March elections smart, democratic idea | AspenTimes.com

March elections smart, democratic idea

It's not the first time moving the election day in Aspen has been suggested. On Facebook it's turning into a full out Bert Myrin versus Skippy Mesirow rock 'em sock 'em. If you can get past the accusations of Aspen Skiing Co. liftie zombies casting votes for their Ice King overlord or upstart "kids" gerrymandering by dates instead of districts please try looking at the science, specifically how your state of mind effects the way you vote.

We vote differently when we feel economically solid then when we feel strapped. March is when the majority of us who work in Aspen are feeling giddy and overwhelmed with work — when the cash is at least as plentiful as the snow. By May we're in fuzzy hangover phase. You're wondering how the winter money melted so fast and if it will ever come again while spending all your time and resources to clean things up for summer. The short answer: when you're feeling strapped you're less likely to vote and if you do vote you're a lot less likely to vote smart. Seriously, there are studies — lots of them. The 2013 study from Harvard springs to mind, "For an even starker example of how financial concerns can weigh on people's minds, Mullainathan and colleagues traveled to rural India, where sugar cane farmers typically are paid only once per year.

"The month after the harvest, they're pretty rich, but the month before — when the money has run out — they're pretty poor," he said. "What we did is look at the same people the month before and the month after the harvest, and what we see is that IQ goes up, cognitive control, or errors, goes way down, and response times go way down."

Read more at phys.org/news/2013-08-poverty-cognitive-ten-iq.html#jCp.

Sound familiar?

Simply put, more voter turnout equals good for democracy

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Smarter voter equals good for democracy.

March elections pertain to both of the above.

Ziska Childs

Aspen

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