Turn ballot stubs into lottery tickets
September 1, 2000 8:19 AM   Subscribe

Turn ballot stubs into lottery tickets and watch voter apathy disappear. What a great idea. Maybe financed by campaign contributions?
via Camworld via rc3.org.
posted by tremendo (12 comments total)
Is this serious? Is an uneducated vote any better than no vote at all?
posted by Doug at 10:20 AM on September 1, 2000

Doug, I think you've hit the nail right on the head. What good is it to get people to the ballot box if they don't care one way or another which person gets elected? What we really need is a system in which people see and believe that their vote actually makes a difference.
posted by owen at 11:03 AM on September 1, 2000

On the other hand...

IF the people who are now underrepresented by government start turning out in droves to the voting booths, would the smart politicians (and their respective parties) start working more to court their vote?

posted by Dirjy at 11:38 AM on September 1, 2000

I'll admit my first thought upon seeing this was, Oh great, another place for the already-infinitely-corrupt system to get even more crooked. But I disagree with what you said - I think that an uneducated voter that votes is at least a step in the right direction. Apathy does no good for anyone. If we have to buy participation, as pathetic as that is (and it's cosmically pathetic), it's better than 3/4 of the population doing absolutely nothing.

Until we can figure out a way to convince Big Corporate America to move more thoughtful, forward-thinking candidates into the national spotlight, we have to figure out other ways to make people at least go through the motions. Otherwise we'll forget what voting is, if we ever knew in the first place, and it'll really be, um, bedtime for democracy.
posted by chicobangs at 11:38 AM on September 1, 2000

uneducated vote? are you kidding? Isn't almost every vote being cast today basically an uneducated vote?

Aren't you sick of people "fed-up" with the two parties being the same thing, and not doing anything about it... by not voting?

I can't remember who said that Democracy's greatest strength and greatest weakness, was the fact that anyone can vote. Still, one has to resent people that think their own opinion should count for more than anybody else's, only because they think of themselves as more "educated".
posted by tremendo at 12:02 PM on September 1, 2000

Also keep in mind that there are a ton of people out there that are massively anti-gambling, and would fight anything like this tooth and nail.
posted by aaron at 12:53 PM on September 1, 2000

Whaddya say we change the winner's reward from a million bucks to the office of president?
posted by Aaaugh! at 2:30 PM on September 1, 2000

There are a lot of countries out there that require you to vote. In some countries it's part of the census. In others it's part of the residency system. In others they just fine the hell out of you if you don't show up.

I think it's a hallmark of our democracy that voting is voluntary. And the fact that many people don't vote may be taken one way: as apathy and disaffection; or another way: as general satisfaction with the present situation.

My mother used to work as an election judge. She had many stories about documentation goof-ups large and small, technical incompetence with the big lever-operated booths, and so forth, but one of our favorites was the lady who came back out of the booth to complain that they didn't have any information in there to tell her about who was running and what their positions were.

I used to be in favor of things like "motor voter", and while I think Wisconsin is exemplary, as one of the few states where it's really easy to register, even on voting day, as long as you have your documentation in order -- but I don't think that yelling at people and shoving voting down their throats is a way to encourage civic responsibility. If they want to vote, they can darned well find out when, where, and how.
posted by dhartung at 3:24 PM on September 1, 2000

I think we might be better served by moving elections to either a weekend or making Election Day a holiday. I know that it is next to impossible for my mother to get to the polls most times, unless she happens to pull a day off, and I've missed voting because of work on two occasions in the last five years -- both were essentially meaningless primaries, but it niggled nonetheless.

How many more people would vote if it were a tad easier to actually go about it?
posted by Dreama at 5:02 PM on September 1, 2000

Voting's compulsory in Australia: it's one of the obligations of citizenship. If you don't vote, you get fined: after all, they know who's turned up. And to be honest, I'm in favour of that, since citizenship is, after all, primarily about subscription to a social structure, rather than the benefits that extend from it.

And in continental Europe, though it's not compulsory, voting usually takes place on a Sunday, which ensures a higher turnout. (There's also less rigmarole about registration than in the US.)

Not voting is too vague a political statement: is it a sign of apathy or active withdrawal from the political process? In which case, why not just have "none of the above" on the ballot paper?
posted by holgate at 5:20 PM on September 1, 2000

Some US states actually have "none of the above" as an option. Occasionally, it wins.

There's a national organization, naturally.
posted by dhartung at 9:35 PM on September 1, 2000

>>Impossible to get to the polls ... unless she happens to pull a day off...<<

In the US, companies are legally required to give you time off to go to the polls. In any case, I would argue that having Election Day be a holiday, or having it on a weekend, would decrease turnout because more people would use the day as an excuse to go have fun.

>>voting usually takes place on a Sunday, which ensures a higher turnout<<

Compared to what? My guess is voting in Europe would be far higher no matter what day it was held on.

As for registering, I don't know about other states, but in New York you fill out a postcard and mail it in. That's it.

>>citizenship is, after all, primarily about subscription to a social structure...<<

Well, unless you were lucky enough to be born into a situation where you qualify for dual citizenship, you don't really have much choice about whether to subscribe, now do you? If you're not a politically-recognized refugee of some sort, permanently moving to another country is usually incredibly hard.
posted by aaron at 10:08 PM on September 1, 2000

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