Compulsory Voting In Brazil

Satisfactory Essays
All literate Brazilians between 18 and 70 are required by Brazilian law to vote. For those over 70, voting is voluntary, as is it for those 16 to 18. Some Brazilians have found a way around actually picking a candidate, since they do not do support any of those running for office. This is achieved by writing in someone who is not running for office or simply submitting a blank ballot. According to a recent Public Radio International article, in the recent mayoral elections, 41.5 percent of people either wrote in someone who was not running for office or simply leaf the ballot blank.

This stems from the fact that many Brazilians are fed-up with politics in the country. President Dilma Rousseff’s recent impeachment and the criminal charges many
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De Fatio said:

Incredible as it seems, I love to vote, so I voted, but I agree that it shouldn't be compulsory. I think it should be optional.

The current compulsory voting law was created after years of Brazil living under a dictatorship. The idea was to encourage more people to vote and to decrease voter inequality, making it so everyone, whether rich, poor, or in the middle, had a say in the government. While the fine for not voting is minimal, roughly $1.50, other penalties for not obtaining documented proof of voting are what has encouraged some people to at least show up. These penalties include inability to get a passport or a government-backed loan.

According to a study conducted by researchers form the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Sao Paulo, the compulsory voting law increases voting inequality, rather than decreasing it. Because middle-class and upper-class individuals are more likely to want to obtain passports, they are more likely to vote, rather than be unable to apply for a passport. Unfortunately, it seems, at least for now, that compulsory voting is not working for the way it was
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