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Ballot as lottery ticket?

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TUCSON, July 17 (UPI) -- A proposal has qualified for Arizona's November ballot to award $1 million to one voter, chosen by lottery, after each general election.

Mark Osterloh -- described by The New York Times as a political gadfly -- is promoting the Arizona Voter Reward Act with the slogan: "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Vote!"

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Osterich collected 185,902 signatures of registered voters to get the initiative on the ballot and the Arizona secretary of state has certified the measure for the ballot.

More than 2 million people voted in the state's general election in 2004, putting the odds of winning the $1 million prize at 1-in-2-million -- far better than the Powerball jackpot, which the Times said carries odds of about 1 in 146,107,962, but still not as great as dying from a lightning strike, 1 in 55,928.

Curtis Gans, director of the Center for the Study of the American Electorate in Washington, is against the lottery idea.

"People should not go vote because they might win a lottery," he said. "We need to rekindle the religion of civic duty, and that is a hard job, but we should not make voting crassly commercial."

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