L.A. Ethics Panel Recommends ‘Financial Incentives’ to Raise Voter Turnout

by Ian Tuttle

What could go wrong here? Via the Los Angeles Times:

Alarmed that fewer than one-fourth of voters are showing up for municipal elections, the Los Angeles Ethics Commission voted Thursday to recommend that the City Council look at using cash prizes to lure a greater number of people to the polls.

On a 3-0 vote, the panel said it wanted City Council President Herb Wesson’s Rules, Elections and Intergovernmental Relations Committee to seriously consider the use of financial incentives and a random drawing during its elections, possibly as soon as next year.

While the specifics are not settled, the City Council would likely create a lottery in which a lucky voter (or voters) could win $25,000, $50,000, or more. To avoid federal laws that prohibit receiving money for voting, the measure would not apply to elections with federal candidates on the ballot. And while California law prohibits receiving money or gifts in exchange for voting for a particular candidate or measure, advocates of the plan say that the incentive would be available to all voters.

This will surely help reduce that glut of “low-information voters” we’re always hearing about . . .

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