A Utah State University researcher found that food is a greater motivator than democracy when it comes to getting people to vote.
As reported by The Atlantic, Damon M. Cann went to doorsteps urging people to go vote, for all the reasons that lovers of democracy should be convinced to do so. But some of the group also were offered two buckets of KFC. Four percent of the people caught the vision from his words alone; but participation jumped to 13 percent when the Colonel Sanders blowout was offered.
I can picture how this might have gone.
Home No. 1:
“Honey, this guy came to the door saying we’d better go vote for the good of the country. Should we go?”
“Norbert, you know my goiter’s acting up. Plus it’s raining, and they’re all crooks anyway.”
Home No. 2:
“Hey, honey, if we go vote today, this guy says he’ll give us two buckets of KFC. Woo-hoo!”
“How cool is that? Get your keys, Norb.”
Political scientists obviously are having their own feast with this clever experiment. Sadly, there likely wouldn’t be much need for extensive voter participation research if turnout wasn’t so abysmal in most elections.