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From the Department of Things That Made A Lot of Sense Until They Didn’t.
New York Times has an interesting article today on early voting measures and their effect on voter turnout. Common wisdom says, “people don’t vote because they have to work on Tuesday and are just too tired to do it.” Solution: Give them more time to vote and they’ll turn out in droves. The reality proves to be far more complicated as the research shows that voter turnout declines with more voting opportunities.
Before we jump on the easy solution, Megan McArdle offers an interesting warning:
This isn’t perhaps quite as surprising as it seems. Dan Ariely’s book discussed a pre-school in Israel where a day care center started charging a fee for parents who were late picking up their children, only to see the number of late pick-ups rise–apparently once there was a fee, parents no longer felt guilty about being late. The day care then rescinded the fee, but the norm–“don’t pick up your kids late” had already been broken; now parents simply concluded that there was no penalty at all, and the problem became even worse.