Mandatory Voting in U.S. Coming?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by xsedrinam, Jul 11, 2005.

  1. xsedrinam macrumors 601

    xsedrinam

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    #1
    Would you be for or against compulsory voting laws in U.S. elections?
    http://www.aceproject.org/main/english/es/esc07a.htm
    "Among the long-standing democracies that make voting compulsory in elections are Australia, Belgium, and Luxembourg. Other well established democratic nations - The Netherlands in 1970 and Austria more recently - repealed such legal requirements after they had been in force for decades. Mandatory voting is also used in Latin America. Examples there include Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, and Ecuador. In some countries voting has been made compulsory at the discretion of sub-national governments, or is applied only to certain types of elections."
    X
     
  2. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #2
    What's the enforcement mechanism? Jail? And isn't the act of not voting in protest a legitimate action?

    IDK, I'm not big on forcing people to do things.
     
  3. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #3
    for how many candidates?<ahem>


    Personally I do not think that Civic participation can be mandated. It is the voluntary effort that makes the experience (and the person) meaningful, thoughtful and relevant.

    You cannot coerce someone into thought or engagement in any meaningful way.
     
  4. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #4
    Never happen. You have the right to vote, but you also have the right not to.
     
  5. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #5
    Well, except for places where voting is mandatory.

    The enforcement is usually a tax, I believe.

    I think more could be accomplished by making election say a national holiday and fining any company that does not allow their employees sufficient time to go vote. Same with local elections.
     
  6. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #6
    I agree, the idea of a weekday election really sucks. Especially for those who work a long ways from where they work. It's a disincentive to vote but the Republicans want to keep it that way so i doubt it'll ever change. Although I'm all in favor of anything that increases the turnout.
     
  7. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #7
    "...the Republicans want to keep it that way so i doubt it'll ever change."

    You're gonna have to a whole bunch of explaining for me to take that off my "cockamamie idea of the year" list. After all, the polls are open for twelve hours, and there are also two weeks' worth of time for early voting at (commonly) several places around one's county besides the courthouse. I don't at all see how the present system works to Republican advantage.

    I have enough trouble with folks' reasoning that they won't register to vote in order not to be called for jury duty...

    Purely personal opinion, with no sort of data: I think that in general, conservatives are less active, politically, than liberals, and thus are more likely to stay home on election day. If I'm anywhere near correct, then, it would be to the Republicans' advantage to have mandatory voting on a Saturday.

    Anyhow, the idea of mandatory voting sucks. "Don't vote; it only encourages the bastards!"

    :), 'Rat
     
  8. xsedrinam thread starter macrumors 601

    xsedrinam

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    #8
    :) So, it's the ol' Q&A from the past:
    Q-Which is the greater problem in U.S. politics, ignorance or apathy?
    A-I don't know and I don't care.
    X
     
  9. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #9
    That's actually untrue AFAIK. I'd have to go looking, but I've read that the Dems actually enjoy a registration advantage, however they suffer from a less-than-reliable voter syndrome much more than the GOP does.

    The GOP, with fewer members nationwide, nevertheless can generally turn out a higher percentage of it's members reliably.
     
  10. clayj macrumors 604

    clayj

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    #10
    I completely disagree with the idea of mandatory voting. It's bad enough that I, who pay attention to the issues and do my homework regarding the candidates and what they stand for, regularly get my vote nullified by some moron who's picking his nose with one hand while pulling the lever that someone told him to pull with the other.

    If it were up to me, you'd have to take (and pass) a short, easy test before being allowed to vote: Identify the candidates, identify their beliefs (multiple choice), etc.

    Oh, and there'd be a requirement that all voter registrations be completed, without exception, 60 days before the election. No provisional ballots, no same-day registration, and for damn sure no illegal aliens voting (citizens only). I've had it up to here (gestures at forehead) with election day BS.
     
  11. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #11
    Oh so that was YOUR vote I was invalidating... excellent. Hey, where's the Kleenex in these booths anyway? :p
     
  12. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #12
    someone's a little too into politics :)
     
  13. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #13

    Are you sure he's talking about voting booths? ;)
     
  14. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #14
    For my boogers you pervert. ;)

    My goodness this is a mature discussion!
     
