Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Democracy ahead of Greed?

Arizona Proposition 200: Voter Reward Act would have paid up to $1 million in unclaimed lottery money to one randomly selected voter. We voted it down, in spite of the personal incentive, because apparently we value informed voters over those seeking a free lottery ticket.

But if we don't want uninformed, greedy voters, does that mean that we really want informed voters? Should we have an IQ test, or a voter competency test? My idea is an "entrance-exit poll"; voters are asked to recall their votes fifteen minutes after casting them: if they can't name the candidates and propositions they voted for, maybe those votes didn't matter very much to them and shouldn't matter very much to us. In this way the wheat (knowledgeable votes) would be separated from the chaff (random votes) with a minimum of hassle. The "random" votes could be subtracted from the significant votes in the final tally.

However, in the interests of honesty, I should mention that I cannot recall if I voted for or against Proposition 200...

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