Sunday, November 06, 2005

A voter turn-out experiment

This NY Times article poses the question, "Why is voter turnout so high, given that the pay-off of voting (for the individual) is so low?" Then it discusses an experiment done in Switzerland, where ballots were mailed home to every citizen in an attempt to increase voter turn-out. Unexpectedly, voting actually decreased. Read to find out why.

On a related note, I am a registered democrat in this city, and I have received nothing from the Ferrer campaign: no flyers or mailing of any kind, nothing. I don't watch tv, so I haven't seen any campaign ads, and my shower radio is broken, so I haven't heard any radio spots, either. (I read the news on-line).

I definitely am one of those people who believes voting is an important civic duty. But with each election of my adult life, I feel less motivated to participate. The candidates whom I'm supposed to like are completely uninspiring. They propose so little in the way of actual policy. I am supposed to vote for Ferrer because he's the Democrat and because as a teacher and liberal in NYC, I'm supposed to hate Bloomberg. Anyway, the way the polls are going, Ferrer is a lost cause. I may abstain from voting in this election simply because it saves me from having to make a compromising choice.

I think I'll crawl back into my hole now.

3 Comments:

Blogger your math teacher said...

You're right. I haven't gotten any flyers in the mail from Freddy either, yet I've gotten 2-3 huge poster flyers from Bloomie. Hmmn.. I guess Freddy doesn't have Bloomie's big pockets.

12:59 PM  
Blogger hedgetoad said...

you what is really strange? I get emails all the time from him and I moved out of the city 4 years ago!

2:19 PM  
Blogger jonathan said...

When you abstain, do you stay home? Or do you go into the booth and just not turn the lever for that office?

If you do the latter, you may want to check that your registration stays current - they lift you off the rolls if you miss enough* consecutive elections.

I routinely walk into the booth but do not vote 1) if there is no candidate worth voting for; 2) if a ballot resolution is confusing; or 3) for judges. I don't see how anyone votes for judges they have never heard of.

Jonathan

*I have no idea when is enough

6:05 PM  

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