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The Ethics of Voting$
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Jason Brennan

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691154442

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691154442.001.0001

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Buying and Selling Votes

Buying and Selling Votes

(p.135) Chapter Six Buying and Selling Votes
The Ethics of Voting

Jason Brennan

Princeton University Press

This chapter assesses whether vote buying and selling are morally wrong. It then argues that vote buying and selling are morally permissible provided that selling votes does not lead to violations of the duties described in earlier chapters. Thus, vote buying and selling are not inherently wrong. If it is morally permissible for someone to vote for a certain way for free, then it is permissible to vote that way for payment. However, vote commodification is not morally neutral. While selling one's vote cannot transform a right action into a bad one, it can amplify the wrongness of a wrong action. If one is paid to vote wrongly, this is often morally worse than doing so without payment.

Keywords:   vote buying, vote selling, vote commodification

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