|Posted: May 24, 2006, 9:36 pm - IP Logged|
I saw this story reported on the ABC overnight news last night. This account came from KVOA in Tucson. I don't think it's a particularly good idea, but it's creative thinking. I really don't think we want to bribe people to get them to participate in the voting process. If people aren't voting, it's probably because they are uninformed and/or unconcerned. I tend to think we should be glad these people are not voting. It might be an invitation for disaster to have such people casting ignorant votes just to get a shot at $1,000,000. I'm wondering how other LPers view this idea.
Tucson man petitions for 'election lottery'
May 21, 2006 08:21 AM EDT http://kvoa.com
$1 million -- that's how much you could win here in the State of Arizona for exercising your right to vote.
A Tucson man collected thousands of signatures to put that very idea into law.
Mark Osterloh says, "Build an incentive into voting and they will come to the polling booths."
It's a simple concept to solve huge problem registered voters aren't heading to the polls when election time rolls around especially young people.
One 17-year-old said, "No, cause then I'd have to go for jury duty."
Osterloh is determined to change that.
"Everybody's been talking about how we got to get people to vote, they've tried everything underneath the sun. Nothing's worked. This is very simple. it's an incentive. Our whole economy is based on incentives."
The idea works like this: the Voter Rewards Initiative sets up drawings every two years. Anyone who votes in the general election or primaries is automatically entered into a drawing for a million dollars.
The money comes from the unclaimed prize fund of the Arizona lottery.
One man said, "It would get everyone who sits on the fence to get out and vote. It's a good idea."
Another said, "Yeah, it's a good incentive, but I don't know what are the odds."
Osterloh says that depends on how many people vote.
It's an interesting concept, exercise your right to vote, have the chance at winning some money, believe it or not, there are some people who are against the idea. Kevin Yeanoplos said, "I guess I'm still naive enough to think that we should be looking at issues and not voting because we're going to get a million dollars." Another said, "You can't just pay people bribe people to get out there, it has to be what our country is about." Though Jim Brenneman thinks the lottery works in two ways, "I don't think that gambling is such a great idea, I think that the government pushing gambling is not such a great idea, but I think it will have an effect."
Osterloh will take his signatures to the Capitol on Monday.