[EM] Compensation for the cost of voting to the voters was Three Stage Approval Election

raphfrk at netscape.net raphfrk at netscape.net
Thu Jun 8 07:13:27 PDT 2006

Sorry, hit reply instead of reply all.

  Abd ul-Rahman Lomax <abd at lomaxdesign.com> wrote:
> the most significant election cost, which is often
>neglected, is voter time at the voting booth and waiting to get
> there. This cost is enormous, it dwarfs, in fact, in value, what is
> normally spent on campaigning.

How true.  Assuming it takes a voter 1 hour to vote including
travel time then it works out at say $20 per voter.  Including petrol
costs, it could be higher and also it may take longer than an hour
total.  That would be at least $3 billion if the number
of voters in the US was 150 million.

What about a system which pays voters to vote.  Paying from
general taxation would be a little unfair to those who can't vote.

It could be something like:

Each citizen is registered at a polling booth.  A compensation
amount is selected and is index linked, say $50 (paid only
once if more than one vote is held at the same time).

Each citizen who votes gets paid the compensation.  The
total payment is then divided by the total number of citizens
who are eligible to vote and they are sent a bill.

If the turnout was 75%, each voter would have to pay $37.50
no matter if they voted or not.

If a citizen voted, they get $50 and pay $37.50 giving $12.50 profit

If a citizen doesn't vote, they pay $37.50.

There could even be a rule that the compensation must be
increased if voter turnout drops below 75% and should be
high enough so that voting always creates a net profit for
the voter.

In fact, including all costs in the breakdown would be
informative to the voters.

Something like:

$37.50 - voter compensation
$1.87 - polling booths
$2.13 - ballot printing
$3.07 - counting
$1.24 - re-counts
$0.75 - miscellaneous

Apparently, it costs about $10 per voter to run an election,
taken from the first site to appear on google.

A second benefit is that it would help keep the voting rolls
current.  If someone doesn't pay, they can be assumed to
have moved or something.  It also creates an incentive to
want to register as voters make a profit for voting.
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