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Paying voters doesn't address the root cause of low turnout

To the editor: Representative democracy is always at risk, but low voter turnout is a symptom, not a cause. ("Vote, and win $25,000: It's a losing idea," editorial, April 21) Cynicism certainly is a cause, perpetuated by humorists such as Jon Stewart and opinion entertainers such as Rush Limbaugh. It doesn't help when the governor pursues a rail project that he knows nobody would vote for in its present form. The truth, however, is that local elections are where voters really can make a difference, and the average Joe and Jill really can have influence if they get even minimally involved. Anyone who has ever gotten a stop sign erected or a pothole filled after a...