Compulsory Voting And Its Effect On Society

1543 Words7 Pages
Compulsory voting’s effects can be argued to increase or decrease democracy. Compulsory, or mandatory voting is in effect in about 30 democracies around the world. However of these 30 that have compulsory voting in their laws, the policies vary from country to country. For an example, some countries only instate compulsory voting for certain elected positions. France, for example, strictly uses compulsory voting for their Senatorial elections (Hamid, 2010). As the number of active voters decreases there are limited options as to how to increase voter turnout, compulsory voting could be one of the few actions that may work without decreasing democracy. Compulsory voting defined as forcing citizens of a state to go to the polls during an election and vote on Election Day (Rosenberg, 2015). This rule is enforced by giving fines, community service, or difficulty getting a job within the public sector to those who do not participate. Compulsory voting is in place in many modern countries such as Australia, Belgium and Argentina to name a few. Compulsory voting’s punishment varies depending on the state it is acting in. For example, in Australia you are exempt from voting if you have an explanation with a legitimate reason (Idea, 2015). If you do not have a legitimate excuse you may face a fine of $20.00. If you do not wish to pay this fine you may do an allotted set of hours of community service or another duty set out by the government in power (Australian Government 2013).
Get Access