Study: Voice Votes Don’t Speak Volumes

View Comments
Athens: the cradle of Western democracy. (Getty Images)

Athens: the cradle of Western democracy. (Getty Images)

Latest News

WASHINGTON (CBS DC) – It’s a scene as old as democracy itself — an engaged citizenry shouting “aye” to pass laws.

But could it be that the ayes don’t have it?

Researchers at the University of Iowa say they don’t, at least when it comes to a voice vote, reports Fox News.

Ingo Titze, an expert on voice and speech, decided to run through some tests with one of his classes.

In a series of pretend votes, students were instructed to say “yes,” “no,” “nay,” “aye,” or “yea” at various decibel levels.

Five people listened, with eyes closed, to judge how the votes went.

No matter how loudly or softly the students spoke, the judges were unable to determine when there was a narrow majority.

The results had to be 60-40 either way before the listeners could tell who won.

“The vote is very, very biased toward loud voices,” Titze said. “Soft voices are like no voices in a vote.”

The results are published in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

View Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,731 other followers