Why is voting activity so low? I am surprised by the low number of votes my questions and answers get. Is this a reflection of the quality of my content or an artifact of this forum?
I think that except for the minority of the people who really answer questions (and have a fabulous rep of 100+), most users think of themselves as statistically illiterate, and not being able to distinguish a good question from a bad question. Or simply don't look beyond the question they just asked and got answered.
All in all, this isn't a very large community, to begin with. There's probably 20 really active people that really do something on the site. Besides, not all of the questions would be that interesting; I personally pass by most of the questions because I don't seem to have much to say on them (or rather that the time I would have to spend to find a good answer way exceeds the expected the satisfaction of the +20 rep I could get from it). On those that I do open, I upvote may be a half, and upvote good answers. So if 20 is a right number of active users, and other active users behave like me (which would be terrible), then votes from the active users should follow a Poisson with the rate of 2 or 3. Plus some random upvotes from irregular users.
That's the sad demographics of this site. If I were teaching a consulting class, I would make gaining a rep of 1000 a requirement for getting a passing grade, and be serious about it. Ah well.
One explaining factor might be that many question here are either long or complicated for those unfamilliar with the field. Thus many questions are read in details only by a few and mostly skimmed by the majority of users. For my part, I am always reluctant to vote for a question or answer I feel I have not really understood.