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How do we get more people to vote?
#11
I wonder how voter turn out correlates to level of education.  Are those that turn out (the 30%) disproportionately higher eduction?  Are the disproportionately middle/upper class? 

Maybe low voter turn out only brings out a certain type of voter - for example, would a higher voter turn out have resulted in better polling for candidates like Jay Aissa?  Would the remaining 60% who did not vote, vote less well (less informed, more responsive to media hype)?  If everyone was required to vote, could Jay have potentially won?

I am realizing that this is borderline inappropriate and that I am suggesting that true and total democracy is not equipped to always make the best decisions....
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#12
(10-29-2014, 08:04 PM)REnerd Wrote: I wonder how voter turn out correlates to level of education.  Are those that turn out (the 30%) disproportionately higher eduction?  Are the disproportionately middle/upper class?

I have no doubt that there are correlations of that nature, at least because people with low incomes (of working age) have the least time to spare on voting.
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#13
(10-29-2014, 08:04 PM)REnerd Wrote: I wonder how voter turn out correlates to level of education.  Are those that turn out (the 30%) disproportionately higher eduction?  Are the disproportionately middle/upper class? 

Maybe low voter turn out only brings out a certain type of voter - for example, would a higher voter turn out have resulted in better polling for candidates like Jay Aissa?  Would the remaining 60% who did not vote, vote less well (less informed, more responsive to media hype)?  If everyone was required to vote, could Jay have potentially won?

I am realizing that this is borderline inappropriate and that I am suggesting that true and total democracy is not equipped to always make the best decisions....

Yes, there are charts with education level vs turnout from the US here:

https://www.boundless.com/sociology/text...-646-7854/

(Higher education level = higher vote turnout).

However, I do believe in the wisdom of crowds to some extent. First, the average person can have deep insights about the way the world works. Who am I to say that my opinion should be privileged over theirs, at least in fields where I haven't developed expertise (and even that's not always true, e.g. 50s urban planners). Second, averaging over lots of people can work surprisingly well.
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#14
Quote:D'Amato: Maybe it’s time to stop worrying about low voter turnout

Can we all please stop agonizing over the low election turnout?

Only three out of every 10 eligible voters in Waterloo Region actually voted, according to unofficial poll results. That's about the same as in the last municipal elections, in 2010.

[...]

People will vote when there's an important issue in front of them — and when they think they know enough about that issue to weigh in on it.

Otherwise, most of them won't.
You want proof? Look at Toronto, which had record-high turnout on Monday, at 60.4 per cent. In 2010, turnout in Canada's biggest city also hit a record high at 53 per cent. Previously, it had languished at around 30 per cent.
The reason can be summed up in three little words: The Ford brothers.

[...]

Here in Waterloo Region, we don't have such stark problems. It's not as if the suburbs of Kitchener had a champion in one mayoral candidate, while the downtown favoured another.

Yes, the light rail transit project has polarized us, but most voters realized it's too late now to cancel it.
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#15
Make it that you can vote almost anywhere.  If you don't have to run to a specific polling station there is more of a chance you will vote.   The vote goes to the people not the people going to the vote. 

Setup polls in workplaces, university campus, hospitals, shopping malls, maybe even Timmies.    Even in another city or province if it's a national election.   Voting online would also be possible.   Using a computer, ipad or even a smartphone.   

 Although people don't like the idea of carrying a voter id card we do carry all sorts of id with us.  If you could scan that id into a national database of voters, system indicates you are eligible to vote and prints off a ballot.   Or your specific ballot appears electronically on a voting device.   That voting device could even be a tablet.   Which would probably be more efficient.  At the end of the election their is an electronic tally.   

We are advanced enough with technology to make this possible.    Someone just needs to develop such a system and sell the idea to the government and the voting public.  
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#16
Technology is notoriously insecure. Although, or maybe because, I am a computer scientist, I don't trust computers with our fundamental right to vote. It is too easy to steal elections with technology.

Systems where votes are recorded on paper are most secure.
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#17
The situation could be fairly simple to correct: have an updated voters list.


This letter writer to the Record single-handedly boosted the voter turnout in Cambridge to 100% by taking into account the fact that her house and her neighbour's house reportedly still had 5 adult children living in the houses though they hadn't lived there in years.  While both couples voted (4 people total), the 5 who no longer lived there brought the turnout number down significantly.
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#18
(10-30-2014, 10:51 AM)plam Wrote: Technology is notoriously insecure. Although, or maybe because, I am a computer scientist, I don't trust computers with our fundamental right to vote. It is too easy to steal elections with technology.

Actually I trust computers. It's the people who program and operate them that I don't trust Wink

Quote:Systems where votes are recorded on paper are most secure.

There are ways to game paper ballot systems too.

Never "misunderestimate"(*) the power of humans to find ways to defeat systems, whether paper, mechanical or electronic.

(*) A so-called Bushism coined by a president who owed his election to a failure in ballot systems. Just ask Al Gore.
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#19
I don't think Cambridge had any canvassers this year. Donna Reid visited last time (oddly enough the same day we had voted for her in the advance polls) but nobody showed up this time.
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#20
(10-30-2014, 10:08 PM)ookpik Wrote:
(10-30-2014, 10:51 AM)plam Wrote: Technology is notoriously insecure. Although, or maybe because, I am a computer scientist, I don't trust computers with our fundamental right to vote. It is too easy to steal elections with technology.

Actually I trust computers. It's the people who program and operate them that I don't trust Wink

Not very helpful. Computers always operate in a context where they are programmed by people.

(10-30-2014, 10:08 PM)ookpik Wrote:
Quote:Systems where votes are recorded on paper are most secure.

There are ways to game paper ballot systems too.

Never "misunderestimate"(*) the power of humans to find ways to defeat systems, whether paper, mechanical or electronic.

(*) A so-called Bushism coined by a president who owed his election to a failure in ballot systems. Just ask Al Gore.

Of course it is possible to steal an election. But that's also not a very useful comment. It is much easier to steal an election and leave no evidence using technology than it is with well-established paper voting systems.
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