Compulsory Voting in America: Against Our Civil Rights

1375 Words6 Pages
Allen
EGL 101-018/035
Fall 2010

Compulsory Voting in America: Against Our Civil Rights

The United States of America is supposed to be a land of freedom where one can exercise the right to have various liberties that are not found in many other countries around the world. Among these liberties is the right to vote in a democratic government. Voting is a privilege in the United States that should not be taken for granted; many countries do not have the luxury of choosing who they want to represent them in government. Or if they do, they have in place a system that is called compulsory voting. Compulsory voting is a system in which voters are obligated to come to their designated polling place on Election Day to place a vote. If
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In Peru, if one does not have a stamped voting card to prove he or she has voted, that person is not able to receive specific services or products from many public offices. In Belgium, if one does not vote, the chances of getting hired at a job are slim to none. In Greece, prison is an option, as well as trouble obtaining a new driver’s license or passport. In other words, if a person does not have a legitimate reason why he or she did not vote, such as extreme illness or absence from the country, along with concrete evidence to prove the reason, he or she will somehow be “punished.” Voting is a right and a privilege, not an obligation. There are better ways to encourage higher voter turnout without making voting mandatory. Compulsory voting is not an efficient way to respond to the problem of voter disengagement. The government should look at the reason behind the lack of voting enthusiasm rather than try to mask the problem by making voting mandatory. There are many reasons why people choose not to vote; for example, they could be unsupportive of all of the electoral candidates, they could have no interest whatsoever in politics, or even simply be unable to get to their polling place because of other obligations. In the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses, people of this faith choose not to vote because of their faith. By making voting mandatory, this would take away not only our freedom of choosing to vote, but in a sense our freedom to practice

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