Larry Platt is at it again-- enticing people to vote by waving a big check in their face.
This time it is $5,000 that a lucky voter will get after voting in the May 16 primary election.
Platt, former editor of Philadelphia Magazine and the Philadelphia Daily News who now runs the online publication Philadelphia Citizen, started a get out the vote campaign during the 2015 mayoral election by offering a $10,000 prize. Bridget Conroy-Vargis, a South Philly crossing guard, won the prize as she was leaving her polling location.
Total turnout in the 2015 general election was 26 percent. Platt believes that without his campaign, turnout might have been slightly lower. So, he wants to do it again.
Chairman and chief executive of the Dilworth Paxson law firm Ajay Raju and his wife, Pamela will once again be providing the funds for the prize, Platt said. This time it will be $5,000 prize for the primary election and another $5,000 during the November general election. (Raju is also co-founder of Philadelphia Citizen.)
“The lottery is necessary to call attention to this civic crisis and to hopefully get people excited about being involved (and informed),” Platt said in an email. “Desperate times call for desperate measures.”
The polling location will be selected randomly through a computer program. Platt and company will also select a random time to show up.
“Whoever is emerging from the polling place at that time will be our winner and they'll see me, all Ed McMahon-like, holding a big $5,000 check for them,” Platt said.
The primary election is May 16.
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