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?