This week's LAUSD school board election had a voter turnout of 8%. That's deplorable, but it's not much lower than the mere 23% of voters who turned out to elect Mayor Garcetti in the last city election.
The city, and region, have had declining voter turnout for years and this week the Los Angeles Ethics Commission voted to propose lottery and cash prizes to help improve voter turnout for local elections.
Federal law prohibits this practice, but commissioners believe there might be a plausible loop hole for local elections and they suggest using somewhere between $25,000-50,000 in surplus matching funds as a cash prize for voters. City Council president Herb Wesson says he's intrigued by the idea.
Would this work? And is this the right way to motivate civic engagement? Are there better, more effective ways? Would it motivate you or someone you know to vote?
Jessica Levinson, Vice President of the Los Angeles Ethics Commission and a professor of law at Loyola Law School