There seems to be some significant irony in the whole "get out the vote" movement for this election.
It has often been the common belief of both the right and left wings that
1. (Left wing) If we just get people (who may not usually vote) to the polls, they will vote for left wing candidates
2. (Right wing) We need to discourage just anyone from voting, because they will vote for left wing candidates.
All over the media, you have messages from pop stars urging people to go out and vote because they think that if they do, that those new voters will vote for the candidate that the pop star has made no secrets about whom they support.
I loved the line in Mike Rowe's statement where when your friend wants you to get your vote out, see if they will give you a ride to the polls if they think you are voting for the opposite candidate.
The analysis of this election clearly turned all these assumptions on their head.
If the voters who hated everyone had stayed home, we would likely have a different president elect.
I am no fan of the Jim Crow laws, but I think an educated (on the issues) voter is important. I have never, by design, voted a party line, and sometimes it takes a lot of effort for me to decide on a candidate or issue, because (other than for president) the media does not make it easy to make side by side comparisons on their policies or stands (on issues that are actually relevant for the position they are running for).
I really don't care what my state senator (as in state house, not Washington DC) believes relative to the selection to United States Supreme Court justices - they will not have any authority over that decision.
Even our voter guides out here, only state the issue itself - they no longer offer a paragraph or statement from a supporting and opposing sides. The local paper used to do a nice piece where they would ask each of the candidates the same questions (relative to the position they were running for), and I could review their answers and select the candidate whose overall position most matched mine. Sadly the paper has since folded, and no one else has taken up the mantle.
My point here is, it is hard to be a voter actually educated on the issues or candidate's relevant positions, but it is important. Simply voting for whom a Hollywood star says you should, or party lines, or the "apple ballot" is your choice - but may not lead to the results you actually want.