We asked Slate'sstaff and contributors to tell us whom they're voting for on Election Day and why. These are their responses. Click here to read Editor David Plotz's explanation for why we share this information with you.
Michael Agger, Senior Editor: Obama
Holly Allen, Web Designer: Obama
I'm excited to cast my vote on Election Day for Barack Obama. His views match up better with my own.
Anne Applebaum, "Foreigners" Columnist: Not McCain
This weekend, while reading the latest polling data on John McCain, Sarah Palin, and their appeal—or growing lack of it—among "independent women voters," it suddenly dawned on me: I am, in fact, one of these elusive independent woman voters, and I have the credentials to prove it. For the last couple of decades, I've sometimes voted Democratic, sometimes Republican. I'm even a registered independent, though I did think of switching to the Republican Party to vote for John McCain in 2000. But because the last political party I truly felt comfortable with was Margaret Thatcher's Conservative Party (I lived in England in the 1980s and '90s), I didn't actually do it.
Click here to read the rest of Applebaum's entry.
Karim Bardeesy, Editorial Assistant, The Big Money: Not Voting
I'm Canadian, so I can't vote here. But I want Barack Obama to win. His campaign has touched more people, entrusting them to carry a story to their friends and neighbors about the positive role government can play. It's an example for all who care about public life—the turnout here on Nov. 4 might even exceed the 59 percent turnout in Canada's Oct. 14 election. And the world's embrace of Obama, combined with the inclusiveness he brings to international affairs, will be transformative.
Emily Bazelon, Senior Editor: Obama
I am voting for Barack Obama because I agree with his tax policy, and I like his health and energy plans fine. I think he'll help restore our bruised image abroad. And I know he is about 1,000 times more likely than John McCain to choose Supreme Court justices who will resist rather than further the push to the right by Bush's picks, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito. So for me, it's an easy call. But even if I were less sure of Obama on those fronts, I think I would vote out the Republicans as a matter of stewardship. They led us to a war of hugely questionable value, gave us an overweening theory of presidential power, and have now left us with a scary financial crisis. John McCain isn't George Bush, but his plans and promises are too much like the standard Republican fare that has gotten us into trouble. And won't get us out of it. Enough. Please, please, it's time for new faces.
Christopher Beam,Staff Writer: Obama
Because I'd rather have a president who is intellectually curious, shrewd, even-keeled, eloquent, and analytical than one whose chief campaign selling point is being unpredictable. Because I'd like to keep the number of Alitos on the bench to one. Because I think Obama will be more cautious about withdrawal from Iraq than people think. Because world opinion does matter, and the United States needs rebranding. Because I don't care about health care choice, I just want to see an affordable doctor. Because I don't want the Clean Air Act to be a misnomer anymore. Because the thought of Sarah Palin in the Oval Office makes me want to drink.
Oh, who am I kidding, demographics are destiny. will.i.am for SecDef!
Torie Bosch, Copy Editor: Obama
I didn't vote in the Virginia primary because I couldn't choose between Obama and Hillary Clinton—neither candidate much appealed to me. But I'll be voting for Obama because I'm a Democrat. He may not have the experience I'd like to see in a presidential candidate, but I agree with his stances on issues like the war in Iraq, abortion, and health care. I also admire the idealism and hope he's inspired in the party—and I'd like to keep Tina Fey here on Earth.
Emily Calderone, Video Producer, Slate V: Obama
In my opinion, voting for Obama is a no-brainer. While I don't think he's going to magically cure all of America's ills, I do think he's a big step in the right direction. What I admire most about Obama is his lack of cynicism (a quality the McCain campaign has in spades). How delightful. How helpful. How forward thinking. He's calm, collected, and surprisingly lacking in ego. These qualities spell success in my book. What's most important to me? Women's rights. That's where Obama scores a big fat "F" for feminism.
Abby Callard,Intern: Obama
I will be voting—in the swing state of Virginia, more importantly—for Barack Obama.
1. I don't want Roe v. Wade overturned: my body, my decision.
2. Biden (Violence Against Women Act and foreign-policy experience) vs. Palin (anti-abortion and aerial hunting).
3. Gun control: I probably support more gun control than could ever be reasonably expected to stand up in court, but Obama's views are closer to my own.
4. No Child Left Behind is horribly flawed. While both candidates understand that, I can only see Obama reforming the system in a meaningful way.
5. I'm from Chicago.
When it all comes down to it, I'm just relieved to know that whatever happens Nov. 4, Bush is done.
Matt Dodson, Software Engineer: Obama
I'm going with Obama. I fall into the category of folks who believe America is in dire need of change. Some people suggest that Obama's ideas for change are far-reaching, idealistic, and naive, but to me, they're simply common-sense solutions to the problems we're facing today.
Daniel Engber, Associate Editor: Obama
I could spin some story about the relative merits of John McCain and Barack Obama, but let's be honest: I would have voted for any Democrat who competed in the primaries over any Republican who might have been nominated. Why? Because I side with the Democrats on the things that matter most right now: foreign policy, economic policy, and health care. Those issues on which I'm most likely to diverge from the party line—e.g., the environment, the death penalty—don't seem nearly as important.
Jim Festante, Web Designer: Obama
I'm so tired of the partisanship that has been a staple of the Bush presidency and the McCain-Palin ticket. To infer (and to do so in such an overt, unapologetic manner) that somehow small-town America is the "real" America, the America with good values and moral judgment, is such an insult, especially when it's convenient for them to use New York City and Sept. 11 as political props.
Sophie Gilbert, Intern: Not Voting
I'm English, so unfortunately I don't have a vote. However, if I did, like Gordon Brown, Boris Johnson, and around 80 percent of my fellow countrymen, I'd be voting for Obama. He's more thoughtful and less irascible, and his economic plan makes way more sense.
Nathan Heller, Copy Editor: Obama
Liberals of a certain ilk—the kind who know the market price of organic chard—have a reputation for condescension. Liberals of this sort, their discontents suggest, believe that people vote Republican only because they don't know better. But the Republican Party has developed the worse habit of patronizing its own supporters.
Click here to read the rest of Heller's entry.
Melinda Henneberger, Contributor: Obama
You want me to count the reasons? Nah, you don't have that kind of time.
Christopher Hitchens, "Fighting Words" Columnist: Obama
From Hitchens' recent column endorsing Obama: "The Republican Party has invited not just defeat but discredit this year, and ... both its nominees for the highest offices in the land should be decisively repudiated, along with any senators, congressmen, and governors who endorse them."
Jennifer Huang, Intern: Obama
Because I trust that he will be competent.
Fred Kaplan, "War Stories" Columnist: Obama
I'm voting for Barack Obama because he has the right intellect, temperament, shrewdness, and curiosity. When he questions specialists, he always asks the central questions. I like the fact that he's "cool"—better that than a hothead. Though this wouldn't be a good reason to support him if it were the only reason, his victory would go a long way toward repairing our image in the world (though, of course, he'll have six months to form policies that justify the redemption). Finally, a McCain-Palin defeat would help redeem our own politics by demonstrating that mendacity and cynicism don't always succeed.