Understanding voter fatigue and DAO voting patterns: a review


Lil Nouns is a “speed-run” experiment on the Nouns DAO model of governance. Meaning, what happens if we sped up Nouns governance 50x by issuing that many more tokens. As such, problems and hurdles that Nouns will face far into the future will surface much more rapidly in Lil Nouns. A big hurdle in governance – which is beginning to show in Lil Nouns – is voter fatigue. This report summarizes findings in the literature on the factors that affect voter fatigue in real-world elections, and dives deeper into the current state of voting for 6 DAOs (Lil Nouns, Nouns, Bancor, Balancer, Uniswap, Doodles) and offers suggestions on how voter turnout can be tackled.

We find that elections in areas with large populations are correlated with lower turnout. Unblinded results for live elections, and lower asset cost (and therefore less skin in the game) also correlate with lower voter turnout. On the contrary, establishing voting as a habit, and running concurrent elections (or proposal voting) increases voter turnout. We offer specific suggestions on how voter fatigue in Lil Nouns can be tackled.


As Lil Nouns grows in size, a concern within the DAO is to increasingly expect voter turnout to fall off. This is natural and expected as Lil Nouns DAO grows in size. However, with this comes certain concerns. If only a small proportion of Lil Noun owners are actively participating in discussions and voting, this will have adverse consequences, such as increasingly centralized voting relying on a few whales and; conversely, difficulty reaching quorum for proposals.