Has the electorate badge increased the number of votes on questions since it was implemented?
This is anecdotal, obviously:
I now go to Stack Overflow daily and expend my entire vote amount on questions. I don't vote on answers any more.
I guess this is to pay reparations for the fact that I used to vote on answers about 90% of the time.
One thing I do a bit more is downvote bad questions; I now downvote bad questions that are marked CW a lot more, so much so that I will go to a CW question just so I can downvote the question (and vote to close, if it isn't already closed). It hasn't really changed how I upvote good questions though, as I was doing that already.
I don't think the way I vote on answers has changed much either, except I will no longer go through all answers in a CW poll-type question up- and down-voting each one (this was the main way I exhausted my vote quota; I no longer ever run out).
I'm going to assert, 'no.' My reason is as follows. I continually observe sympathy voting. Some truly awful question will get a downvote or two. Moments later, it's back to 0. The user is net positive for rep, reinforcing mediocre questions. The question is back to 0 or even above, giving it a rating it does not deserve.
I offer an example.
The badge was not announced on the blog, and I don't recall it being mentioned on the podcast. The only people who know about it are those that got it, those that monitor the tags page aggressively, and those that spend enough time on meta to see an electorate related message float by.
Still, when the January data dump is made available you should be able to use stackql or another query service to find out what, if any, impact the new badge made on question votes.
I don't think so.
As bmargulies mentioned, some truly worthless questions are being voted on.
I refuse to expend 2 rep to downvote when it'll back up soon after
A prime example of vote up idiocy... How many bytes in a 32bit integer? ...5 down and now 4 up
It has increased them coming from me, so yes. Although my part is small relative to the whole.... Not that I particularly care about the badge, but the discussion around the badge got my attention.
I think it encourages randomly voting on questions. I once asked a question about a non-existing technology I made up, trying to keep the title as obscure and scary looking as possible, to get the Tumbleweed badge. Yes, this is not good behavior, I know :)
Well, what's interesting is that my question about something that doesn't exist was upvoted. It's impossible that whoever voted it understood the question and thought it was "useful" as it was designed to drive people away.
(I would link to it but then someone left a comment so I deleted it, and I don't have enough rep to see deleted questions)