the solution to low voter turnout
the Tally newsletter, issue 110
welcome back to the Tally newsletter, your weekly source for DAO governance insights. i'm coolhorsegirl and i’m so happy to be here. 🟣
this week, we’re talking low voter turnout, which some may not think is a bad thing in DAOs. lucky there’s certainly a solution of sorts for an issue that plagues all elections, decentralized or not: delegation.
we’ve also got proposals from Arbitrum, Lil Nouns, and NounsDAO. yes, security council elections are getting closer and closer to kicking off! let’s get into it 👇
🤿 deep dive: the solution to low voter turnout
DAOs represent a revolutionary approach to governance, allowing members to have a direct say in decisions through token-based voting. but just like traditional elections, DAOs face the challenge of low voter turnout. whether its because you received an airdrop for a protocol you no longer use, you reckon your few tokens won’t make a difference, or you don’t know how to vote, low voter turnout is an issue in the vast, vast majority of DAOs.
in the context of DAOs, low voter turnout isn't just a numerical concern; it's a threat to the very essence of decentralized governance. when only a small fraction of members participate in voting, decisions can easily be swayed by a few large token holders. this concentration of influence contradicts the democratic ethos of DAOs, where decisions should ideally reflect the collective will of all members.
comparisons to the American elections are illuminating. yes, low voter turnout in American elections is constantly talked about—”make your voice heard,” “you can’t complain if you don’t vote,” even giving out stickers to encourage you to do so. some, though, argue it’s a good thing not everyone votes—if you self-evaluate to not have the knowledge required to make an informed decision, they say, then it’s better to let those who know what’s up to handle the voting. (this, of course, is thinly veiled disenfranchisement.)
but DAOs have a better system. unlike the binary choice in many representative democracies, DAOs allow members to delegate their voting power to any of thousands of participants. this means that even if an individual feels uninformed or apathetic, they can entrust their vote to someone they believe has the expertise and alignment with their values. now imagine if you could delegate in the American elections to your best friend or family member, not some random politician you vaguely agree with.
still, it’s an interesting case study that even in DAOs (which inherently imply the importance of group decision-making), power can corrupt those who deem low voter turnout a non-issue. delegation not only boosts voter turnout but also ensures that decisions are made by those with a deep understanding of the issues at hand—and that’s just another reason that we prioritize its use.
⌛️ onchain proposals
onchain DAOs are decentralized autonomous organizations that operate entirely on the blockchain, using smart contracts and other blockchain-based technologies for its operations and decision-making processes. Tally believes that true DAOs operate onchain.
summary: submitted by the Foundation, this proposal breaks down the specs of implementation for the upcoming security council elections. big read: there are a lot of ‘em.
voting ends: september 3rd
🚊 Lil Nouns
summary: after previous proposal failed, this is revised with 3 key changes: extended duration by 25%, included a retro for 3 weeks, and decreased ETH ask.
voting ends: august 25th
Summary: so the previous proposal to upgrade was canceled before execution, after near-unanimous approval. the proposer bills this proposal as “a statement of resilience, a pledge that will not be broken or canceled.”
Voting ends: august 24th
📝 what we’re reading/watching/listening to
📄 “Ushering in the next chapter for USDC” by Jeremy Allaire and Brian Armstrong
USDC is launching on 6 new blockchains, Coinbase is increasing its support for stablecoins with an investment in Circle, and Circle will take full control over USDC issuance and governance. big stuff, all of it.
📄 “Friend.tech Is Saving Twitter” by 0xCaptainLevi
whether you’re in the friend.tech sauce or not, this is a good (and entertaining) read. basically a “why friend.tech matters” thought piece that goes deep into friend.tech versus twitter and the how friend.tech fills some increasingly glaring gaps
🐦 “Why NOT to use your protocol’s native token as your rollup’s gas token” by Andrew Huang
a very relevant thread that includes exceptions that prove the rule, and a potential alternative for token value accrual
💫 DAO talk: the driver DAOer || DT weekly ep. 51
🤭 meme of the week
~ coolhorsegirl 🐴
p.s.- it’s still a beautiful summer in edinburgh as we wrap up the comedy festival. i’m busy watching my friend’s new husky and crushing pub quizzes!