A Voter Lottery? No Thanks

Giving people a chance to win a million dollars just by voting? Sound crazy? Well, it may happen in Arizona:

“If someone offered you a chance at $1 million just for going to the polls, would you do it?

It appears that Arizonans will get the chance to decide for themselves. A measure to create an unusual state lottery appears to have enough signatures to be on the Nov. 7 ballot.

The proposal by Tucson physician Mark Osterloh would require state election officials to pull one ballot at random after each primary and general election. That person would win $1 million.

But whether that would encourage voters remains to be seen. A statewide survey conducted in 2003, when Osterloh proposed the idea, showed that only 12 percent of those surveyed said they would be more likely to vote if they had a chance of becoming a millionaire.

An additional 10 percent said the lottery would make them less likely. Nearly everyone else told pollster Fred Solop that it would make no difference at all.

Despite that, Osterloh, who has put more than $100,000 into the campaign, insists that the gamble is worth it if it brings more people to the polls.”

Let me say something that is, in these days and times, practically scandalous: In and of itself, voting is not a virtuous act and quite frankly, we’d probably be better off if LESS people were voting, not more.

As it is, every election year, the politicians end up tailoring their whole campaign to cater to a small group of independents who can barely tell the politicians apart. They don’t watch the news, they don’t know anything about legislation, and they couldn’t tell you where either politician in the race stands on most of the big issues. Yet, especially in the last few weeks of the campaign, the politicians bend over backwards to reel those people in, because ironically, since they have no idea what’s going on, they’re the people who are easiest to sway.

Guess what? You try to turn the vote into Powerball and that’s exactly the sort of people whom it will appeal to the most. Americans who are really concerned about where the country is heading don’t need to be bribed in order to get them to show up. People who don’t know who the Vice President is or how many Supreme Court Justices there are — those are the folks who are most likely to come running if they think they can turn voting into a payday. Honestly, we’d all be better off if people like that just stayed home on election day.

Hat tip to JackLewis for the story.

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