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Should America Make Voting Mandatory?

March 19, 2015

So US President Obama recently suggested that making voting mandatory. There are multiple reasons for this, one being that the people who don’t vote are more likely to be low income and democrat so it would favour his party. But he also suggested it would reduce the influence of money in politics since the candidates that can spend more to make sure their base get out would lose the advantage.

I don’t disagree but I think there are many better ways to get people voting, like ensuring every vote counts equally and that every significant voice is heard even if they don’t win the horserace. Mandatory voting can’t really hurt despite some wails from people who will reliably claim this is removing people’s freedom. Voting is one of the duties we have as citizens in our society. However, that doesn’t mean you have to vote for someone. I don’t know if Australia or the other nations with mandatory voting do this, but I would think it absolutely essential with mandatory voting would come the universal inclusion of a ‘none of the above’ option on every ballot. This would allow people the freedom to protest the choices or the entire system system without paying a fine. It should be mandatory to show up to the ballot box, register and do something with the ballot. Most people will choose to vote but we cannot mandate free citizens to choose from a list of two, or even five or 20 for that matter, without giving them the option of saying “no, just no”.

 

 

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