How to Boost Voting Rates

Often the citizens of the United States are called upon to cast their vote for representatives who they feel will honestly represent their best interests in a legislative or executive setting. Failing that, they usually vote for the person who will screw them over the least. Or who they might like to have a beer with.

Most often, during Presidential election years, a little more than half of eligible voters actually perform their civic duty of casting their ballot. And that’s only after being told that one of the candidates is a foreign interloper who plans the destruction of America or that the other candidate drinks the blood of young women and children in order to maintain his youth. Not terribly compelling. And voter turnout for non-Presidential elections is even more appalling.

So the question has always been: How do you make the elections more representative of the needs and desires of all of the people? Even the lazy ones? The answer may be twofold. Commonly, enticements can come in the form of a carrot or a stick. In this case, why not go all in and use a carrot and a stick?

The Carrot:
Votes will be registered by machine. All candidates will be listed in addition to “None of these Idiots”. Once your selections have been made, choices will be finalized with a pull of a side lever. Three columns of fruit pictures will rotate vertically on the screen and stop in some random configuration. This may result in an instant cash prize. A paper record of your vote will also be produced, which will have a number that may win you The Ultimate Jackpot (TM), additional smaller cash prizes, gift cards, or possibly a lifetime supply of Kikkoman Soy Sauce or Sue Bee Honey.

The Stick:
Voters will be given the opportunity to vote over a period of 10 days. Those who choose not to exercise their vote (remember, they don’t have to actually vote for any of the candidates) over that period have failed to meet their responsibility to the country and will be entered into a lottery in which they may be selected as tributes in a nationally televised fight-to-the-death featured the following weekend at Fed Ex Field. I understand that this will be new to a lot of people, because there hasn’t been any fight in that place for years.

So good luck in winning a Starbucks gift card. Or getting your head bashed in at midfield. The choice is yours.

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