Eye On Illinois: Did you vote? Would a cookie have changed your mind?


“Get in, get out, get on with your life.”

That slogan rattled in my brain during two recent errands, but I must admit reliance on the internet to connect me with the origin (Chili’s Grill & Bar, apparently).

Clouded nostalgia notwithstanding, it brings a little joy to report the easy, breezy experience of both donating blood, through a Red Cross collection site at the hospital, and voting at my precinct polling place on Election Day.

I find donating blood effortless compared with being an informed voter, but consider both important obligations. Statistics place me firmly in the minority.

Two-plus decades spent encouraging readers to make positive societal contributions by providing a pint or marking a ballot yields plenty of thoughtful explanations for why people don’t engage in one or both, which serves as a helpful reminder my experiences are mine alone, and perhaps the fact voting took five minutes and giving blood about 30 doesn’t come close to moving someone else’s needle.

Scott T. Holland

Scott T. Holland

That said, there’s always a treat table after giving blood, and I’m a little salty about redistricting shifting my precinct to a different church from the one up the road that always has cookies and coffee on Election Day.

Perhaps Oreos are the true key to get-out-the-vote efforts.

OUTTA LOTTO LUCK? As an only occasional customer of Illinois Lottery scratch ticket games (they tend to appear in Christmas stockings), I’m curious how regular players feel about a recent WMAQ-TV investigation into the sale of such tickets even after the top prizes are claimed.

For example, reporters found they could pay $10 for a “$1 Million Mega Money” game even though the top remaining prize is just $50,000, and the lottery’s website states the tickets can be sold until April 25.

Of 169 instant games, some 83 were still active after the top prizes were claimed.

Odds and the number of top prizes are printed on the back of each card, which means the agency is up front about a customer’s chances for a return on investment, or simply breaking even. But the lottery also has a written policy pledging to discontinue any game once the remaining top prize is claimed.

Games that include “second-chance drawings,” through which something equal or greater to the top prize can be won through mail or online entries, can continue to be sold.

This is an analog operation, so removing tickets from circulation always involves latency, but it seems like 48 hours is a reasonable standard rather than the somewhat vague policy guidelines.

No one should buy any lotto ticket expecting to win, but while the system is privatized, the state must carefully avoid the perception of false advertising.

Scott T. Holland writes about state government issues for Shaw Media. Follow him on Twitter @sth749. He can be reached at sholland@shawmedia.com.

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April 6, 2023 at 05:08AM

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