Should Voting Be Mandatory? Share Your Opinion

According to an opinion piece in The New York Times, 31 countries have laws requiring citizens to participate in elections. Could that be the solution to low turnout here?

By some official projections, as few as 30 percent of registered voters may turn out for Tuesday's elections throughout New Jersey, when candidates for the state legislature, county freeholder as well as mayor and council in many localities will all be on the ballot. This despite the fact that the people who hold these offices have a major impact on state and local spending and taxation.

Contrast that with the 90 percent or more who participate in Australia's elections, according to an article in Sunday's New York Times by William A. Galston, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

"Our low turnout rate pushes American politics toward increased polarization," Galston writes. His proposed solution? Have the U.S. join 31 nations, including Australia, in adopting mandatory voting laws.

What do you think of this idea?

Kevin November 08, 2011 at 04:40 PM
I couldn't agree more Stuart.
Kurt Torster November 08, 2011 at 07:14 PM
Give me someone to vote for (rather than against) and I'll be happy to do it more often.
Shane Ronan November 08, 2011 at 07:43 PM
If you don't vote you should not be entitled to attend township committee meetings or complain about the state of affairs.
Curious Citizen November 08, 2011 at 10:36 PM
This tweet is exactly why we should neither have mandatory voting nor permit everyone to vote without some sort of intelligence test: Talking to voters in SC, woman says she won't vote for Romney 'because he's a Muslim.' - https://twitter.com/#!/bethreinhard/status/134000298850140160
Gene Mikijanic November 10, 2011 at 02:43 PM
Only if "none of the above" is an option - and then the incumbents get removed (aka Recall), and we get a new slate to try again. Implementing web based voting could elevate participation levels - but only of Joe-citizen actually thought their feedback was meaningful. PS - How about a survey to find out if we should mandate "Zero-based budgeting"?


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