So, here's today's good reason to vote -- you're not stupid.
Early voting and absentee ballots are a hot topic this political season, but scientists say some folks are laying the groundwork for voting really early -- say from kindergarten.
"Little is known about the association between measured intelligence and how people participate in democratic processes," says a current Intelligence journal study led by Ian Deary of Scotland's University of Edinburgh, in a wee bit of an understatement. "There is debate about the importance of intelligence in relation to whether people vote in elections, and there is currently little information on how people with different levels of intelligence choose to vote in elections," according to the report.
So Deary and company took a look at a decades long study of 17,200 people born in 1970. According to the article, "The researchers check up on them every few years and included intelligence tests at age 5 and 10, as well as voting affiliation and occupation at age 34."
Turns out that those who are the smartest vote most often. The average IQ is 100 and, for every 15 points above the average, a person is 35% more likely to vote. "People who took part in a political meeting or rally in the last year, those who took part in a public demonstration, those who signed a petition, and those who were fairly or very interested in politics had higher mean intelligence test scores at age 10," the study found.
So voting doesn't actually make you smart, but it's what smart people do. Turns out that being politically active doesn't hurt any either. So who's the smarter voter, the leftie or the rightie?
"Childhood intelligence is associated with how and how much people engage in the democratic processes, and with support for political ideologies that are based on ecological sustainability and social liberalism," the study found. Let me translate that for McCain voters -- not you. All those smartypants kids grow up to be fancypants liberal elitists.
And does the fact that the study was based on UK politics, not American politics mean anything? Not really, say the authors. "Although these data apply to one country's political system, there are broad similarities in political parties across Western democracies, and so these data might have wider relevance beyond the UK." That means you, commie Obama backers. You're the brainiacs.
Now go out and prove it.