Pay People to Vote

A pair of congressional bills—the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act—would tackle these challenges head-on, but they are stuck as long as the filibuster remains in place. Command-and-control regulation is out, but monetary carrots and sticks that reshape actors’ incentives can be very much in. An example of a fiscal carrot is a voucher for every eligible voter who actually votes: Cast a ballot, collect a check. This policy would be a potent response to the voting restrictions proliferating across the country.

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