to create uncertainty about which of the two major-party candidates would win the election. However, on Election Day, this candidate wound up with only 5% of the vote. He blamed the poor showing on the fact that his name was placed at the bottom of the ballot. Indeed, I had a hard time finding his name when I received my sample ballot before the election.

    I have been wondering ever since if there was any truth to his claim. Research Hypothesis: Ballot placement is important for a serious independent or third-party candidate to influence the outcome of an election (i.e., for him or her to do well or mess things up for one of the major-party candidates). Are there any studies along these lines?

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  7. Dom says:

    In the 2009 NJ gubernatorial election there was a independent candidate for governor that was doing quite well in the polls leading up to Election Day and creating uncertainty as to which of the two major-party candidate would ultimately win in the end. However, this candidate wond up with only 5% of the votes. After the election, he blamed his poor showing on the fact that his name was placed at the bottom of the ballot and voters had a difficult time finding his name. Indeed, it took me some time to locate his name on the sample ballot received before the election.

    Ever since I have been wondering if there was any truth to his claim. Research Hypothesis: Ballot placement is important for a serious independent candidate to influence an election (i.e., doing well in an election or taking enough votes from one or the other of the major-party candidates to change the outcome of the election). Are there any studies that are along these lines?

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  8. Allen Hughes says:

    How does a tw term governor with great credentials get left off polls and out of debates? Is he not the right kind of conservative? Wrong level iof his religious fervor

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0