Sunday, April 24

Bribe people and they will vote. In USA

This was amazing to read besides the funny description of how Political Science Conferences work. I quote:

Damon M. Cann of Utah State University detailed how he knocked on doors in River Heights, Utah, and to one group made a distinctly rhetorical plea to vote in an upcoming election, for the sake of democracy. To another group, he randomly offered discount coupons for fried chicken, French fries, a Mexican meal and rock climbing if they went to the polls. If later inspection of the rolls confirmed you had indeed voted, you'd got a coupon for, in the case of the fried chicken, two buckets worth at KFC.

Cann's initial numbers crunching determined that oral persuasion hiked turnout by four percent but blatant economic lures jacked it up a further nine percent. As panel moderator Brian Gaines of the University of Illinois suggested to me later, Cann's gambit would probably be illegal if offered as a swap for backing a specific candidate. But the yet-to-be-published work may prove a provocative addition to an explosion of studies on voting, Gaines said, especially given what tend to be dismal U.S turnouts compared to other industrialized nations.

These Americans should take a leaf out of the world’s largest democracy, India, where economic incentives are quite common. Money, Sari’s, TV’s, you name it, they get it. So any country which is moaning about lack of voter participation, just hand out KFC vouchers and they will turn out in droves.

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