The number of upvotes for a question is a flawed measure of question quality, one particular issue is that the amount of exposure a question gets matters a lot. Questions that were linked in the hot questions list tend to get an enormous amount of votes, much more than any questions gets organically on the site itself.
The kind of question that tend to get to the top spot of the hot questions list tend to be simpler, less technical questions with an appeal to a broader audience. The hot questions list distorts the voting even beyond the mere effect the increased views have. It exposes the question to users that might be interested in reading about that topic, but are not active users on the site and wouldn't have seen and voted on the post otherwise.
I think this distortion of voting is harmful, as the result might not be representative of the community of that specific site. For example, while I might enjoy reading some answers on Security.SE, I'm by far not qualified to actually evaluate them. If I voted there, my votes would not provide any actual value as I can only judge the answers in a very superficial way. Another example would be Skeptics where the community requires answers to cite references supporting their claim. This works very well and the community also votes that way, but the moment a question hits the hot questions list, voting becomes unreliable and answer not meeting our standard are upvoted anyway.
I think that this interaction between the hot questions feature and the low barrier to voting on sites where one didn't earn any reputation at all leads to a distortion of voting and dilutes the usefulness of post scores.
My proposal would be to not count the association bonus for the voting privilege. This means that in order to vote a user would have to get at least one upvote on an answer, two upvotes on a question or five accepted suggested edits. I think that this barrier is low enough to barely inconvenience anyone with a serious interest in the site, and significant enough to prevent drive-by voting by non-experts from the greater SE network.