July 20, 2006

Another episode of life/Onion convergence

Posted by Arcane Gazebo at July 20, 2006 11:50 AM

I picked up the latest Onion this morning and noted the front-page story:

Scratch 'N Win Ballots To Debut In November
WASHINGTON, DC—In an effort to increase voter participation while generating additional revenue, several state election boards announced plans Monday to introduce new Scratch 'N Win ballots in November, giving citizens the chance to win the right to vote in the 2006 elections.

The ballots, which will retail for $1 and go on sale the morning of Nov. 7, are small three- by two-inch cards with a "prize area" obscured by a thin silver coating. Voters will scratch off this area and can win by matching three vote amounts, which will range from one to 1 million.

Ha ha! What a surreal and implausible notion! Then I stopped by Marginal Revolution and thereby found this USA Today article:
Voting for dollars?
North of the border one of Mexico's U.S. neighbors is weighing a novel way to get more citizens to participate in the democratic process: Offer them a chance at winning $1 million.

In an effort to improve voter turnout in Arizona, Tucson political activist Mark Osterloh gathered more than 185,000 signatures to put his Arizona Voter Reward Act on the state ballot this November as Proposition 200.

If Arizona's voters approved, one lucky voter would win a million bucks, financed by unclaimed prize money from the state's existing lottery. Citizens would qualify by voting in the primary or general election; vote in both and they'd be entered twice. Osterloh's slogan: "Who wants to be a millionaire? Vote."

It's really sort of the converse of the satire piece, but still, the Onion writers need to work harder to keep ahead of the silliness of actual news.

Tags: Culture, Politics

It probably would increase the voter turnout substantially, but I'm not convinced that's something I actually want---especially when a given means of increasing turnout might strongly correlate with the groups whose turnout has increased. (Actually, if done cleverly, that could be a very good strategy for a party to improve their chances of getting their guys in office.)

Posted by: Mason | July 20, 2006 1:27 PM

An even better example of parody-become-reality is this Tom Tomorrow post...

Posted by: Justin | July 20, 2006 1:35 PM
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