What should be done about low voter turn out?

Election Day is only a few days away should the U.S. follow the example of Australia and require that all-legal citizen’s vote. In Australia if you do not vote you can be fined.

From an Australian government web site: http://www.aec.gov.au/_content/What/voting/compuls...

"Compulsory voting means that every Australian citizen (18 years or older) is required by law to enroll and vote. If a person does not vote and is unable to provide a "valid and sufficient" reason, a penalty is imposed. Compulsory voting is a distinctive feature of the Australian political culture."

Would this work in the United States?

9 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I don't think so. If people don't want to vote, why make them? Will it mean anything if they just pick random people because they don't want to be there?

  • 1 decade ago

    No. Americans are just lazy. If they don't want to vote, no one can feasibly make them all vote. The problem is that the voting process is meant to be confusing on purpose. There isn't a centralized site or place to register. Everyone knows when Election Day is, but few know the dates for the Primary elections. Certain states allow you to show up without any identification, but others require a confirmation card that you get in the mail, which can easily be lost. The counties in most states are erratically divided. Sometimes, the closest polling booth near you is for another county. People who show up at the wrong polling booth automatically have their votes thrown out. Voter fraud is rampant.

    The powers that be do this on purpose because an uninformed public suits them. Things like the war in Iraq happen because Americans are scared, so they turn to their leader for direction. But if their leader isn't the right man for the job, he can lead them down the wrong path. But what's seen as the wrong path by most Americans can be seen as the right one for the powers that be. Partisan politics have disillusioned so many Americans that they no longer have faith or interest in the voting process.

  • 1 decade ago

    I actually just read an interesting article about this. I wish I remember where I found it. The argument that the author made is that our low voter turnout is something of a myth. First off, large segments of our population can't vote. We've got a lot of convicts and a lot of immigrants who aren't naturalized yet. Also, there are elections freakin' all the time. Some countries only have them every few years, but we have them at least every other, with occasional special elections thrown in there. Some of our problem may just be voter exhaustion.

    Finally, the compulsory vote doesn't mean we'll get good votes. If you have to vote, and you haven't done your research, you're either going to go in and pull levers randomly or vote for Mickey Mouse, or possibly just turn in a blank form.

    If we really want to make sure as many people as possible vote, I think we need to do things like allow registration at the polls. In states where that's allowed, they tend to have much higher turnout. Also, we should make sure that there are enough voting booths in every district and that election day is a day off for everyone, so people have enough time to vote. Finally, we really need to make sure that voter confidence is high- right now, lots of people really don't trust the touch-screen booths. Some of them are using absentee ballots to make sure their vote is counted, but some are just not going to the polls, because they think it won't matter.

  • 1 decade ago

    No, I can't get why anyone cares if someone votes or not. Freedom of choice. I didn't vote in the last primary election because I researched the candidates and I didn't like any of them. I didn't want to give my vote to someone just to say I voted. People have a right not to vote. They also have a right not to care. That is what America is about, freedom.

    Get over it.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I think that's a great system, but I don't think it would work in the U.S.

    I think people would show up to the polls to avoid paying a fine, but I think they would just choose random candidates just to get it over with.

    I know in 2004 it was discussed that all voters would be paid $5 or $10 just for voting, or enter them into a $1 million lottery.

    It's pretty sad that we have to have something like a celebrity endorsing "Vote or Die" to get people to vote.

    The bottom line is people just don't care. If there's no incentive (or celebrity endorsement), people won't vote.

  • Paige
    Lv 4
    5 years ago

    Actually, compared to most post-industrial advanced democracies, we have very average voter turnout. Only in countries with coercive voting laws (Australia), or where democracy is novel or unstable (Iraq, Kenya) do you see 60%+ voter turnout.

  • 1 decade ago

    people just need to educated on how it will effect them and there way of life.....thats why folks cause they dont see what will result til its too late to vote

  • 1 decade ago

    I don`t want people who don`t care or don`t want to, to be voting

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I doubt it. Police would love the fine revenue though.

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