Friday, November 03, 2006

Those Crazy Arizonans

So, even the Daily Show has covered an Arizona ballot measure proposing a $1 million lottery-style system to encourage voter turnout. Illegal? Sure, probably. Amusing - certainly.

A common reaction:

"I've got mixed feelings about it,'' said Kim Alexander, president and founder of the California Voter Foundation. "It may draw out some people who wouldn't otherwise vote, but you could also say it cheapens electoral policy by offering people a $1 million incentive to vote.
People vote on crap all the time without the promise of reward of course. American Idol, anyone?

I can't even muster getting worked up over this.

One thing that struck me in the article - not that it is unique to the article - is the description of the Daily Show as "the fake news show."

No, the news is real. The commentary may be satirical, but seldom do Stewart and the gang straight make sh*t up. Fact is funnier than fiction.


doughnut70 said...

There may be some questions about the legality when federal races are on the ballot because that is a limitation on doughnut giveaways that we have used in the past, but as far as whether or not it's a good idea, I am not sure. In Australia they fine you if you don't vote. You can turn in a blank ballot, but you have to actutally turn one in. The idea being that if you are paying taxes for the upkeep of the government, you have a responsibility to let your elected officials know what you think.

Anonymous said...

I say this is not illegal. First, they aren't private parties offering the incentives, it is the state government.

The only thing that would make this potentially illegal is the federal prohibitions, and even then, is the "chance at winning" sufficient to be considered actual vote buying? Lots of interesting questions here.

State law (calif) allows certain types of exchange of consideration expressly prohibited by federal law.

To me, anyway to get more people to the polls, the better..and if we're talking about cheapening the "vote" one should outlaw all the crap currently out on TV/Radio/Mailers that do more to cheap elections than any lottery could ever do.

If something grabs people and offers them a reason to make voting relevant to their be it..if it's a lottery, or foreign policy. Once people do go and vote, I suspect they'll be a bit more inclined to pay attention to who they are voting/voted for.