In a creative attempt to reverse decreasing voter turnout, one non-profit believes it has the answer: enter voters into a drawing for cash.
The Southwest Voter Registration Education Project is betting that more people will come out to vote in a key election for the Los Angeles Board of Education if they offer a chance to win $25,000 to one lucky voter. All voters who cast a ballot in the May 9 election will be entered into the drawing.
As LA’s most recent election brought a paltry single digit voter turnout and the midterm election not faring much better at under a third of the electorate, civic groups are desperate to increase voter participation. Charter Amendments 1 and 2, ballot initiatives that lessen the frequency of elections so as to increase participation, passed in March, but the jury is still out on whether or not they will make a dent in voter apathy.
Is money the answer to increasing voter turnout? What do you think are the most effective and innovative solutions to addressing voter apathy?
Fernando Guerra, professor of political science and director of the Center for the Study of Los Angeles at Loyola Marymount University
Jessica Levinson, professor at Loyola Law School, Vice President of the L.A. Ethics Commission