Sunday, October 15, 2006

Proposition 200: Undermining the electoral process.

Proposition 200: The Arizona Voter Rewards Act

Speaking of harebrained schemes, Proposition 200 is one that, despite the decidedly leftist motives of its primary backer, even the Tucson Weekly could spot.

Mark Osterloh wants socialized healthcare funding imposed on Arizona. To that end, he spent a considerable portion of his personal fortune on this measure to encourage the uninformed and apathetic to vote by establishing a million-dollar lottery for which voting gets one a ticket.

What confidence he must have in his ideas--this is almost like admitting that socialized medicine is something that the ignorant are more likely to support than the well-informed! Almost, but not quite; Osterloh actually believes that those voting to win a million bucks will find themselves motivated to study the candidates' positions. (He also defends against ethical challenges by saying "Incentives are good enough for God." Eccentric, or insane? You decide.)

That aside, Proposition 200 may violate Federal law. Moreover it simply undermines the integrity of the electoral process. As was argued by Farrell Quinlan of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce, Proposition 200 "serves to undermine the opinions of conscientious citizens who learn about the issues and take their civil rights seriously enough to vote. With the effective bribery of the Voter Rewards Act, uninformed and uninterested voters will cancel out the political power of informed voters."

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