Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
I didn't say you were on to something, I said you were on something.

idea: add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random

meta: news, help, about, links, report a problem

account: browse anonymously, or get an account and write.



Voter Rebate

tax breaks for voters
  (+2, -5)
(+2, -5)
  [vote for,

In all countries with a public voting process in their goverment (and especially in the USA) it is always an issue to try and get everyone to vote. The problem is, even being your civic duty and everything, it's still several hours if not more out of your day that you could be using to do something else.

Solution: Everyone who votes, come tax time, gets a rebate in their taxes. Not a whole lot, but enough to be worthwhile, say $50. Take the money out of the budget alloted towards advertising the vote, which hopefully will be unncessary.

In addition to encouraging voting, it will also make it more difficult to perpetrate vote fraud--the government revenue service (the IRS) probably knows better than anyone else precisely who is and isn't in the country. If the IRS can't correlate a vote with a tax profile in its files, chances are that person doesn't actually exist, and somebody has been stuffing the ballot boxes. Likewise for duplicate votes and so forth.

Even granted the IRS isn't infallable, two independent bodies checking the votes can't be a bad thing.

5th Earth, Dec 21 2005

get paid to vote get_20paid_20to_20vote
Similar to this, but flat rate instead of taxcut - hence is cheaper and simpler [mofosyne, Feb 02 2012]


       great, another system of redistributing wealth via the tax system. I'm of the opinion that tax should be as simple as possible, eg percentage of income - no exceptions, and money should be redistributed via the welfare system.   

       Australia has a better system... If you don't vote, you're charged $50.
xaviergisz, Dec 21 2005

       What a remarkably cynical anno. Why on earth do you think the point of this idea is redistribution of wealth?   

       Sure, I'm all for tax simplicity too, but I don't see this idea as being particularly complex. If you prefer, just give everyone the money as they walk out the door, and your tax code will remain delightfully unblemished.
5th Earth, Dec 22 2005

       I think [xaviergisz] is suggesting that the basic point behind your idea (to use financial incentives to encourage people to vote, rather than to vote for a particular party), is well baked in some countries. [x] also rightly points out that it makes more sense to fine the small minority (in a country where there's compulsorary voting) rather than waste all those tax dollars processing IRS payments.

I think your suggestion is actually a retrograde move as it would almost certainly stop the most disenfranchised people from voting (if you have to register with the IRS)!.
neilp, Dec 22 2005

       I think we're actually in agreement 5th, and admit my anno was not as concise as it could have been. I realise the idea wasn't for redistribution of wealth, it's an enticement for people to vote. However I think doing this via a tax rebate is clumsy and inefficient.   

       So yes, I prefer your idea of //give everyone the money as they walk out the door//. Although I prefer even more Australia's system of fining you for not voting.   

       edit: neilp, we posted at the same time. You've put my point across nicely.
xaviergisz, Dec 22 2005

       why does it take you hours to vote? it takes me about 10 minutes.
po, Dec 22 2005

       [nielp] Well, in the USA it's actually the minority that *do* vote. Although I'll grant that it will cost extra to process the IRS payments, it will also cost extra to track down and fine the people that don't vote--and it's probably harder to take money from people than give it to them.   

       As for the disenfranchised--I assume that only citizens of a country can vote in that country's elections. All citizens are required to file tax returns, even if they don't owe the government anything (it's not rigorously enforced, though). In other words, being a legal citizen de facto means you're registered with the IRS, so it shouldn't be any barrier to legitimate voting.   

       [xaviergisz], fair enough. Yours is a reasonable opinion too.   

       [po], are you taking into account travel time to and from the polling place, waiting in lines, and various other rigamarole? The voting act itself is relatively fast, but there's a bit of work involved in getting to the booth. Maybe my district just sucks, though.
5th Earth, Dec 23 2005

       Everyone doesn't have to file for income taxes. "If you are a U.S. citizen or resident alien, whether you must file a federal income tax return depends upon your gross income, your filing status, your age, and whether you are a dependent." - from the IRS Publication 501
ChrisKennedy, Mar 15 2007



       Every month, deduct a fixed modest sum from each voter's income, be it earned or social benefits. Assume one dollar (or euro) per month, and voting every four years; 48 units of currency plus a bit of interest.   

       The money is notionally "invested" at the current average rate.   

       When an election is held, after the voter has cast their ballot, they receive their money back in cash, there and then (plus the notional interest).   

       Postal voters are paid by cheque by return mail.   

       No vote, no money, no exceptions.   

       Undisbursed funds are fed back into the "pot" to pay then notional interest when the next election occurs.
8th of 7, Mar 17 2010

       This is very nearly an anagram of "vertebrate".
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 17 2010

       [-] not voting is part of the process: it's a statement...   

       "can't be arsed"
"don't understand the issues well enough"
"all candidates should be binned"
"don't want to feel responsible for the inevitable cockups"

       and it's called "abstaining".
FlyingToaster, Mar 17 2010

       First, ballot papers need a "None of the above" option; otherwise not voting doesn't mean anything except that you didn't vote.   

       Second - how on earth can voting take "several hours if not more"??? What on earth do you guys actually DO?? Do they give you an exam or something? Ah - I see you answered that earlier. Why don't you have local polling stations in each village or district?
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 17 2010

       // Why don't you have local polling stations in each village or district? //   

       Surely you're not suggesting that ordinary people should be allowed to vote ? Get a grip, man ! Why, if you go down that road, it won't be long before you're even talking about letting women have the vote too ... as if.
8th of 7, Mar 18 2010

       I have a solution: cupcakes. Make your mark, receive tasty cupcake upon departure.
BunsenHoneydew, Mar 19 2010

       It is a sign of how much coffee I have in me that "rebate", "berate" and "beer rate" seem to share some sort of kinship.
bungston, Feb 02 2012

       That's "loosening of associations." Next comes "flight of ideas," and after that "halfbaking."
mouseposture, Feb 02 2012


back: main index

business  computer  culture  fashion  food  halfbakery  home  other  product  public  science  sport  vehicle