Should Voting Be Mandatory?

Should Voting Be Mandatory?

All told, there are an estimated 744 million people who live in nations with compulsory voting laws in 22 countries like Brazil, Egypt, Greece, Mexico, and Thailand. Most of these nations require citizens to vote starting at age 18, with some allowing for the cessation of compulsory voting at retirement age, around 65. Some countries like Australia fine citizens who do not vote, $20 without a valid and sufficient reason for not voting.

In the US, there is only about 1/3 of the nation who routinely votes in any elections throughout the year, and most stay away from the polls until years like this, where there is a president to be decided. With so much going on in the political arena, and voter fraud, people being denied access to vote, and extremely low voter turn out, should voting be made compulsory?

I think it should. If we can make something like jury duty compulsory and for that you have to essentially give up a days pay or more with little compensation, to ensure that juries remain fair, balanced, and a jury of ones peers, one should also have to do the bare minimum which is stop in for a few minutes and cast a ballot before or after work or school.

We have 100 news channels dedicated to people complaining about the problems in this country. You have a million internet sites including a fair portion of GaG where people rally so hard about this or that problem that must be solved and by which candidate, but let's cut to November, and find out how many of those same people will have actually put foot to ground, and voted. I gather, not that many. How can you complain about something and feel so passionate about something or a cause, and then when you have the chance to do something about it, your choice is to do nothing? That says to me you aren't serious at all and you just like to squawk and make a lot of noise rather than effect any sort of change. I mean, if you aren't going to run yourself, the very least you can do is vote for someone who can. This routine lack of action at the voting booth makes those same people part of the very problems they discuss, not the solution.

A president is not the only thing a person can vote for. One could successfully argue that they have far less of an impact on our lives than we give them credit for. It is our local governments, those politicians that can and do impact our local police, construction, education, laws, etc. that should be more concerning to us, and yet, so many merely roll over and go about their lives come election day and then see fit to complain non-stop when the same pot holes don't get fixed, or a fire department can't get the funding it needs, or the city tries to annex another neighborhood, or raise property taxes. Where were you when you had the chance to elect people in your corner?

Again, if we can mandate jury duty, we should mandate this most powerful civic duty, which is to vote. So many people have lived and died and continue to live and die for the freedoms a lot of us just callously throw away. We want others to be responsible for what is happening to us in our world, and yet, we often times leave those decisions to the wind, or see fit to complain about biases in who votes, yet we don't participate.


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What Guys Said 48

  • 2mo

    No, absolutely not. If voting is mandatory I'll just vote for both candidates instead of voting for neither, which will achieve the same thing. Candidates will just use this to their advantage. They'll start rewarding people who vote for them. South park did a great episode on this.

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  • 2mo

    Nah. We don't want idiots going and hitting polls because they have to. We should only have voters voting if they have actually researched some of it

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  • 2mo

    No, it shouldn't.

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  • 2mo

    Freedom is freedom. It means if I choose not to vote, nobody can force me.

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    • 2mo

      .. and yet we "force you" to serve on a jury or at least go to jury duty... why do you do that if freedom is freedom?

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    • 2mo

      Off topic a bit, but...

      ... random fools? Honestly? You, I take it, consider yourself a random fool then incapable of passing judgement based on a set of facts and evidence? I surely do not want some system of a select few, who's criteria would be subject, being the sole deciders of every trial in this country. That street kid on trial might need some "random fool" who's from his neighborhood to understand what he's going through in the same way some corporate exec may need "some random fool" who knows what the business world is all about to help decide their case. Freedom has always had a price, and unless people get out and vote and/or get laws like mandatory jury duty, if you're so inclined, struck down, than the situations we're in will continue.

    • 2mo

      "You, I take it, consider yourself a random fool then incapable of passing judgement based on a set of facts and evidence?"

      Correct. Even if I was, it should be my right to opt out.

      We are no longer a society comprised of people capable of judging others and assigning punishment for crimes. Many jurors today can barely run their own lives. At the very least, there should be an education minimum for those who wish to serve on a jury, or there should simply be elected officials, as there are at every other level and in every other aspect of any governmental proceeding. The masses certainly aren't capable of something this important, that's for damn sure.

  • 2mo

    You must vote you have no choice
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pSh0VAVYn4

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  • 2mo

    No I have to disagree on forcing people to vote, voting is a right and it's your right to vote or not vote you may not be making a smart choice by not voting but it's your right to make that free choice and I will not violate that right, voting is a right not a forced obligation.

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  • 2mo

    no, it shouldn't be.

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  • 2mo

    Mandatory voting also implies one thing: every idiot has to vote, and every corrupt politician will promise them money or some kind of benefit in order to get that vote (yes, it becomes as openly filthy as it can get).
    Dont think for a second this will be a good thing. The biggest threat to democracy is stupid and iliterate people in large numbers. And boy, will politicians try to multiply those...

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  • 2mo

    If I was forced to vote, then I'll just vote the third parties instead, especially if I don't like the candidates of two different major political parties. Since it's about the same thing as not voting anyway, as I know third parties will always have little to no chance of ever winning.

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  • 2mo

    No. Many people don't pay attention and have no freakin clue what is going on.

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  • 2mo

    No. The countries listed as examples of mandatory voting aren't models of good government. It serves no good purpose to force people to vote if they don't think it makes any difference. There will be lots of bad unintended consequences if this ever became law.

    And the whole, "If you don't vote, you can't complain," idea is nonsense. A more apt quote is, "If you vote, you're responsible for bad government."

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  • 2mo

    Nope.

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  • 2mo

    That is a blatant form of facism, And NO.

