The benefits of compulsory voting

These governments want to ensure high turnout of votes, promote voter awareness, and enhance democracy. On the other hand, making voting mandatory and even imposing penalties for not voting may be deemed as contradictory to freedom. While it is true that in democratic countries, citizens have the right to suffrage, but some people argue that compulsory voting means enforced voting, and therefore voting is no longer a right but a duty.

The benefits of compulsory voting

Dozens of other countries force their citizens to participate in elections. Not enough people are going to vote.

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Turnout in was 55 percent, down from the presidential election held four years earlier. In the midterm elections ofonly 36 percent of Americans voted -- the worst showing in more than 70 years.

The very idea of forcing people to vote seems, well, anti-democratic.

The benefits of compulsory voting

As Obama himself suggests, the people who tend not to vote often look like Democrats -- the poor, the young, members of minority groups.

One recent study of ballot measures in Switzerland found that compulsory voting boosted the progressive position by up to 20 percentage points. The Language Barrier in the Voting Booth Most academic research, however, has found that mandatory voting does not move the average voter to the left, according to Jason Brennan, a professor at Georgetown University and co-author of Compulsory Voting: The biggest difference between voters and nonvoters is not partisan ideology but information, suggests Brennan.

The benefits of compulsory voting

Supporters of compulsory voting say that would force politicians to address broader concerns, rather than appealing to narrow bases.Compulsory voting makes casting a ballot a simple process. Many jurisdictions would allow for pre-poll voting, mail-in ballots, and officials would likely visit hospitals, nursing facilities, and even military bases to make sure that every vote is counted.

Voting is a civic duty comparable to other duties citizens perform e.g. taxation, compulsory education, jury duty Teaches the benefits of political participation .

Is compulsory voting in a democracy a contradiction in terms?

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That is the question some Australians have been asking since voting became required by law here nearly a century ago. Who benefits. Mar 19,  · The president whose major policy achievement is mandatory health insurance thinks maybe voting should be mandatory, too.

Supporters of compulsory voting also argue that voting addresses the paradox of voting, which is that for a rational, self-interested voter, the costs of voting will normally exceed the expected benefits.

The paradox disproportionately affects the socially disadvantaged, for . Compulsory voting is a fairly old solution. Belgium first enacted its law in , and Argentina in , both as ways to keep the general population invested politically.

Compulsory voting - Wikipedia