Tom Patterson

Million Dollar Bad Idea

Posted on October 31, 2006 | Author: Tom Patterson
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Proposition 200 would bribe people uninterested in voting to vote anyway by giving them a chance to win a $1 million lottery. What could be a greater insult to American values?

Our right to self-government - the vote - has been paid for over the years with the sacrifice of heroes. Americans today can be justifiably proud of our universal suffrage, where every citizen in good standing has a right to vote without undue impediments.

Still, in every election some citizens don't exercise that right. In recent presidential elections, approximately 30 percent of registered voters fail to vote. Up to 90 percent abstain in municipal or "special" elections.

Although it may seem irresponsible, not voting may be logical behavior for those who have not prepared themselves for meaningful participation in the process. We shouldn't demean the privilege by bribing those who would otherwise choose not to exercise their right.

Tom Patterson is chairman of the Goldwater Institute and a former state senator. A longer version of this article originally appeared in the East Valley Tribune. The Goldwater Institute does not support or oppose specific legislation, but adheres to its educational mission to help policymakers and citizens better understand the consequences of government policies.
 
Key Links:

-Arizona Secretary of State: Proposition 200
-Arizona Republic: Don't be bribed for your vote

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