Policy Forum

What’s Wrong with the Voters?

October 26, 2004 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM EDT

1st floor/Wintergarden

Featuring Ilya Somin, George Mason University School of Law; John Samples, Cato Institute; Michael P. McDonald, Brookings Institution; moderated by David Boaz, Cato Institute.

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Critics of elections have long complained about low voter turnout in the United States. Some argue that big money spending on campaigns, especially on hard‐​hitting “negative” ads, disgusts voters and lowers turnout. Those critics prescribe limits on campaign spending and, perhaps, government controls on political advertising. Other observers note that surveys have long found voters to be largely ignorant of basic political knowledge, which indirectly raises the question of whether citizens can effectively control their representatives. Please join us a week before election day to discuss the state of the American electorate and what, if anything, should be done to boost the health of our representative democracy.