Thursday, February 9, 2012

More thoughts on voting

Today we had a discussion about voting and ways to get college age kids to be informed and care enough to vote. Our group was the "vending machine" discussion focused around getting people informed. The main issue  is that getting informed takes time and time is the most valuable resource for people our age. That is why we decided that telling people who they would vote for based on a series of questions would be the best way. Anyone could take this poll about what their ideas are about certain topics and then the program would tell them who they are most likely to vote for. There are many problems about this which would have to be addressed.

  1. The questions could be misleading. They would have to be extremely carefully worded in order to convey each parties platform. The best way may be to have a question posed to each candidate and then the voter chooses between their 1 paragraph responses. 
  2. The candidates may overlap on many issues. One way to overcome this would be to output percentages of each candidate rather than just one person.
  3. It could cost a lot to put together especially for our class. The best way I think that we could deal with this is to make it web-based. We could put it up on college websites making it easily accessible and editable.
  4. Some people know a lot about politics and some people do not. The questions would have to vary from core values to specific topics with an option to say, "Not an issue I am concerned about."
  5. More problems to come.
While there are problems we would have to hammer out I believe that this could be extremely effective. The possibilities go much further than just the the presidential elections as well. How many people know anything about their local elections in their city/county/state? I would argue that this is a much bigger problem than the presidential election and something we could begin to help fix. We could apply this to elections or any type of vote held and drastically increase our public participation. Please, as you see more problems with this post a comment with the problem and an idea for a solution. I will try to keep this updated and add in the ideas to this blog.

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