Vote! You Just Might Win $50,000

ucfgrad93

macrumors P6
Original poster
Aug 17, 2007
17,534
8,157
Colorado
Time.com said:
In Los Angeles, as in many cities, voter turnout for local elections tends to be pathetic. In 2013, only 16% of registered voters weighed in on an election that would help determine the city council, mayor, school board, and a potential tax increase. In other words, 84% of registered voters didn’t bother to vote. And the number of potential voters is much higher, of course, since plenty of eligible voters aren’t registered.

The results of a special school board election held earlier this week in L.A. were even more embarrassing: As few as 8% of voters actually voted.

To get people more involved—and prevent further embarrassment—the city is now considering a pilot program that would use lottery-type cash prizes as enticement to get locals to participate in elections. The Los Angeles Times reported that on Thursday night, the Los Angeles Ethics Commission voted unanimously to recommend that the city council begin offering cash prizes to voters randomly as soon as next year. “Maybe it’s $25,000 maybe it’s $50,000,” said [Ethics] Commission President Nathan Hochman. “That’s where the pilot program comes in—to figure out what … number and amount of prizes would actually get people to the voting box.”
This is a very stupid idea.

What say you?

http://time.com/money/3117303/vote-lottery-cash-prizes/
 

LIVEFRMNYC

macrumors 604
Oct 27, 2009
7,433
8,605
I don't think it's a stupid idea. It's only a chance to win something to entice people to vote. Not like they are giving every voter a payout. With such disappointing turnouts, you can't blame them. Churches do the same with raffles to draw people in.
 

chown33

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 9, 2009
8,360
4,343
Gourd City
I don't think it's a stupid idea. It's only a chance to win something to entice people to vote. Not like they are giving every voter a payout. With such disappointing turnouts, you can't blame them. Churches do the same with raffles to draw people in.
If the main reason people are voting is a chance to win money, and they don't much care who they vote for, nor understand any of the ballot issues, isn't that the very definition of "low-information voters"?

Why encourage that?

Or more to the point, why pay public money to encourage that?
 

Thomas Veil

macrumors 68020
Feb 14, 2004
2,435
5,513
OBJECTIVE reality
If the main reason people are voting is a chance to win money, and they don't much care who they vote for, nor understand any of the ballot issues, isn't that the very definition of "low-information voters"?

Why encourage that?

Or more to the point, why pay public money to encourage that?
Exactly.

Plus...

To get people more involved—and prevent further embarrassment—the city is now considering a pilot program that would use lottery-type cash prizes as enticement...
Uh huh. Having to bribe people into voting via a cash prize -- that's not embarrassing! :rolleyes:
 

FreemanW

macrumors 6502
Sep 10, 2012
472
87
The Real Northern California
I don't think it's a stupid idea. It's only a chance to win something to entice people to vote. Not like they are giving every voter a payout. With such disappointing turnouts, you can't blame them. Churches do the same with raffles to draw people in.
Okay, you're right. You've convinced me that this is a spectacular idea and a grand way to get people to vote.

For who, for what, who cares? Let's all vote just because we might win some money.

The point of voting . . . .

. . . . . oh sheeze . . . . .

/nevermind

Now normally, I like to cheer for the underdog.

Is it okay with everyone that I'm rooting for the drain?
 

LIVEFRMNYC

macrumors 604
Oct 27, 2009
7,433
8,605
If the main reason people are voting is a chance to win money, and they don't much care who they vote for, nor understand any of the ballot issues, isn't that the very definition of "low-information voters"?

Why encourage that?

Or more to the point, why pay public money to encourage that?
Democracy works better with higher participation. I see nothing wrong with drawing in voters with a possible incentive.

You do have a point about low information voters. But those who continually vote are more likely to be informed voters(at least by general standards). And if something like this can get the momentum going, I don't see a problem.

----------

Okay, you're right. You've convinced me that this is a spectacular idea and a grand way to get people to vote.

For who, for what, who cares? Let's all vote just because we might win some money.

The point of voting . . . .

. . . . . oh sheeze . . . . .

/nevermind

Now normally, I like to cheer for the underdog.

Is it okay with everyone that I'm rooting for the drain?
You have any better ideas besides sarcasm?
 

hulugu

macrumors 68000
Aug 13, 2003
1,819
10,215
quae tangit perit Trump
On first glance, this seems like a terrible idea because it will increase the number of low-information voters to the polls.

But, there's a built-in assumption. Will every new voter remain a low-information voter? And, are all voters brought in by this program low-information?
 

hulugu

macrumors 68000
Aug 13, 2003
1,819
10,215
quae tangit perit Trump
Paying people to vote? :eek:

Wow, if there hasn't been any voter fraud up to this point, they sure seem hell-bent on introducing it now!
Not necessarily. If each voter only gets one entry, then you couldn't easily pretend to be other voters and still expect to get the prize. In fact, you would be doing the equivalent of putting money in other people's meters.
 

