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The Dartmouth
April 19, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

No Vote, No Paycheck

Please vote. Pretty please?

That's what leaders from the Republican and Democratic National Committees are pleading to their respective electorate.

Why is such begging going on?

Democratic leaders realize many of the congressional seats they lost two years ago were strictly based on low turnout from their constituents.

Republican leaders realize many of the congressional seats they won two years ago were strictly based on high turnout from their constituents.

However, the tables may turn this year.

With Bob Dole still significantly lagging behind President Clinton in the polls, RNC leaders fear Republicans won't show up at the polls thinking Clinton will win with or without their vote.

That leaves the Democrats with a slight edge between the two partys' turnout which could lead to congressional seats falling into the hands of the Democrats.

But all you Democratic faithful better not cheer yet because another scenario, a more likely one, is that a large Clinton lead in the polls would cause the Democratic electorate to think their vote isn't necessary for the re-election of the president.

Which leads this election to be nothing more than a status quo election. If neither party gets their voters to the polls, most incumbents will continue their trip to Capital Hill.

Now, most people consider the lack of turnout for the presidential elections abominable. Since 1932, the turnout for presidential elections as a percentage of the voting-age population has been consistently between 50 and 63 percent -- a high of 63 percent in 1960 (Although that maybe a little skewed because of questionable ballots cast by various political and labor figures in order to stack the deck on John F. Kennedy's favor.) -- a low of 50 percent in 1988.

Voter apathy has been the in phrase this year. I've heard over and over again that you shouldn't complain about the government's role or lack thereof in your life if you did not vote. And I've also heard about a lack of interest in the two major candidates -- people complain there should be a third political party.

Well, when I punched out my absentee ballot, I saw nine different parties listed for the presidential ticket besides the Democrats and Republicans, including the Reform Party, the Green Party, the Libertarian Party, and the Tax Free party. The fact remains that no mater how many political parties exist, half of the nation will continue to feel disenchanted with Washington D.C.

So, how does a nation increase its numbers at the polls? I have a simple solution; most if not all voters receive a paycheck or some form of monetary subsistence (welfare, social security, Dad's Visa). Therefore, no register, no vote, no money.

If someone doesn't register to vote and vote on election day, they don't receive the money they have earned or will earn for the next year until the first Tuesday in November comes around again.

Not only will this bring more voters to the polls, it will spur economic growth because a 100 percent turnout of registered voters is not probable, and businesses can invest the money they saved by not paying their non-voting employees.

It's like an interest free loan that can be paid off at the end of year in one lump sum. And since total wages are going to be worth less a year later due to inflation, the business is actually paying less for the labor with a yearly paycheck than if they shelled out bi-weekly or monthly paychecks.

Assuming some people who don't vote die, then whoever is holding their check gets to keep the money. The question of taxes, social security, Medicare and other government fees come up. After all, if some people aren't receiving their paychecks, how are they going to help pay for the government's expenditures?

Here I join the side of the supply-siders -- a flat 15 percent tax on all pay checks in holding at the end of the year after social security and Medicare is taken out. The poor guy or gal who didn't vote suffered enough; a tax break could help ease his or her mistake of not voting or not registering to vote.

But what if that person doesn't vote the next year or the year after that? If the person doesn't vote in two consecutive Presidential elections, he or she forfeits their accumulated paychecks to the holders.

Bob Dole has been calling for America to wake up. If he adds this idea to his campaign platform, America would certainly pay attention.