Compulsory Voting: Mandatory Failure

Submitted By Talksalot1
Words: 573
Pages: 3

17 September 2012
Compulsory Voting, Mandatory Failure
Have you ever been forced to do something you didn’t want to do, so you didn’t put much thought or effort in to it; therefore your outcome wasn’t what was expected. The Americans included in today’s generation value politics less and less as the year goes on. By forcing the people to vote isn’t going to help our nation, it will just become a burden to those who have busy lives and the polls will end up unfair.
Imagine as if your parents ask you to clean your room, you walk in shuffle a few things around, shove dirty clothes in your closet, and then you’re done. But what did this solve? You know for a fact that you didn’t actually clean your room, and when you go looking for that t-shirt you wore last week, you won’t be able to find it, so it didn’t benefit you whatsoever. The same thing can be applied to the concept of compulsory voting. Asking a person who doesn’t happen to be politically knowledgeable is going to be doing the “clean room scenario” and pick the candidate at random, which again doesn’t solve anything because that candidate isn’t truly fit for the position her or she is running for. “Nonvoters”, says Andrew Gelman, are believed to “take more liberal positions than voters, especially on economic issues.”(Gelman, “Understanding Nonvoters”). “Recent research shows a vicious cycle in which nonvoters also do not believe government will help them and government returns the favor by making policies that favor the middle and top of the income distribution and a negative impact on those at the bottom.”(Just, “Same-Day Registration”).

One of the most well-known compulsory voting systems is in Australia. All Australian citizens over the age of 18 (except those of unsound mind or those convicted of serious crimes) must be registered to vote and show up at the poll on Election Day. Australians who do not vote are subject to fines although those who were ill or otherwise incapable of voting on Election Day can have their fines waived. As Americans, we believe this to be undemocratic (an infringement of liberty.) “If we force everyone to vote, the electorate will become even more irrational and misinformed,” giving the worse candidate…