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Cash prize planned to boost school board election voter turnout

Voters in one Los Angeles district could win $25,000 if they cast ballots in an upcoming school board election. But is that a “winning idea”?

The so-called “votería” is part of an initiative from the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project in California to boost voter turnout at local elections, which have been at an “all-time low,” according to Mario Solis-Marich, the spokesperson for the organization behind the votería.

It’s an important election for the future,” Solis-Marich told José Díaz-Balart on msnbc Wednesday, “not only for the kids in Los Angeles, but throughout the country because of the economic impact that Los Angeles has. 11% of people usually participate in this election. [The votería] may bring [that number] up.”

But the votería is not without criticism. An LA TImes editorial recently questioned the initiative’s ”integrity of the democratic process,” which Solis-Marich responded: “This is not a bribe. This is a contest.”

The votería will begin during the Los Angeles Board of Education District 5 race on May 19. Once the election results are certified, the Southwest Voter Registraction Education Project will announce a winner.

What do you think about the votería? Let us know in the comments, or weigh in on Facebook or Twitter.