Voting

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What Inspired Californians to Vote — And What They Thought of Voting

Via Kyle Akin on Tiny Post.

More than 13 million Californians voted on Nov. 6, according to the secretary of state’s office (when factoring in the uncounted ballots). For Amelia True, her vote reflected her sense of responsibility to those who fought for women’s voting rights.

“I feel connected to my nation when I cast my vote,” she wrote in a comment on KQED’s Facebook page. “I vote because my ancestors fought tirelessly so that I could have just as much of a deciding voice about the future of my country as a man. I vote for my great grandmothers, grandmothers, mothers, daughters and granddaughters.”

Robert Ashton of San Rafael also commented that his family inspired him to vote.

“My WW II father (told me) me when I was eight, as he took me to the polls with him, that this — exerting our right to vote — is what we owe to those who were sacrificed in battle to preserve that right,” he wrote.

During the past few months — over a variety of projects — KQED has interviewed dozens of Californians about voting. We also asked users of the Palo Alto-based mobile app Tiny Post to share their inspiration for voting in a photograph. On Election Day we heard from more than 100 Californians about their voting experiences.

Most of the comments about Bay Area polling places were positive.

“Overall the experience was very easy, smooth, and fast,” wrote Jennifer Koth of Livermore. “There was no wait and I felt the volunteers were personable but not pushy. I also felt good because I brought a piece of paper in listing how I wanted to vote on the issues happening in my area.”

Click on the polling locations in the map below to read what other area residents had to say about voting.

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4 Ways You Know You’re in California on Election Day

A multilingual "Vote here" sign is displayed as a woman pushes a stroller out of the voting room at Christ Lutheran Church in Monterey Park, Los Angeles. FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

It can be disheartening to be a Californian on Election Day. Sure, California has 10 percent of the country’s total electoral votes. But it it often seems to get treated like an afterthought by the media. Pundits don’t use the same breathless excitement to describe the Golden State as they do, say, Ohio. And there’s typically no surprise as to which presidential candidate the state will support.

So it’s no surprise that California may have mixed emotions about today. We asked our Facebook followers how they know it’s election day in California. Here’s what they said.

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A Breeze or a Nightmare: What Was Your Voting Experience Like?

Photo by Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

Polling places around the state could be crowded today, as a record number of Californians — more than 18 million — are registered to vote. We want to know what it’s like at your polling location.

How long is the wait? Are the volunteers helpful? Is anything at your polling place preventing you from voting? Is it easier than you expected?

We want to hear from voters throughout California. Your stories can help inform election coverage for KQED in San Francisco and KPCC in Los Angeles. Click here for KPCC’s election coverage.

You can share your story by calling 1-415-553-8455 or emailing community@kqed.org. You can also describe your voting experience by filling out the form below and clicking submit.

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A Powerful Way to Get Out the Vote: Share with Your Facebook Friends

(Joel Saget: AFP/GettyImages)

(Joel Saget: AFP/GettyImages)

From AP: Here’s something most politicians can “like”: Facebook friends played a big role in getting hundreds of thousands of people to vote in 2010, a new scientific study claims.

Facebook researchers and scientists at the University of California, San Diego conducted a massive online experiment in the mid-term congressional election to test and measure the political power of online peer pressure.

They found that people who got Facebook messages that their friends had voted were a bit more likely to go to the polls than those who didn’t get the same reminder. And from there the effect multiplied in the social network, they reported in Thursday’s journal Nature.

The friend-prodding likely increased voter turnout by as much as 340,000 in the non-presidential election that voted in a new Republican congress, the scientists calculated. They said that it could potentially change the outcome of close elections.

“Our study is the first large-scale scientific test of the idea that online social networks affect real world political behavior,” said study lead author James Fowler, a professor of medical genetics and political science at the University of California, San Diego. Continue reading