Sunday, July 31, 2016

Obligatory Voting and Morality

From guest blogger, Catherine.

One thing that has been bothering me since we talked about it in class is the idea of obligatory voting. The argument that there’s some sort of market failure when voter participation is lacking sufficiently convinces me on the presidential level, but on a local level it has less power. Like jury duty, it’s one thing to require people to be involved infrequently in government issues such as voting in one election every four years, but it’s a bit much to expect everyone to be informed and vote in every election that is in they’re the vicinity. It’s hard to say that there would be the same kind of market failure on a local level. If not everyone in a small town votes for the city council members, there isn’t going to be any significant negative outcome.  

I also agree to some degree that a voter needs to have information in order vote but the scope of that is also a problem, especially with how it relates to which elections are mandatory. Would it be better to have a voter who is well informed but only votes in the presidential election or one that isn’t informed at all but votes in all of the elections? To me the former seems like the better of the two which would show not only is informed decision actually important but that it negates the obligation to vote in minor elections.

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