Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The sun will come out tomorrow -- unfortunately

Sweltering temps continue to rear their ugly heads here in Phoenix. Yesterday, I got sent out to do man on the street interviews (I suppose I should say person on the street) to get various opinions on a proposed initiative. A reporter is doing a story on this ballot initiative that voters will get to decide on in November. If you ask me, it's kind of lame. The initiative, if it passes, would institute a $1 million lottery every election year. Voters who vote in a general or primary election will automatically be entered--twice if they vote in both. The money would come from unclaimed lotto money. The group who put the initiative on the ballot is headed by a Tucson opthamologist. This guy thinks having a lottery will encourage more people to vote and thus, bring out more voters that are representative of the people. Other people think it's a waste of money.
So, in 100-plus degree heat, I was pestering Joe and Jane Schmoes at the county elections office, outside of Starbucks and at a gas station.

Not surprisingly, for every person who wanted to speak and told me to pull up a chair, I got people who acted like I was trying to sell them something.
"No thank you!" "I don't vote. Voting is a waste of time!!" "Voting is against my religion." (Jehovah's Witness)The first person who agreed to talk to me was this 55-year-old woman named Rosie Coyote. Yeah, that was her real name. With the name alone, I would have loved for the reporter to quote her. But then again, she didn't seem to want to take me very seriously. Here's how some of our conversation went:
"Do you think this initiative is a good idea?"
"You must be against it if you're asking me why." (Dude, lady, it's my job to ask people why, along with any of the other five Ws)
"What are you? 21? What are you doing out here? You in school?"

Guess it's hard for me to look and sound like a tough-as-nails reporter.

Anyhoo, I'm curious what some of you think of an initiative like this. I think the money should be used for something else instead of being given to someone for exercising his/her civic duty.

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