Election Day Lottery: Why Not?

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To those who voted to stain North Carolina's goverment with state sponsored gambling, here's an idea you'll really love: State sponsored gambling in the voting booth! And why not? Ya'll are hell-bent on pushing the lottery so more and more people play. This would let you expand the pool and improve voter turn-out all at the same time! The New York Times today, lays it out.

One of the cheesier propositions on the November ballot asks Arizona voters to approve a new lottery designed to attract more voters to polling places by turning the rite of democracy into a raffle with a $1 million grand prize. That’s right: Voter turnout low? Greasing democracy with a wad of cash might be just the ticket. There is ample reason not to approach the voting lever like a one-armed bandit.

For starters, it’s against the law to buy votes. The Arizona lottery proponents insist their wording gets around that annoying qualification of democracy by defining a supposedly higher state-sanctioned purpose. But a million-dollar award to the voter cheapens politics as much as any candidate’s money-grubbing. The better answer to the problem of low voter turnout — lively races debating substantive issues — was signaled by Arizona voters themselves when the presidential contest in 2004 drew them out at a healthy 77 percent rate.

The right to vote has never been more precious, certainly for petitioning refugees anxious about the nasty edge to the immigration debate. Or for American soldiers embattled in Iraq in the name of advancing democracy. It is not encouraging that proponents collected far more than enough signatures to put this daft idea on the ballot. That leaves it up to Arizona voters to set the record straight: the vote is priceless. This vote-to-play proposition deserves defeat for being more Sybaritic than democratic.

I'll bet the Puppetmaster just loooovves this idea. Buying elections is good for bidness! Who wants to be a millionaire?

Comments

Why stop at Arizona!

Let's be like NEVADA! Woohooo!

North Carolina: The next Las Vegas!

Better to...

Have a services lottery than a cash lottery if we're going to tie voting to some sort of raffle. For instance - if you win you could choose between - A year of free day care for your children, A year of health insurance for you and your family, A one-year exemption from state income taxes, or nice backrub from the governor.

Scrutiny Hooligans - http://www.scrutinyhooligans.us

Gregflyn...

That would keep people from the poles! ARRRGGGG!

However, I propose water dunking....You know, Bush perched precariously above a tank of water, I get three softballs to pitch at the lever that if hit, drops him in the tank.

Much less torturous than "water boarding"! (although he probably deserves that as much as any in gitmo did!)

this is crazy

I don't really see anyone voting for this, but perhaps those that drink the Arizona Legislature's kool-aid.

Voting is a very sarced and protected right to every American.

However when you elections are alot like a lottery. The more you put in the better chances you have of getting what you want in return. Now voting is not and I resent the notion that pro-lottery folk are by default pro-election lottery.

Be just, and fear not.

Our children need to know that some people fought back, when others collaborated.

Why is it crazy?

It's the natural extension of free-market dynamics. Surely you're not against good old American innovation and entreprenurism!

One voter, each election, each county

How about picking one voter per election cycle per county and making the reward a bit cheaper - say not paying state income tax for 20 years. More chances, cheaper on the state and would be supremely popular ;-)!