Somin Op-ed in Forbes on Voter Ignorance
In an opinion piece in Forbes, Professor Ilya Somin discusses why voter ignorance is rational.
“Political ignorance is not caused by lack of information. Thanks to the internet, information is easier to find than ever. Yet studies show that today’s voters are about as ignorant as those of the pre-internet era. Most of such ignorance is actually rational. When your only incentive to acquire political knowledge is to make better voting decisions, remaining ignorant makes good sense. No matter how well-informed you are, the probability that your vote will change the outcome of an election is tiny—only one in 60 million in a presidential election, for example. Though few know the exact odds, people have an intuitive sense that there is little payoff to studying political issues, and act accordingly.”
What No One Talks About During Election Season: Voter Ignorance, Forbes, November 3, 2014. By Ilya Somin.