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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
If You Don't Know Who This Is, Don't Vote
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 downtown Philadelphia Saturday, Oct. 4, 2008.   (AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma)

(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.

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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.” (Read more voting stories.)

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