Comments on economics, mystery fiction, drama, and art.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Why People Don't Vote

Tim Taylor takes a look at the question "Why don't more people vote?" and concludes that there may not be much that we can do about low voter turnout.  Perhaps.  But I was struck by a couple of the numbers, one for both Presidential elections and the other for of-year elections, of reasons given by people for not voting:

Too busy, conflicting schedule:
Presidential elections:  18.9%
Off-year elections:  28.2%

Transportation problems:
Presidential elections:  3.3%
Off-year elections:  2.1%

Apparently, both parties do a very good job of getting people who want to vote to the polls.  But, equally apparently, there's something about the way in which we schedule elections that is a problem.

We are, so far as I know, the only major country in the world that (1) elects people to political office and (2) holds elections on a day when almost all people work.  I would suggest, just as an experiment, that we try holding some elections on, say, Saturdays or Sundays--and that we make national election days also national holidays.  You know, like civilized countries do.


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