If You Don't Know Who This Is, Don't Vote

Uninformed citizens should stay home, unpopular as the sentiment might be
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 31, 2008 4:01 PM CDT
Bruce Springsteen performs for tens of thousands of people at a free outdoor concert in support of Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and in a push for voter registration, in...   (AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma)
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(Newser) – Countless actors, musicians and other celebrities have volunteered their time encouraging young people to vote. But should they? ABC News anchor John Stossel quizzed voters on basic political knowledge at a registration-drive concert and in the nation’s capital. A shockingly high number of uninformed answers led Stossel to the “politically incorrect” conclusion that some trips to the polls aren’t in the civic interest.

Shouldn’t these people, asks Stossel, leave the decision-making to those better informed? “If you don't know what you're doing, you are not doing the country a favor by voting,” one economist told him. But voter-registration advocates disagree: “There's a lot of uninformed voters out there,” says one. “But democracy is about every individual having a voice.”