July 31, 2014

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Here's How I'm Voting August 5 (with printable grid of ballot measures) *Update*

You’d think being a political animal of sorts, election season would be my favorite time of year.

It’s not. I hate elections.

I hate the crappy, predictable radio ads (above all else). I know, they do it because it works. Well, not really, but I’m not going to give a free marketing statistics lesson here. (No one has any idea if the campaign formula works, because no body ever tries anything different.)

When Will Consultants Study Science?

There are** scientifically indicated ways** to increase voter turnout and scientifically indicated ways to influence undecided voters, but they’re seldom used, mostly because they’re hard work. Instead, **consultants do the same things over and over for safety**. It’s pretty simple: if a consultant tries something different and the candidate loses, people will blame the consultant for trying the novel “unproven” new approach. So consultants trot out crappy conversational radio commercials and rooster calls. I’m sure the consultants know it’s not scientific and probably doesn’t work, but it’s safe, and Republicans LOVE safe. So do Democrats.

Someone actually did try some scientifically indicated election methods. The** Democrats in Colorado** about a decade ago, and they turned a Red state Blue. But they also displaced a lot of traditional Democrat consultants in the process, as if that’s a bad thing. It’s chronicled in the book The Blueprint, which everyone who actually does like elections must read. (You might also try Victory Lab while you’re reading about scientific election tactics.)

The Moment No One’s Been Waiting For

I tell you all this to let you know that I HATE writing these posts. I don’t expect anyone to blindly follow my example, especially considering my example could get you arrested in Scotland. (Fodder for another post.) I’m not mentioning uncontested races except for State Auditor, because Tom Schweich is decent enough of a guy to actually ask me for my support and vote. (It’s very refreshing that he doesn’t assume.) So here’s my list:

State Auditor: Tom Schweich

County Executive:** Tony Pousosa**

US House, 3rd District: John Morris (not my district, but people keep asking)

Now, for the ballots. Here’s a link to a printable copy of this list. You’re welcome to copy and distribute as you’d like.

If I were Heritage Action, I’d key vote Amendment 5, Amendment 7, and Amendment 9. Vote the wrong way on just one, and you fall below the House Republican average. So be careful out there on August 5.

Also, there’s a Libertarian in many, many races in Missouri. Most are unopposed. If the GOP candidate is unpalatable, there’s no need to vote a straight party ticket. Just sayin'.

UPDATE: People are wondering just what I mean by “meh” on Amendment 1, so here’s the deal. This amendment is so meaningless that voting for it shows a disrespect for the law and for the Missouri Constitution, so I’m going to vote no.

On the other hand, if someone can convince me that Amendment 1 legalized hemp farming, I’ll vote for it.

******** original post continues*******

Now, some bonus material.

How To Make Someone Vote (Even If They Don’t Want To)

Don’t forget, if you want someone to vote, here’s the conversation you need to have:

“Do you see yourself voting next Tuesday?”

The will likely say “yes,” even if they don’t even know there’s an election. And use the phrase “seeing yourself” because it forces them to visualize the act of voting, like saying “don’t think about a pink elephant.”

“Do you know where your polling place is?”

They’ll say “yes,” because they don’t want to look stupid.

“What time do you think you’ll vote?”

This forces them to plan and commit to a time of day. And it reinforces their visualization of voting. And finally:

“What will you be doing immediately before you go to vote?”

This causes their minds to plan and organize their day around voting.

Research shows this 4-question method actually increases voter turnout. Almost nothing else works. I know it’s a bit convoluted, but it works. Here’s more

Even when we control for alternative sources of similar behavior, such as having the same income, education, ideology, or level of political interest, the typical subject is about 15 percent more likely to vote if one of his discussion partners votes. But does this influence spread beyond that to the rest of the network? As it turns out, we see a correlation between people who are directly connected and also between people who are indirectly connected via a common friend. In other words, if you vote, then it increases the likelihood that your friends’ friends vote as well.

Christakis, Nicholas A.; Fowler, James H. (2009-09-09). Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives (p. 185). Hachette Book Group. Kindle Edition.

See you at the polls.