August 21, 2006

On voter turnout

Conspiritor Ilya Somin ask "Should we try to increase voter turnout?" The snap rational behind "yes" is that more participation means better representation. Somin interestingly posits that more uneducated voters--those that would be part of the increase in any voter turnout effort--are not necessarily a positive addition. Also, it may be that the current 50% of us to do vote generally represent the views of the entire population and we just happen to be the half that expresses them via votes.I found this question very interesting, because I have always simply said "yes" and left it at that. Now I am not so sure. Obviously the best situation is more educated voters, but at a certain point that may be impossible. So where is the "best" middle ground between turnout and voter knowledge? Not quite sure.I might briefly say that individuals educated about candidates and issues tend to be more likely to vote, so perhaps it is in everyone's best interest to educate individuals and then let them decided to vote on their own. Overall education of the population would increase and voter turnout would increase with only educated voters. Does this theory hold up?