One Lucky Voter

What if everyone who voted were automatically entered in a lottery? “This Election Day, one candidate will win a trip to the White House … and one lucky voter will win a cool ten million dollars.”

I can see two beneficial effects. First, it would increase turnout. And second, it would cause officials to actually do something about electronic voting machine security. It’s sad but true that our society takes things more seriously when there’s money at stake. A voting lottery would use that fact for good.

In other words you would peg the value of your democracy at the price of a lottery ticket?

Douglas Fevens, Halifax, Nova Scotia— The University of Wisconsin, Google, & Me

It seems to me $10M would bring around just as much evil (voter fraud, multiple votes, false identities, etc.) as it would good.

Not entirely sure that increased turnout is inherently a good thing. Why shouldn’t people have to care about voting in order to vote?

How about this; If you do not vote when called upon to do so you loose your citizenship and deported to any country that will have you. (And no, I have not always exercised my right to vote in every election I was entitled.) Douglas Fevens, Halifax, Nova Scotia The University of Wisconsin, Google, & Me

You could just have compulsory voting ( and optional preferential voting to boot), It works pretty well.

I actually first heard this idea from Jennifer Urban, who is now co-director of Berkeley’s Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic. I actually started thinking about this in some depth and even went as far as to argue that ballots should be (or should be treated like) cash (with anti-counterfeiting, armored cars, etc.).

Anyway, the way we were thinking, it would be “every millionth voter gets a million dollars!”.

This is related to a current research project of mine that compares voting machine security (bad) with gaming device security (much, much better). ::)