Zhaba Zhournal
Friday, October 08, 2004 
If I said you had a beautiful body, would you hold an election? 
Another belated New York Times article link, this one from Tuesday (but I couldn't post it till I'd posted the one from Monday, which I didn't do till Wednesday, and then yesterday was crazy). It'll be payment-only by Oct. 12, but even then, the title says it all: Strip Club's Cover Charge Is Voter Registration Card. Yow, talk about rocking the vote. Bumping and grinding it, even.

Which brings me to the other thing I was going to post after I was going to have posted that:

The enormous number and variety of voter-registration drives—from P. Diddy's "Vote or Die" bling to the strip club registration revue—have been successful beyond expectation or precedent, and election offices across the country have record numbers of new-voter forms to prove it. The next thing is, how do we get people to actually go vote? I know you can't pay people to vote for a specific person or party, but how about providing incentives for them to vote in general? J. and I, in conversation, came up with these:
Me: Make Election Day an official national holiday,* but people can only get off from work if they can prove they voted.
J.: Open bars on Election Day, but you're only allowed in if you've voted.
Me: And there could be voter-only sales at shoe stores. That'd get the women in.
(And other stores too, of course, and not just for women; and I'm not trying to be genderist; but honestly, is there any woman who can resist the siren call of a shoe store?)

Anyway: I'm not talking bribery, I'm talking incentives. Encouragements. Something. Even just more-attractive "I voted" stickers. J. and I went to see a stand-up performance by Lewis Black on Sunday, and he had a particularly good line about voting, paraphrased here: "How are we going to convince the people of Iraq and Afghanistan that democracy is such a great thing when only 45 percent of us vote?" (It was like that, but funnier. Shoot, I wish I'd written it down when I heard it.)

*In some states it's an official holiday, but not in all of them. So technically it shouldn't be capitalized, except in those states, but I don't care. (I had to deal with this while editing a book about holidays, along with other nitpicky copyeditor issues like where the apostrophe goes in Presidents' Day [that there is correct; it's not Presidents Day or President's Day], whether to use hyphens or endashes in Id-al-Fitr [Id al-Fitr/Id–Ul–Fitr/Eid–Al–Fitr; hyphens, lacking any evidence to the contrary], and whether there's a comma in Martin Luther King Jr. Day [not according to the latest Chicago Manual of Style guidelines; in this case the government's own list of holidays {Title 5, Section 6103(a) of the United States Code} was no help, because the official designation is "Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr."]. If you were ever envying me my job, this is when you can stop.)

[ at 4:30 PM • by Abby • permalink  ]

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