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Compulsory Voting

Cameron

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Many countries (including, for example, Australia) have compulsory voting rules. This means that citizens are obligated to travel to a polling location and vote every election, even if just to write "no opinion" on their ballots.

I am wondering:

(1) What do you see as the positives and negatives of such a requirement?
(2) Would such a requirement be Constitutional?
(3) What would be the practical effect of such a requirement on US politics and, specifically, the balance of power in Washington? and
(4) Would you support or oppose legislating such a requirement in the US?
 

Coronado

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Many countries (including, for example, Australia) have compulsory voting rules. This means that citizens are obligated to travel to a polling location and vote every election, even if just to write "no opinion" on their ballots.

I am wondering:

(1) What do you see as the positives and negatives of such a requirement?
(2) Would such a requirement be Constitutional?
(3) What would be the practical effect of such a requirement on US politics and, specifically, the balance of power in Washington? and
(4) Would you support or oppose legislating such a requirement in the US?
I say hell no. We've already got enough retards going to the polls as it is. Mandatory voting would simply move us that much faster to idiocracy. I doubt it's constitutional, either.
 

Harry Guerrilla

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Many countries (including, for example, Australia) have compulsory voting rules. This means that citizens are obligated to travel to a polling location and vote every election, even if just to write "no opinion" on their ballots.

I am wondering:

(1) What do you see as the positives and negatives of such a requirement?
(2) Would such a requirement be Constitutional?
(3) What would be the practical effect of such a requirement on US politics and, specifically, the balance of power in Washington? and
(4) Would you support or oppose legislating such a requirement in the US?
There is no compelling reason to have everyone vote, even now your vote is statistically insignificant.
All opinions are not valid and should not be considered.

I would not support such legislation, Constitutional or not.
 

OscarB63

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I say hell no. We've already got enough retards going to the polls as it is. Mandatory voting would simply move us that much faster to idiocracy. I doubt it's constitutional, either.

idiot.jpg

we should be placing more restrictions on who can vote, not encouraging every retarded, inbred, brain damaged moron to vote.

Idiocracy (2006) - IMDb
 

d0gbreath

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They do this in Vietnam. The police go door to door and send out the voters. Only one name on the ballot, but a friend of mine said that they have a 96% voter turnout.
 

Hoplite

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I think forcing someone to vote is kind of contradicts the idea of voting being a right.
You could have the option to leave the ballot blank if you choose not to vote.
 

Yossarian

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It is true indeed that voting is compulsory in Australia. However, there are ways to circumvent the rule:

1. Don't turn up and get fined $50;
2. Vote 'informally', that is, mark your ballot paper in the incorrect way. It will not be counted; or
3. Hand in your ballot paper to the electoral officer. They will most likely be confused but will accept the gesture.

For the record, the Australian federal election that was held on August 21 recorded an unusually high level of informal voting, over 5%, that is generally regarded as a sign of dissatisfaction with the major political parties.

Personally, I do not like the rule, and I think it should be removed. I do not ascribe to the idea that one can be 'forced to be free'. Arguments for compulsory voting are largely deontological; that is, that one has a 'duty' to democracy, Australia, the Australian people, the political system etc. etc. I reject that premise outright: if a democracy cannot convince a least a reasonable number of its own people to engage in the political process, then what kind of a democracy is it? Non-compulsory voting also eliminates the disinterested who, I would contend, lend no greater strength to an democratic mandate by 'donkey voting', as the practice is called.

Unfortunately, compulsory voting has been around since 1926 and seems unlikely to be removed in this country. All political parties, especially the two major ones, derive support from exactly the sort of people who would choose to opt out of the process if they could. Sigh.
 

Deuce

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On the one hand, compulsory voting would bring out the moderates and probably stabilize the country. The moderate majority just doesn't care enough to vote because they see both parties as corrupt and extreme. With a mandatory vote, politicians would have to cater to the moderates, and we'd see an influx of moderate politicians. Probably.

On the other hand, people can be pretty dumb. If everyone has to vote, a presidential election will be decided by the same people who vote for American Idol contestants... we might see a string of actors-turned-politician, and we know how horribly wrong THAT usually goes!
 

Orion

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I don't support mandatory voting. If people don't care about politics then they are just as likely to show up and vote for whoever in order to get their election chores out of the way. People should only be voting if they want to, and if they want to it means they are at least somewhat in touch with the politics.
 

TacticalEvilDan

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I'd go for it, with a couple of adjustments.

First off, they'd have to include a none-of-the-above option like they do in Nevada.

Second, if someone failed to get a majority of the vote, the winner is randomly selected from the same pool of people we use to put together juries. If it's good enough for a criminal trial, especially where capital punishment is involved, why not?

That way, a none-of-the-above vote is more than just a vote in protest.
 

Cameron

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Whats the point of making it compulsory then?
I think the idea is to incentivize people to vote one way or the other. The theory is that actually getting the motivation to go is the hard part, actually voting is painless. Most people have an opinion on the candidates in their races, they just don't have the motivation to go out and actually vote.
 

Harry Guerrilla

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It ensures voter turnout.
I don't vote on purpose.
I'd hate to waste my time to vote for none of the above, when the same thing is accomplished by not showing up.

I think the idea is to incentivize people to vote one way or the other. The theory is that actually getting the motivation to go is the hard part, actually voting is painless. Most people have an opinion on the candidates in their races, they just don't have the motivation to go out and actually vote.
See that's why I disagree with it.

Merely having an opinion isn't good enough.
You have to know the issues, know the policies and know both the positive and negative benefits of voting for those issues.

I can have an opinion on anything, it doesn't make it an informed opinion, though.
 

Deuce

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The Aussies have like 95% of the population cast actual votes, as opposed to our under-40% here.

It makes a difference.
 

Cameron

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See that's why I disagree with it.

Merely having an opinion isn't good enough.
You have to know the issues, know the policies and know both the positive and negative benefits of voting for those issues.

I can have an opinion on anything, it doesn't make it an informed opinion, though.
I generally agree with you on this, especially the last statement.
 

DrunkenAsparagus

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That's exactly what we need, more people who often can't even name the President voting. If you make them waste a little more of their time voting, some might spend even more time getting informed about the candidates and the issues, but I highly doubt that most people would give any more of a crap or get more informed if than if they didn't have to vote.

Also some people, i.e. Harry, don't want to vote for political, moral, or religious reasons.
 

jamesrage

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It ensures voter turnout.
Doesn't voter turnout mean participation in the election process? Wouldn't leaving a ballot blank be the opposite of participation? And it still would not be mandatory voting if you have the option of leaving a ballot blank.
 

spud_meister

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The Aussies have like 95% of the population cast actual votes, as opposed to our under-40% here.

It makes a difference.
:lol: Have a look at our last election, at least with your 40% some usually gets elected cleanly.
 
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