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Friday, August 22, 2014

L.A. Considers Cash Prizes To Combat Dismal Voter Turnout

Citizens vote on Election Day at Fire Station #71 in Alhambra, Los Angeles County, on November 6, 2012 in California. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)

Citizens vote on Election Day at Fire Station #71 in Alhambra, Los Angeles County, on November 6, 2012 in California. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)

About 20 percent of registered voters in Los Angeles turn out to vote in local elections. City officials call the lack of civic engagement a “crisis,” and they’ve come up with a way to fix the problem — cash prizes.

The city’s ethics commission has supported a plan to use a random drawing to reward people who come to the ballot box. Critics say the process will debase the election process by attracting people who aren’t knowledgeable about the issues.

The president of the city’s ethics commission discusses the plan with Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti.

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