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  • 2mo

    I live in Brazil and I wish that voting wasn't mandatory here. I think that only the ones who really understand what they're doing would vote. It's a mess! Many people vote for a party for congress and for the president of an opposite party! How the fuck do they expect the president to run the country voting for oppositors? There are many idiots who vote with no idea about what they're doing when voting is mandatory.

    Of course that there would be idiots voting if it wasn't mandatory, but there would be less. I think that only people who really care about being a citizen, about having the power to decide the future of the nation would vote and it could give us better rulers.

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  • 2mo

    there should be a basic intelligence test just to be allowed to vote

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  • 2mo

    no it should not. its mandatory in my country and i dont like it. if you are forced to take part in the democratic process how is it still democracy?

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  • 2mo

    Oh i can complain all the fuck i want. Many other countries are far past the US in terms of voting procedure and policy. It's sad really especially when you have candidates who don't talk policy but rather tear each other down.

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  • 2mo

    This phrase "if you don't vote, you can't complain" holds some kind of insane troll logic.

    I mean, imagine if someone would give you 2 piles of shit, one is horse's shit, another one is bull's shit and would force you to eat one out of two.
    When you start complaining you don't want to eat shit to begin with, that person responds "if you don't eat, you can't complain".

    Supporters of this phrase, c'mon, throw some constructive arguments at me, I dare you.

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    • 2mo

      That was perhaps the worst analogy I've ever heard.

      Since we're into giving analogies... lets use one that actually makes sense in reality. If you are a police officer and one candidate is really for helping get more cops on the streets, raising wages, getting better equipment, and the other thinks the system which routinely leaves citizens who call into 9-1-1 waiting for help for longer than usual and cops without new equipment to replace the old and faulty... and that cop decides not to vote for candidate a or b, and b wins... what right has he or she to continue to complain about their situation if candidate b does as they promised, and allocates their funds to something else essentially ignoring the problem. You had a chance to help yourself and fellow cops, but you chose to do nothing and now, you complain. What are you complaining about then and for what reason?

    • 2mo

      What is complaining about a problem you have the ability to actual fix do? Oh my, there's a hole in my fence, the dog might get out, let me just complain about it and complain about it and hope he doesn't run out. No, you get up and fix it because you have the power to do something to prevent the dog from running away, or in the case of an actual vote, to have someone in power on your side advocating for your rights and needs as a citizen.

    • 2mo

      You kinda lost me at the very beginning by saying this is a bad analogy; further reading made me confused, as it doesn't make any sense in context of what I've just criticized.

      You want to eat (to vote), you're given 2 piles of shit (2 candidates), you refuse to eat it (you don't vote); you're forbidden to complain you're hungry and there's no decent food available, asides from shit (decent candidates)?

  • 2mo

    NO. If you're on jury duty, you at least have to listen to the arguments before you make up your mind. Why should we encourage the utterly clueless to vote?

    And it is not hard to get out of jury duty if you really want to...

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  • 2mo

    No, it should be mandatory that people know the issues if anything is mandatory.

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  • More from Guys
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What Girls Said 14

  • 2mo

    There are benefits and drawbacks of both I suppose.
    Here in Australia it is mandatory, and while the fine is initially only $20, it's still a big deal and the government chases you up about it too.
    I would be very interested to see if anything changes if it was no longer compulsory in Australia to vote.

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  • 2mo

    No it shouldn't.

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  • 2mo

    Here in Australia it's compulsory to. If you don't, expect a maximum fine of $180 (plus court costs). That's if the matter is dealt with by the court, and a criminal conviction may be recorded against your name :( so much for freedom

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  • 2mo

    I don't believe it should be mandatory. I feel like all citizens *should* vote but no one should be forced to. I can agree though that if someone doesn't vote, they shouldn't complain about the outcome. If I know someone doesn't vote (and I do know some people who never do), I don't take their complaints seriously.

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  • 2mo

    No. At first I was worried that if they can find out if you vote it wouldn't take much to find out who you voted for, leading to potential retribution if the party you voted against gained power.

    But then I realized that I have to sign a list when I get a ballot so compulsory voting wouldn't change much as far as that goes.

    Now my argument against it is the simple fact that if someone can't be bothered to vote of their own volition they probably can't be bothered to research the various candidates and state constitutional amendments appearing on the ballot. We might as well count the ballots then add the results from a random number generator to each candidate/measure before announcing the outcome.

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  • 2mo

    The first piece says it all "If you don't vote you can't complain". As for forcing people to vote thats a little extreme.

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  • 2mo

    No it shouldn't. I don't want some uneducated idiot to come vote for someone without knowing what or who they're voting for.

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  • 2mo

    Yes you should but you should be able to abstain.

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  • 2mo

    People who are compelled to vote but don't want to vote often just vote for the first candidate. That's known as the "donkey vote" in Australia, and it biasses the outcome of the poll towards candidates with names like Mr Aardvark or Mrs Abacus. Secondly, not voting does not stop you complaining. If politicians are incompetent or corrupt or anything else you don't like, you have every right to complain to anyone who will listen!

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  • 2mo

    First of all, I'm completely against government forcing you to do anything. That isn't freedom.
    Second, mandatory voting is idiotic. A great deal of people do not like politics, or simply don't care, and don't want to get involved. In either case, you are saying that people who probably don't know what they're voting for should vote. That is a terrible idea. It's saying that you should force millions of uninformed people make a meaningful choice.

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  • 2mo

    Why do people want the govt. To have so much power? Jury duty is stupid too. Why choose people randoms to dictate thr future of someones life? It should be a actual job or something.

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  • 2mo

    People like me who know a lot about politics should vote for someone who might do the best.
    Many who don't know a hill of beans about politics, should sit home.

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  • 2mo

    Do you believe in voter ID laws?

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  • 2mo

    Nope shouldn't be, but I agree if you don't vote you cannot complain.

    Also here we get paid for jury duty.

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