Our Opinion: Buying votes

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

It is with more concern than amusement that we see there will be a measure on the Arizona ballot this November calling for a million dollar prize to be awarded each election to a voter.

A raffle for participants in each election is proposed as a way to get more people to participate in elections. This is a stupid idea, as are other ideas to get more people to vote just for the sake of getting more people to vote. Requiring people to vote to qualify for a driver's license is another bad idea that has been suggested, but has never gone as far as a state referendum or state legislation.

Low voter turnout is more of a symptom of a problem than the problem itself. The real problem is that citizens don't care enough about the issues, don't know enough about the candidates or both, to vote.

There is something worse than low voter turnout because citizens are apathetic and ignorant. What is worse is a high turnout of voters who are mostly apathetic and ignorant.

We encourage people to become knowledgeable about the issues and candidates so that they can cast an informed vote. We wouldn't want somebody voting just to get a lottery ticket.

Hopefully, the voters in Arizona reject this proposal and the idea isn't tried anywhere else.