Southern Dad

macrumors 68000
May 23, 2010
1,532
547
Shady Dale, Georgia
This may actually be illegal. If you remember there was a time when people paid people to vote a certain way. In Georgia we had a guy who was giving free hot dogs and Cokes to anyone wearing a "I Voted" sticker. He found himself in trouble over it.
 

Ledgem

macrumors 68000
Jan 18, 2008
1,751
503
Hawaii, USA
If the main reason people are voting is a chance to win money, and they don't much care who they vote for, nor understand any of the ballot issues, isn't that the very definition of "low-information voters"?

Why encourage that?

Or more to the point, why pay public money to encourage that?
On one hand, I agree with you. On the other hand, I support the idea that voting should be compulsory, as it is in Australia. Whether compulsory or by offering rewards, you're risking that some people are going to vote randomly, or that they'll vote without thoroughly researching the candidates. I would guess (and hope) that if people who weren't voting at all are going to vote, they'll put at least slightly more effort into examining the candidates and the issues.

As LIVEFRMNYC stated, Democracy works better with more participation. We have pretty poor participation as it is, and it isn't like the people who are participating now are all well-informed voters. I can't imagine that getting more people involved would be harmful. I agree with your sentiment of disliking the usage of public funds to entice people to vote. Make it mandatory.
 

chown33

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 9, 2009
8,360
4,343
Gourd City
On first glance, this seems like a terrible idea because it will increase the number of low-information voters to the polls.

But, there's a built-in assumption. Will every new voter remain a low-information voter? And, are all voters brought in by this program low-information?
What incentive is there to not be a low-information voter? I see none.

Basically, show up, hand in a ballot, and you have the same chance to win cash as everyone else, including all the people who study the ballot, issues, and candidates. If the incentive is structured just to get people to show up, then why would anyone expect more than that?

Also, since a voter isn't required to vote on every ballot question, they could show up, get a ballot, make one mark on it, then hand it in. Or maybe hand in a completely unmarked ballot (AFAIK, it won't be an invalid ballot). Can't get much lower in the low-information ratings than that.
 

LIVEFRMNYC

macrumors 604
Oct 27, 2009
7,433
8,605
People's votes that come about only because they are paid for them are votes we don't need.
Why? What would make their vote any less valuable. Your assuming that those who would get enticed by the chance to win would just vote blindly. Many non voters are probably educated about candidates, but just don't show to vote. And it doesn't take much to get the summary of who candidates are and what they stand for.

If you really want a truly educated vote, then they should eliminate the party status next to the candidates, since most vote for a party down the line rather than just the individual.
 

malman89

macrumors 68000
May 29, 2011
1,651
6
Michigan
Perhaps all voters - even the active 16% - have to sit through some sort of voter education prior to voting. A non-partisan issued FAQ/report on each of the candidates and ballot initiatives. You'll still have plenty of fools voting for D or R only, but perhaps some people will actually learn something and make an educated vote.

I know that's a pretty pie-in-the-sky hope, but offering a chance at $25-50k to vote seems pretty similar to me.
 

Tomorrow

macrumors 604
Mar 2, 2008
7,115
1,246
Always a day away
Not necessarily. If each voter only gets one entry, then you couldn't easily pretend to be other voters and still expect to get the prize. In fact, you would be doing the equivalent of putting money in other people's meters.
You would also be offering incentives for people who are not allowed to vote to try to cheat the system to do so.

Easy solution. If you fail to vote, you get moved up in line for jury duty.
How is that a punishment? I would LOVE to sit on a jury.
 

BenTrovato

macrumors 68030
Jun 29, 2012
2,849
1,869
Canada
It's getting so bad they're going to start paying people to vote. People hanging on and telling other people to go vote just don't get it yet. The system doesn't work and hasn't worked for a long time. Eventually people are going to realize nobody is voting and the whole thing is sham. Then, and only then will we have a shot for real change.
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,667
1,740
How is that a punishment? I would LOVE to sit on a jury.
What if it's a really boring case, like getting stuck on an eviction case that miraculously drags on for 3 days in addition to the initial show-up day with $8/day parking fees?
 

ugahairydawgs

macrumors 68030
Jun 10, 2010
2,666
1,279
Democracy works better with higher participation. I see nothing wrong with drawing in voters with a possible incentive.

You do have a point about low information voters. But those who continually vote are more likely to be informed voters(at least by general standards). And if something like this can get the momentum going, I don't see a problem.
You're right.....it does work better with more people involved. But not in this case. In this case you have the people who are ambivalent about the world around them that they can't even be bothered to vote for the people that will ultimately represent them in their local, state and federal districts. We're going to give those people a cash incentive to show up to the their local polling place and cast their ballot.

More likely than not.....they play eenie-meenie-miney-moe with their ballot.

If there was a way to offer a cash prize for informed votes I MIGHT could get on board with that. But the idea, as currently constructed, kinda sucks.