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| | |-+  Should the US have mandatory voting?
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Poll
Question: Should the US have mandatory voting?
No   -83 (53.2%)
Yes   -16 (10.3%)
Yes, but only if there is a "none of the above" option.   -20 (12.8%)
Yes, but only if voting is made easier.   -15 (9.6%)
Options 3 & 4   -20 (12.8%)
Yes, but only if some other requirement is fulfilled.   -2 (1.3%)
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Total Voters: 156

Author Topic: Should the US have mandatory voting?  (Read 7319 times)
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« Reply #25 on: April 03, 2017, 07:44:35 am »
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No.  Absolutely not.  Terrible idea.

Citizens being herded into voting booths simply does not fit in with the land of the free home of the brave concept.

Yea, not what happens.
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« Reply #26 on: April 13, 2017, 10:41:53 am »
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I think yes but:

1. You can cast blank on any race or even for the entire ballot.
2. Voting lasts an entire week, 7 to 7 each day (for major elections). Taxes increase if necessary to make that possible.
3. You can vote absentee without having to provide an excuse.
4. Penalty for not voting is a modest fine.
5. Not applicable to primaries or minor elections.
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« Reply #27 on: April 15, 2017, 01:14:54 pm »
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Never. If you just make it easier to vote, there will be higher turnout.
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« Reply #28 on: May 01, 2017, 10:57:40 pm »
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There should be a tax credit for voting and a tax penalty for not voting IMO

How would that be different than a poll tax, the kind used in the Jim Crow South, except in reverse.

The comparison literally makes no sense as the issue with a poll tax was that it put a financial requirement for voter eligibility--this would in no way restrict voting access.
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« Reply #29 on: May 11, 2017, 06:25:56 pm »
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Make Election Day a public holiday, or move it to the weekend.
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« Reply #30 on: May 12, 2017, 06:04:26 pm »
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No, we have the right to vote, not requirement to vote.

In my opinion, it is our duty to vote, we can't be forced to. However, if someone shames you for not voting in a presidential election, they're somewhat justified.
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« Reply #31 on: July 15, 2017, 05:55:33 pm »
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No... Horrible idea.
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« Reply #32 on: July 15, 2017, 07:20:29 pm »
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Wow I thought this was a new thread so I saw the post where I quoted someone and almost quoted it again not realizing it was me
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« Reply #33 on: July 15, 2017, 09:21:18 pm »
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Id probably just have a small fine for not voting  to increase turnout but for low income house holds no fine 
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« Reply #34 on: July 18, 2017, 11:12:01 am »
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This sounds like a bad idea. Forcing people to vote is a violation of their rights.
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« Reply #35 on: August 11, 2017, 12:11:10 am »
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I think we should mail every voter a ballot whether they take the time to fill it out and return it is their choice.
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« Reply #36 on: August 11, 2017, 02:35:54 am »
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No, you just end up forcing people to participate in something they wan't no part in. People should have the right to do as they please - that's what's called freedom.
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« Reply #37 on: August 11, 2017, 03:57:24 pm »
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I wouldn't mind a system where people are forced to turn in a ballot, whether in person or by mail. They don't have to fill it out, but they have to turn it in or get a fine. The idea here would be that most people would just go ahead and fill it out anyway. We might be able to get actual turnout (excluding empty ballots) up to around 75% - 80% that way, which is pretty satisfactory. I don't see a fundamental violation of our rights in that (though it is probably not constitutional), as no one is forced to actually cast a vote.

At the very least, we need to have same day/automatic voter registration, county-wide polling places, closing times at no earlier than 8, two weeks at least of early voting, permanent no-excuse absentee voting and a prohibition of photo ID laws unless proven necessary (there are better ways to prevent in-person fraud than photo IDs, which reduce young/minority turnout). There is no good reason we can't do those things, and the reason we haven't in so many areas is because of pure partisanship and the desire to win above everything else.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2017, 04:00:49 pm by Virginia »Logged

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« Reply #38 on: August 11, 2017, 05:26:50 pm »
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I wouldn't mind a system where people are forced to turn in a ballot, whether in person or by mail. They don't have to fill it out, but they have to turn it in or get a fine. The idea here would be that most people would just go ahead and fill it out anyway. We might be able to get actual turnout (excluding empty ballots) up to around 75% - 80% that way, which is pretty satisfactory. I don't see a fundamental violation of our rights in that (though it is probably not constitutional), as no one is forced to actually cast a vote.

