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vote and win!

remember, you heard it here first. or second.

the latest idea to hit the electoral fan is a movement afoot to make voting into a free lottery.

don’t laugh. there are groups of people actively organizing ballot initiatives to make this a reality. their idea to increase voter turnout may hit ballots in selected states during the next election cycle.

the idea is this. each participating state sets aside a pool of money. if you vote, you get a free entry into the lottery.

one entry per person. obviously.

and at the end of the voting day, the names are drawn, and the prizes are awarded. i can see it now.

“we’ll have those election results for you in a moment, but first, let’s go to our reporter in the field with the million dolllar winner in tonight’s voter lottery.”

am i going to get high-minded about this? will i bemoan the decline of natural interest in what should be a given in a free society? hell no. if that’s what it takes to get people to vote, then i say let’s go for it. i am nothing if not pragmatic.

are there plenty of people who are going to oppose this? you bet. most of them will be people who have a stake in low election turnout. and we know who they are.

the hue and cry will surely go up immediately. you are buying votes. you are corrupting the election process. you are contributing to the decay of american society. you are encouraging ill-informed participants to skew the results.

no, no, no and no.

you aren’t buying votes because no one is directly paid for voting a certain way. the election process remains the same, with greater participation. probably 100% or damn close to it. it’s more harmful to american society to have what amounts to a regressive tax on poor people…the paid lotteries in each state. if you are worried about the effects on society, start with getting rid of scratchies and lotto tickets.

and there are plenty of ill-informed people voting now. have you seen the polling on this? vast percentages of bush voters think he supports positions kerry has taken, and vice-versa. it’s all a blur. nothing changing there.

frankly, i think it’s a great idea.

but i’ll still vote without it, and so should you.

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