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Don’t turn the voting process into a lottery

Editorial / OpinionEditorial / Opinion: Don’t turn the voting process into a lottery

By Cheryl Tatum
Hendersonville Star News

The idea of turning the voting process into a lottery as proposed by an Arizona politician is one that is surely prompting comment from many circles.

Now when I write columns for The Star News they typically are on issues or events that revolve around our local community. After all, this is a community newspaper and I believe should address those ideas that impact us where we live.

However, nothing is more important for us as a nation than the voting process. It impacts us all.

And, as my kids would say, this proposal has gotten my red hair showing.

For those who have not heard about the issue, Mark Osterloh, a candidate in the 2002 Arizona governor's race wants to award $1 million in every general election to one resident chosen by lottery simply for voting.

He gained enough signatures on petitions to place the proposal on the Arizona November election ballot.

In my mind everything about this proposal is just wrong.

Bribing people to participate in a process that men and women have died for in the past and are still dying to protect is wrong.

According to Osterloh, the idea is to increase voter turnout.

Turning the voting process into a lottery is simply taking the easy road.

It is a gimmick.

We as a country should be ashamed that every citizen does not take advantage of his or her right to vote in every election. It is the basis of democracy.

In the Sumner County primary election in May a dismal 7,234 persons out of 84,526 registered voters cast ballots. That is less than 10 percent of registered voters exercising this most basic right.

As we are promoting democracy around the world, we need to take a hard look at ourselves.

We as a country must work to restore integrity in the election process, demand that candidates address real issues instead of relying on sound bytes and not worry about whether it rains on Election Day.

We must do the hard work that is required to bring people into the political process and wipe out apathy.

Turning the voting booth into a lottery is just not the answer.

There remains some question as to whether this measure is even constitutional.

But in my mind whether it is constitutional or not, voters in Arizona should go to the polls just to say no on this one issue.

While there are those who believe strongly that a constitutional amendment protecting the flag is needed, protecting the voting process is just as important.

We should not be bribed to go to the polls, it is our right and we should exercise it.

Hendersonville Star News

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13 comments. Last comment 10 years ago by justxploring.
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liberal47's avatar - Rowlf
Holt MI
United States
Member #2244
September 4, 2003
69 Posts
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Posted: July 21, 2006, 12:24 pm - IP Logged

Horse !  Senators and Representatives are bribed and politically influenced, every day, for their vote, whether they admit it or not.  This proposal has nothing to do with corrupting the voting process, and everything to do with exciting the electorate to get out and exercise their right to vote.

 A candidate with enough money can spend millions of his own money to promote and publicize themselves, and buy the election. The only people who make money, and a mockery of the process, are our elected representatives.

True, voting in and of itself should be and is a privilige, but anyone who thinks they can put the genie back in the bottle, and go back to the days, where money didn't matter, is dreaming.

    bellyache's avatar - 64x64a9wg

    United States
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    March 18, 2005
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    Posted: July 21, 2006, 2:26 pm - IP Logged

    I guess I disagree with Mrs. Tatum. I don't think the whole "lottery" idea is a completely bad idea. If it gets more people voting I think it's a good idea. This would probably bring more people to the voting booths. People complain that people aren't exercising their right to vote, but put ideas out there and people get upset.

    Dance like no one is watching.


      United States
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      June 5, 2002
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      Posted: July 21, 2006, 3:38 pm - IP Logged

      But what if the giveaway is restricted to those 21 and older? You only have to be 18 to vote, but all gambling within Arizona is only for those at least 21.

        jeffrey's avatar - moon
        Hamilton, OH
        United States
        Member #4162
        March 27, 2004
        277 Posts
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        Posted: July 21, 2006, 7:22 pm - IP Logged

        I say let the people who aren't responsible enough to vote stay home. I shudder to think about uninformed people voting.

          savagegoose's avatar - ProfilePho
          adelaide sa
          Australia
          Member #37136
          April 11, 2006
          3300 Posts
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          Posted: July 21, 2006, 10:34 pm - IP Logged

          [quote] 

          In the Sumner County primary election in May a dismal 7,234 persons out of 84,526 registered voters cast ballots. That is less than 10 percent of registered voters exercising this most basic right.

          [quote]

           

          that says it all really, only modifcation i would add is 10 prizes of $100k  ea.

          its such a great ide i intend to vote 10 times :P 

            Avatar
            Amarillo/Austin
            United States
            Member #1424
            April 25, 2003
            696 Posts
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            Posted: July 21, 2006, 10:56 pm - IP Logged

            To paraphrase Forrest Gump: "Voting is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get."  Arizona's proposal is only formalizing the gamble we take every time we enter the voting booth.  Lord knows all of us have voted for losers over the years.  Kinky Friedman for Governor!  Why the Hell Not!!

            Orangeman                                                Cheers

              dvdiva's avatar - 8ball

              United States
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              September 17, 2003
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              Posted: July 22, 2006, 12:13 am - IP Logged

              Personally I think if they are going to have a voting lottery it should be a lottery winner as the winner of the election. Canadates would have to pass a minimum IQ, ethics and criminal background check.  I couldn't imagine we would get worse canadates then what some districts crank out each year.

                LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
                Tennessee
                United States
                Member #7853
                October 15, 2004
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                Posted: July 22, 2006, 7:09 am - IP Logged

                the government is turning into a joke.period.

                  Avatar
                  Raleigh, NC
                  United States
                  Member #40946
                  June 9, 2006
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                  Posted: July 22, 2006, 7:20 am - IP Logged

                  "But what if the giveaway is restricted to those 21 and older? You only have to be 18 to vote, but all gambling within Arizona is only for those at least 21."

                  It's not proposed as a game, it's a giveaway.  For it to be gambling, you would have to pay to play, that is not the case here. 

                    Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
                    Chief Bottle Washer
                    New Jersey
                    United States
                    Member #1
                    May 31, 2000
                    23261 Posts
                    Online
                    Posted: July 22, 2006, 7:42 am - IP Logged

                    "But what if the giveaway is restricted to those 21 and older? You only have to be 18 to vote, but all gambling within Arizona is only for those at least 21."

                    It's not proposed as a game, it's a giveaway.  For it to be gambling, you would have to pay to play, that is not the case here. 

                    Good point.

                     

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                      Avatar

                      United States
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                      January 23, 2005
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                      Posted: July 22, 2006, 9:42 am - IP Logged

                      My idea would be to go ahead and have this Lottery feature, but the only votes that would get to be in the Lottery drawing would be whoever voted for the 2nd place LOSING candidate. OK it would also have made it harder for Corzine to win the last election, so wouldn't we all be better off? We're all losers here right now.

                        johnph77's avatar - avatar
                        CA
                        United States
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                        December 10, 2003
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                        Posted: July 23, 2006, 4:49 am - IP Logged

                        When the candidates start representing their constituents rather than their political party you'll see less apathy. But since from the Democratic and Republican parties is where their money comes from I don't look to this happening any time in the near future.

                        Blessed Saint Leibowitz, keep 'em dreamin' down there..... 

                        Next week's convention for Psychics and Prognosticators has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances.

                         =^.^=

                          justxploring's avatar - villiarna
                          Wandering Aimlessly
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                          November 5, 2005
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                          Posted: July 23, 2006, 4:51 am - IP Logged

                          This is only a test. Sorry. I need to see if I can post using the new format.