At the very least, we need to have same day/automatic voter registration, county-wide polling places, closing times at no earlier than 8, two weeks at least of early voting, permanent no-excuse absentee voting and a prohibition of photo ID laws unless proven necessary (there are better ways to prevent in-person fraud than photo IDs, which reduce young/minority turnout). There is no good reason we can't do those things, and the reason we haven't in so many areas is because of pure partisanship and the desire to win above everything else.
Really? You don't see a problem with fining people for not turning in a piece of paper, many of which will be blank anyway? That's borderline coercion IMO. Just because the goal is laudible, doesn't justify the use of force; that's exactly what a fine is.

All I can say is the mandatory voting that we have in Australia forcibly enfranchises the apathetic, a lot of whom will make their decisions as they stroll to the polling both or even as they're actually in the booth. Think about it. Do you really want the disinterested to vote?
« Last Edit: August 11, 2017, 05:30:39 pm by Lord Wreath »Logged
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« Reply #39 on: August 11, 2017, 08:04:14 pm »
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All I can say is the mandatory voting that we have in Australia forcibly enfranchises the apathetic, a lot of whom will make their decisions as they stroll to the polling both or even as they're actually in the booth. Think about it. Do you really want the disinterested to vote?

I'm still somewhat undecided on the practice even if I don't mind the idea, but it's a moot point anyway, it'll never happen in the US. Given how partisan even the most basic election law changes are, there is no way there would ever be enough support for mandatory voting. If Democrats did try to do that, there would probably be a massive backlash. However, I still stand by this:

At the very least, we need to have same day/automatic voter registration, county-wide polling places, closing times at no earlier than 8, two weeks at least of early voting, permanent no-excuse absentee voting and a prohibition of photo ID laws unless proven necessary (there are better ways to prevent in-person fraud than photo IDs, which reduce young/minority turnout). There is no good reason we can't do those things, and the reason we haven't in so many areas is because of pure partisanship and the desire to win above everything else.

These are common sense changes that are pro-voter access but not reckless nor offensive to one's rights, and given how gracious Republicans have been to blanket the country with voting restrictions since Obama was elected, I'm hoping Democrats will ram through any/all of those changes the second it is possible, with or without GOP support.
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« Reply #40 on: August 11, 2017, 10:29:51 pm »
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Obviously no.  First, from a practical standpoint, enforcement would be a nightmare and it's difficult to imagine a greater waste of funding than that.  Second, I'm not sure under what constitutional power any federal law could be enacted.  Elections are largely run at the state and local level.  Maybe at the local level it would be less susceptible to constitutional challenge.

Finally, I find it odd that people, especially on the left, would suggest a penalty or fine.  Particularly when the people most likely to forget to show up, fail to register, can't get off work, etc., are low income and minority demographics.  How unbelievably patronizing.
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« Reply #41 on: August 11, 2017, 10:45:47 pm »
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Voting is a privilege and right. You should want to participate and the government shouldn't force you to do anything against your will. That is not democracy.
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« Reply #42 on: October 27, 2017, 06:05:35 pm »
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I wouldn't mind a system where people are forced to turn in a ballot, whether in person or by mail. They don't have to fill it out, but they have to turn it in or get a fine. The idea here would be that most people would just go ahead and fill it out anyway. We might be able to get actual turnout (excluding empty ballots) up to around 75% - 80% that way, which is pretty satisfactory. I don't see a fundamental violation of our rights in that (though it is probably not constitutional), as no one is forced to actually cast a vote.

At the very least, we need to have same day/automatic voter registration, county-wide polling places, closing times at no earlier than 8, two weeks at least of early voting, permanent no-excuse absentee voting and a prohibition of photo ID laws unless proven necessary (there are better ways to prevent in-person fraud than photo IDs, which reduce young/minority turnout). There is no good reason we can't do those things, and the reason we haven't in so many areas is because of pure partisanship and the desire to win above everything else.
Really? You don't see a problem with fining people for not turning in a piece of paper, many of which will be blank anyway? That's borderline coercion IMO. Just because the goal is laudible, doesn't justify the use of force; that's exactly what a fine is.

All I can say is the mandatory voting that we have in Australia forcibly enfranchises the apathetic, a lot of whom will make their decisions as they stroll to the polling both or even as they're actually in the booth. Think about it. Do you really want the disinterested to vote?