  15. atszyman macrumors 68020

    atszyman

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    #15
    Would it be mandatory for all elections? i.e. local, state, and national?

    If this is the case then we need to completely re-work the system so that it is easier to vote if you are caught last minute travel plans. There needs to be a way to vote remotely that is easier than absentee ballots. Oregon may have the right idea with voting by mail.

    If you are talking strictly on the national elections we could eliminate the electoral college and go by popular vote. This would allow for voting regardless of location since one vote=one vote.
     
  16. xsedrinam thread starter macrumors 601

    xsedrinam

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    #16
    " and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." May seem funny, but it snot :eek:

    I'd be concerned where there were elitist, academic requirements (i.e. 'essays') to be passed in order to qualify for voice and vote, although I hear where the argument is coming from.
    X
     
  17. fistful macrumors 6502a

    fistful

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    #17
    I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing as long as there is a check box to the effect of: "lousy good for nothing candidates, I'm voting not to vote [x]"
     
  18. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #18
    That's what the write-in spot is for. ;)

    Still shouldn't be mandatory though.
     
  19. Lyle macrumors 68000

    Lyle

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    #19
    Haven't things like that been proposed before? I think it's safe to say that a number of organizations that would shoot that idea down in a heartbeat, claiming that it's discriminatory.
     
  20. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #20
    Well, by definition it is discriminatory as it's distinguishing between people who can and can vote. Age requirements are discriminatory too. The key is to justify the discrimination.

    There are a number of reasons not to have things like this. First off, who designs and who administers the tests? That alone should be cause enough for worry. Second, it is contrary to democratic principles--the idea that we are all equal under the law (that may not be a concern to elitists, but it should be). Another would be cost, for all the anti-government expansion types, adding another beaurocracy isn't cheap. Yet more reasons... what about some old person who can't read? In my experience as an adult literacy tutor, there are plenty of people who can't read more than a few words (and could read names on a ballot) and who have political opinions. Are you really saying that this person has no right to vote?


    A lot of countries have "against all" as a choice on the ballot. I'd agree that should be included if there were mandatory voting.


    Rat, lots of people have to work two jobs on election day. If you're up at 5 to go to your first job and come home from your second at 10, I'm pretty sure you'll have missed the 12 hour window. Others have long work days. Many people have just one job that keeps them busy all hours and won't have the time to vote. This isn't a huge percentage of the population, of course, but we're probably talking hundreds of thousands of votes, at least.

    There are also lots of people who could vote, but are too tired from their jobs and might vote if they had the day off.

    There are also people who currently vote, but given the day off might go to the beach. In total, I think having a holiday would increase voter turnout a couple percentage points, but it wouldn't be a huge change. Apathy is the main obstacle.
     
  21. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #21
    it also discriminates against the illiterate.
     
  22. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #22
    Republicans will have none of this you can be sure and at the moment they run everything, kind of scary isnt it.
     
  23. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #23
    "Republicans will have none of this you can be sure..."

    Seems to me the Dems pretty much ran the Congress from the 1930s until 1994...

    The deep south had literacy tests. There's an ancient joke about it. No offense intended: A black guy goes to take the literacy test. The test would have overwhelmed a Nobellist in English and Literature. The testee was asked if he knew what the writing meant: "Yassuh. It means no ******'s gonna vote in Mississippi."

    For all that my emotional views about voting are elitist, as to owning property or knowing the candidates and issues, there is NO way that any sort of testing before one can vote will ever be fair to all.

    And the whole deal is to be as fair as humanly possible. Voting, in many ways, is exercising control over one's destiny. Nobody should be denied that right. That one exercises a right poorly, or doesn't bother to exercise that right, in no way obviates the existence of the right.

    I dunno. To me, it's all part of "equality under the law"...

    'Rat
     
  24. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

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  25. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #25

    Excellently put. On an emotional level, we'd like to disqualify some people (those we think disagree with us), but we know that's not right.
     

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