Los Angeles city officials are seriously considering an unprecedented approach to boosting voter turnout. They are proposing a lottery system aimed to reward voters for undertaking their civic duty and voting in local elections.
In every local election, four lucky voters will win $25,000. As an alternative plan, city officials are also considering 100 pots of $1,000.
Last week, the Los Angeles Ethics Commission voted 3-0 to “recommend that members of the City Council move forward with the lottery idea, either by putting it before voters as a local initiative or by adopting it on their own.” The not-so-good-idea is a result of the increasingly low voter turn-out rates in Los Angeles. According to Reuters, “only 23 percent of registered voters in Los Angeles cast a ballot for mayor” last year—a significant downturn compared to 37 percent in 2001.
Federal law prohibits rewarding voters for performing their civic duty. Los Angeles plans to bypass any restraints for doing so by restricting rewards to local elections.
It should be noted that a total of 14 Democrats comprise Los Angeles’ 15 member city council. Democrats have controlled Los Angeles for decades. And, as Seattle knows all too well, terrible policies—targeted toward forever securing Democrat control of the city—are born from such bastions of liberal progressives.