Yep your last paragraph is the best argument against mandatory voting
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« Reply #43 on: November 02, 2017, 05:37:56 pm »
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Also, I have another idea. Remove the concept of precincts entirely, and allow people to vote at any polling place in their district. A lot of people on election day might not be in their precinct for various reason, they might be at work, and not able to get back to their own polling place, or they might be off on a trip, in which case allow people to cast an absent vote for their district from outside the district.
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« Reply #44 on: November 02, 2017, 05:49:29 pm »
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Mandatory voting is a horrible idea because A. It violates people's rights and more practically B. Having people who are uninformed and apathetic voting is not helpful to anyone.

I do think it would be reasonable, as some here have suggested, to make Election Day a national holiday. I would actually prefer the opposite though, have less people vote by requiring them to take a civics test or something of that nature to register. That would help make sure that only those who care to learn and understand the importance of elections are deciding the direction our nation takes. That way you get less people voting for candidates they think are "cool" (Obama 2008) and would also thin out some of the folks on the right who just vote for the candidate that is the most "politically incorrect" or whatever.
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« Reply #45 on: November 02, 2017, 06:00:23 pm »
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Mandatory voting is a horrible idea because A. It violates people's rights and more practically B. Having people who are uninformed and apathetic voting is not helpful to anyone.

I do think it would be reasonable, as some here have suggested, to make Election Day a national holiday. I would actually prefer the opposite though, have less people vote by requiring them to take a civics test or something of that nature to register. That would help make sure that only those who care to learn and understand the importance of elections are deciding the direction our nation takes. That way you get less people voting for candidates they think are "cool" (Obama 2008) and would also thin out some of the folks on the right who just vote for the candidate that is the most "politically incorrect" or whatever.
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« Reply #46 on: November 16, 2017, 01:10:38 am »
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I wish voters had to pass a test on basic US government, history, and economics to register. Obviously that's not constitutional, but enough of the electorate is already uninformed without mandatory voting.
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« Reply #47 on: November 16, 2017, 02:51:39 am »
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Also, I have another idea. Remove the concept of precincts entirely, and allow people to vote at any polling place in their district. A lot of people on election day might not be in their precinct for various reason, they might be at work, and not able to get back to their own polling place, or they might be off on a trip, in which case allow people to cast an absent vote for their district from outside the district.

This is actually an idea on the upswing. California is implementing "vote centers" that are county-wide, same as Colorado. North Carolina allows out-of-precinct voting too (although the GOP legislature tried to get rid of it after seeing that it helped minorities). I'm not sure what Arizona's deal is, but after that 2016 debacle I do think I read something about them trying this on a county-by-county basis.

I think this idea will continue to spread to more states, but it'll probably take a while given how partisan election law has become.
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« Reply #48 on: November 16, 2017, 01:23:53 pm »
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I wish voters had to pass a test on basic US government, history, and economics to register. Obviously that's not constitutional, but enough of the electorate is already uninformed without mandatory voting.

I don't think the kind of test you're referring to is "not constitutional," I think it's illegal per the Voting Rights Act. When the Supreme Court was faced with a literacy test for voters, it unanimously upheld the test (Lassiter v. Northampton County Board of Elections) but years later Congress banned literacy tests for voters when it passed the Voting Rights Act.
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« Reply #49 on: November 22, 2017, 11:11:30 am »
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Really? You don't see a problem with fining people for not turning in a piece of paper, many of which will be blank anyway? That's borderline coercion IMO.

I don't see a problem with it, no. Ok so it's coercion. You can also get in trouble for not filling out your census form. That's coercion too.

All I can say is the mandatory voting that we have in Australia forcibly enfranchises the apathetic, a lot of whom will make their decisions as they stroll to the polling both or even as they're actually in the booth. Think about it. Do you really want the disinterested to vote?

Yes because it will entice many of them to become minimally interested. And it's not just the disinterested that don't vote. When I was 18 I was a huge political junkie, but I didn't vote in my first possible Presidential election because I knew my individual vote did not matter. There are probably a lot of people who know the basic issues and care but don't vote based on a cost benefit analysis of their time. This would get them to vote.

Finally, I find it odd that people, especially on the left, would suggest a penalty or fine.  Particularly when the people most likely to forget to show up, fail to register, can't get off work, etc., are low income and minority demographics.  How unbelievably patronizing.

That's why I said it has to be coupled with week long voting and the option to vote absentee without an excuse. I'd favor automatic voter registration too.

And for everyone saying that being required to vote violates your rights, I don't doubt that it's probably unconstitutional at the moment and possibly untenable solely via legislation. But then I think we should change the Constitution to require it. Then it wouldn't be violating your rights anymore, because your rights would be different.
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