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Posts published in “Day: October 22, 2010”

“Are American Voters Competent?”

Talk about a pertinent question.

Which is not meant to suggest automatically an answer that they are not. But it does pose a very useful question about what competence in voting - casting an informed, reasoned set of votes on a ballot - means.

Comes up here after we spotted this announcement from Washington State University:

Washington State University’s Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service presents another public lecture of the Coffee and Politics series titled, “Are American Voters Competent? Information and the Failure of Good Intentions” at 10:30 a.m. on Oct. 27 in CUE 518.

Arthur Lupia, Hal R. Varian professor of political science and research at the University of Michigan, examines how information and institutions affect policy and politics. Lupia will discuss current research and its relevance for questions about what voters can and cannot do.

He studies how people make decisions when they lack information on topics such as voting and elections, civic competence and legislative-bureaucratic relations.

If you're anywhere near Pullman and decide to go, let us know what you hear.