10/20/2012

Does giving free pot to get people to vote create a bias in who votes?

There is an interesting case in California:

Fliers offering $40 worth of free medical-grade marijuana were reportedly passed out in Eagle Rock to try and draw residents to vote in the local election.
Was the free pot an incentive to get a larger turnout? Politics ranked “high” on resident’s list of priorities. Nearly 10 times as many voters – 792 residents – turned out to the polls during the recent Neighborhood Council elections than last year.
“It’s a little weird that people can’t come out and vote on their own. I see that as a problem, as a social symptom,” Eagle Rock resident Joerael Elliott said. . . .
My question is whether this impacts the out come of the election (the news article does say whether there was a change in election results).  However, even if this inducement is made available to all potential voters, that seems very likely to be the case here.  My guess is that giving out free pot induces more liberal people to vote.  Even giving out cash might skew the type of person who is showing up to vote.

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