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Friday, August 04, 2006

No reward for voting

Some folks out in Arizona think the electorate needs an incentive to vote. So on the ballot in November is a proposal to offer a $1 million reward to one randomly selected voter just for casting a ballot. What a revolting idea! Those who fought for the freedoms that make the U.S.A. so special - and especially those dedicated to voting rights - would be aghast.

Supporters say the reward will help increase voter participation. "It gives them something to shoot for,'' said one of the nearly 184,000(!) who signed petitions to get the question on the ballot. Voter turnout is already healthy in Arizona - 16 percentage points higher than the national average in 2004.

But the petitioners are forgetting one basic thing: voting is a privilege. It is not a lottery or casino game. Offering a reward would trivialize the election process. It would bring out people who are clueless about the candidates or issues but are there just for the chance to strike it rich. People still vote because it's the right thing to do in our democracy. Yes, more people should exercise their right. But dangling a $1 million prize to one lucky customer isn't the way to boost voter turnout. It's little more than a bribe - and that's always wrong.


Anonymous Nick Fera said...

I've never understood the almost fanatical need some folks have to encourage others to vote. One of the finest men to serve as president, John Q. Adams, drew 108,000 votes. One of the vilest men to have that office, Lyndon Johnson, pulled 43 million votes. Clearly, there is no correlation between voter turnout and election result.

7:13 PM, August 07, 2006  
Anonymous Linda said...

It's just too bad voting really matters so little in new seen in a few school elections which were overturned on appealby the town.So mt whole family stays home rather than being made a fool of by the courts .when the systen changes we'll change

9:12 AM, August 09, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A $1 million prize to a randomly selected voter? Who was the brain surgeon that thought up this idea? Have you ever taken a look at the type of people that actually buy lottery tickets? These are the same idiots that weren't paying attention in high school math class. Do we really want to encourage them to come out to the polls?

8:24 PM, August 10, 2006  

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