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If only voting could be as much fun as playing the lottery

If voting were as much fun as playing the lottery, a lot more people would probably vote. Some folks in Arizona are trying to do something to make voting more like the lottery. There is an initiative on the ballot (you need to scroll down that page to see it) that reads as follows:

“This law will establish a voter reward random drawing every two years with a first prize of one million dollars or more. The purpose is to increase voter participation. Voters who cast ballots in primary or general elections will be eligible to win. The money will come from the Arizona Lottery and private donations.”

Given that there were 2 million voters in Arizona in the last presidential election, the expected payout per vote is only 50 cents. But, as we said in our column on voting back in November, one of the main benefits to voting is being able to fantasize about affecting the election. The chances of winning this lottery are about as large as one Arizona voter affecting an important election, and I bet most voters would rather have a million bucks than affect an election.

(Thanks to Adam Doverspike for pointing me to this initiative.)