It sounds too good to be true. But for a second time, just getting out of bed to vote could earn you $5,000.
The voting lottery is being resurrected after two years by the Philadelphia Citizen – a nonprofit, member supported online media organization – in an effort to increase woefully low voter turnout figures in Philadelphia.
“In the last Mayoral election, just 25 percent of registered voters came out to the polls,” the Citizen wrote. “In 2013, the last time there was a race for District Attorney, just 11.4 percent of eligible Philadelphians voted.”
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The Citizen went out of its way to apologize to critics who called the previous lottery in 2015 a “bribe.” Others said they “were disgusted and embarrassed to have this associated with our city.”
But here at Metro, we don’t feel that way. We just say, ‘Show us the money.’
And since in 2015, crossing guard Bridget Conroy-Varnis won $10k for voting in the 2015 November election, it seems true that literally anyone could get the pay-out.
The Citizen says that for the May 16 primary – when Philadelphia will be nominating candidates to run in the elections for Controller and District Attorney – they will pick a polling place at random, and the first person to vote that day will get five grand.
The reward is split into two parts this year. They’ll be giving out another five large to another random voter on Election Day in November.
Philadelphia Citizen employees, elected officials and their family members, and anyone working on a political campaign for someone on the ballot is ineligible to receive the reward.
Despite offering cash, the Citizen underscored that they believe voting is your civic duty.
“Get out to the polls yourself—not because you might win a prize, but because it is your duty and your privilege as an American,” they wrote.