Los Angeles is considering turning voting into a lottery. Last year’s mayoral election saw a turnout of just 25 percent. The idea is to hold out the potential of winning a cash prize for showing up to do one’s civic duty.
But why should we care about people who don’t care about voting, or are too lazy to show up at the polls? It’s even easier if one gets on the registrar of voters’ list of absentee ballots. Then the ballot is mailed to you, and it only takes a couple of minutes to fill out while watching “The Days of Our Lives,” then pop it in the mailbox.
Voting rights are secure in America. In fact, unlike in almost any other country, you don’t even have to show an ID to vote in most places, including California.
So if people don’t want to vote, why should we care?
By definition, these people are the most apathetic. Which means they aren’t paying attention to what’s going on. Which means they’ll make decisions based on the most irrational factors such as TV ads, how a candidate’s name looks or just a whim on election day.
Here’s a better idea: A lottery for taxpayers. Anyone who files a tax return is entered into the lottery. Out of 100 taxpayers, one winner gets to pay no taxes for a year.
Cross-posted at CalWatchDog.