A Third of Americans Would Forfeit Their Voting Rights For a 10% Pay Raise, Says Study

More than a third of Americans would give up their right to vote for a 10% annual pay raise, according to a new survey.

Pause for a second to let that sink in.

The peculiar findings come from a survey conducted by LendEDU, an online student loan marketplace, that polled 1,238 working Americans. In exchange for the hypothetical pay bump, about 35% of these employees said they would sacrifice their voting rights for life. In addition, just over 9% of respondents said they would give up their children’s (or future children’s) right to vote for life for the make-believe raise.

But those aren’t the only big sacrifices the respondents would make for a 10% annual salary increase. More than 12% said they would break up with their partners, and nearly 19% said they would give up their health insurance for the next five years. Forty percent would forfeit their dental care for five years for a raise, and nearly 18% would say goodbye to their Social Security benefits.

Other concessions would greatly impact an employee’s life at work. More than 55% of those surveyed said they would work an extra 10 hours each week for the raise. More than 15% said they would give up all vacation days for five years, and more than 50% said they would work a weekend day for a year. Putting these results in context, just 5% of those surveyed would eat one Tide pod for the raise. (Apparently some Americans believe eating a Tide pod would do more damage than losing their voting rights for life.)

Some of the other propositions appeared more realistic — or, at least, not contradictory to decades of human rights activism and voting rights legislation. More than 73% of those surveyed said they would give up all alcoholic drinks for the next five years, and more than 50% would not watch a single movie for three years. And, sorry HBO, but more than 88% of workers would choose to never watch Game of Thrones again to earn the raise.

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