News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Vote Tuesday; it is the most valuable right you have

Mark Osterloh, a physician living in Tucson, Ariz., has proposed a $1 million lottery drawing in his state. To qualify, all one has to do is vote.

The Arizona Voter Reward Act, on the ballot in that state Tuesday, would authorize a drawing from among the names of voters in the state, the winner of which would receive a cool million dollars.

While Mr. Osterloh's intention may be in the right place — he says he wants to improve voter turnout — his methods are flawed. It should not take a bribe to get citizens to perform their most important civic responsibility.

Ours is a nation founded on democratic principles. Every citizen has the right to vote and each vote counts the same as every other. While we may disagree about issues and candidates, we all agree to abide by the results of the election.

Too often, however, voter apathy becomes the real winner at the ballot box. Even in general elections when the presidency is to be decided, nearly half of Americans neglect to go to the polls.

Perhaps we have become too complacent. All one needs to do is look at dictatorships such as North Korea or the former Iraq under Saddam Hussein's rule to realize how blessed we are to be able to select our leaders.

Tuesday we all have the opportunity to choose our leaders at the federal, state and local levels.

Find out as much as you can about the candidates and the issues. Weigh carefully the pros and cons of the alternatives.

Then go to the polls and vote.

It is the right thing to do.

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