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Fri Nov 7, 2014, 07:11 PM

Poll tax: Incentivizing civic participation in elections

Thomas Jefferson, as smart as he was, left out one important item

* A constitutional amendment requiring this one specific type of poll tax *

I support a $10,000 poll tax on every eligible voter. Here’s how it would/could work.

If an eligible voter votes, the automatic 1040 line item that makes your “Taxable Income for eligible voter” higher by $10,000, would have a next line item for “Voted Deduction = $10,100.”* Or some amount that would be greater than the poll tax penalty; subsidized by the government (of the people and by the people). This poll tax would be included in every other tax return, reflecting presidential and mid-term election years. It makes available a deduction and incentive for those who carry through with voting and could be tied digitally to each states’ registrar’s office for verification upon tax return submission.

Thus, any eligible voter who did not exercise their civic duty to either early vote/vote absentee or vote on election day would have a tax liability $10,000 greater than it would otherwise be, and in so doing, offset the suffering to their fellow eligible voter who did...

More on that: The hidden consequences of such additional pain to those affected would be that more people would probably be better informed of the political candidates and their policies in every major election, that they’d probably vote for their self-interests instead of against them, there would be higher turnout in every election, and would probably result in greater satisfaction overall in our democracy. Any corrupt party who paid voters under the table to sit out voting in lieu of payment, would probably get caught and flogged through public humiliation.

Each eligible voter could still choose not to participate and it would only penalize them for the amount of required taxable income at their effective tax rate, higher burden the higher the tax rate, not by the full amount itself. But for those in the ‘now majority’ that did exercise their civic duty, they would be rewarded with a mostly symbolic deduction and a real sense of participating in who governs the country they love.

Who knows, it might catch on with democracies across the globe and have many more positive hidden consequences.

Meh, who am I kidding. The current SCOTUS would probably overturn such an amendment in order to protect our democracy, as they see it.

*'Ineligible Voter deduction' would be $10,000 to nullify the poll tax.

5 replies, 3700 views

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Reply Poll tax: Incentivizing civic participation in elections (Original post)
ffr Nov 2014 OP
99th_Monkey Nov 2014 #1
ffr Nov 2014 #2
99th_Monkey Nov 2014 #5
truebluegreen Nov 2014 #3
ffr Nov 2014 #4

Response to ffr (Original post)

Fri Nov 7, 2014, 07:15 PM

1. Why not just have Federal requirement that ALL elections are Vote-by-Mail?

 

Oregon's turnout: 70%
Nat'l ave. turnout: 35%

This ONE thing would DOUBLE the turnout. Just saying'.

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Response to 99th_Monkey (Reply #1)

Fri Nov 7, 2014, 07:18 PM

2. While true, it doesn't carry the same financial reward/sting to it.

But I'd be for that too.

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Response to ffr (Reply #2)

Fri Nov 7, 2014, 07:32 PM

5. cool dat ~nt~

 

ditto.

I like your idea, as it's the first time I'd heard of that approach. I like how it turns the $incentive$
around, to benefit actual people and not faceless heartless corporations.

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Response to ffr (Original post)

Fri Nov 7, 2014, 07:19 PM

3. Only problem is, the opposition wants fewer people to vote, not more. nt

 

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Response to truebluegreen (Reply #3)

Fri Nov 7, 2014, 07:22 PM

4. IMO, you have to start somewhere. And keep hammering away at it

Like Forbes' Flat Tax initiative.

The bottom line would be whether or not voters would want themselves forced into a binding constitutional amendment of their own doing.

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