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Prophet 451

(9,796 posts)
Mon Dec 1, 2014, 01:12 AM Dec 2014

Should The US Have Mandatory Voting?

So, here's the idea. The turnout for the midterms was shit. The turnout for midterms is always shit. It is a civic good for more people to vote as this (in theory) makes government more representative. Coincidentally, low turnout favors (generally) Republicans and high turnout (generally) favors Democrats. Australia (IIRC) has compulsory voting. If you don't vote, you have to either justify it to a judge or get fined a small amount (like, $20).

So I came up with a few options but all of them require an automatic voter registration. That shouldn't be too hard to do. AFAIK, the US is the only democratic country where you have to actually register to vote. Every other country I know of, you're automatically registered by virtue of being a living citizen. So I'm proposing that, firstly, the US just start automatically registering everyone to vote, the Social Security register has everyone's name and address anyway, it wouldn't be too difficult to register everyone off that. Then, one of these options.

Option A: The US gets compulsory voting. You have to turn up at a polling place, mark or mail in a ballot or you get fined a small amount unless you can justify it to a judge (all proceeds go to funding future elections).

Option B: The US switches to entirely postal voting. In the weeks running up to an election, every eligible citizen gets mailed a polling card. They mark their choice, sign it and mail it back, just like with overseas military votes. Free of postal costs, obviously.

Option C: The US switches to fully online voting. The idea here is that there's a database in every state with everyone's name and SS number. You go to a website, input your SS number. The system checks against the database that you are eligible and haven't already voted. If you clear both of those, you get to pick your choice. Now, the drawback with this one is that, if it's online, it is potentially hackable. However, cyber-security is now at such a level that, given enough funding and expertise, you could make the threat of a hack virtually impossible.

Option D: Things carry on as they are, with barely anyone turning out for midterms.


32 votes, 0 passes | Time left: Unlimited
Yes
10 (31%)
No
18 (56%)
Yes but totally postal votes
2 (6%)
Online voting
0 (0%)
I like chocolate-mint ice cream
0 (0%)
Am I hungry? Who's hungry?
2 (6%)
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Disclaimer: This is an Internet poll
85 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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Should The US Have Mandatory Voting? (Original Post) Prophet 451 Dec 2014 OP
No, but Election Day should be a national holiday. Edited to add... Adsos Letter Dec 2014 #1
Well, naturally Prophet 451 Dec 2014 #3
Option B would work Warpy Dec 2014 #2
I agree with automatic registration, but I'm not a fan of making it mandatory. arcane1 Dec 2014 #4
Not casting a ballot IS voting Man from Pickens Dec 2014 #5
So let their choices be PADemD Dec 2014 #42
Not voting IS none of the above. Thor_MN Dec 2014 #49
Disagree treestar Dec 2014 #54
They should care because their legitimacy depends on the consent of the public Man from Pickens Dec 2014 #63
Still an excuse treestar Dec 2014 #66
Constitution doesn't say "we the voters..." Man from Pickens Dec 2014 #67
Do you have a different flavor ice cream? lpbk2713 Dec 2014 #6
My SO has some Ben & Jerrys in the freezer Prophet 451 Dec 2014 #12
For Dems yes Skink Dec 2014 #7
I'm a firm believer in mandatory voting, but in addition.... Rod Beauvex Dec 2014 #8
Query: Do you mean STV? Prophet 451 Dec 2014 #14
Not sure. Rod Beauvex Dec 2014 #17
Sorry Prophet 451 Dec 2014 #25
Ah. OK. Rod Beauvex Dec 2014 #36
There is a none of the above option tabbycat31 Dec 2014 #61
YES! Derek V Dec 2014 #9
Voting is a lot more important than the other mandatory responsibilities we have. True Blue Door Dec 2014 #10
Why vote when media polls do it all for us anyway? Kablooie Dec 2014 #45
Yes,with a compelling fine for noncompliance.Start at $250.00 easychoice Dec 2014 #11
I didn't want to go that high Prophet 451 Dec 2014 #13
Obviously there would be mitigation...But easychoice Dec 2014 #40
No, it would be a violation of the First Amendment. former9thward Dec 2014 #15
I think that's legally questionable Prophet 451 Dec 2014 #20
I would then refer you to the Ninth Kennah Dec 2014 #35
It also covers free speech. Yo_Mama Dec 2014 #70
No. Pay People to Vote AndyTiedye Dec 2014 #16
Voter ID Prophet 451 Dec 2014 #32
No mandatory voting. branford Dec 2014 #18
I honestly can't see a problem with the First Amendment Prophet 451 Dec 2014 #21
It's primarily a violation of free speech, not the right to assemble, among other problems. branford Dec 2014 #23
Thanks for teh links Prophet 451 Dec 2014 #30
I've never had "Minter Wonderland," but it sounds delicious. branford Dec 2014 #33
the Trader Joes Chocolate Mint Ice Cream olddots Dec 2014 #19
Try the Ben & Jerrys Prophet 451 Dec 2014 #22
We'd have a lot of Mickey Mouse write ins and a lot of people simply liberal_at_heart Dec 2014 #24
Sure, that's expected Prophet 451 Dec 2014 #27
We already live in a police state. We don't need to make it worse. liberal_at_heart Dec 2014 #29
No but, Voting Day should be a National Holiday and Civic Duty should be taught in schools. Tuesday Afternoon Dec 2014 #26
Agreed on both Prophet 451 Dec 2014 #28
teaching and then encouraging rather than punishing? Nah. That's too radical. liberal_at_heart Dec 2014 #31
No, but I believe election day should be a national holiday. Rhiannon12866 Dec 2014 #34
Vote by Mail ONLY! Works in the PNW very well. 70% turnout mid-terms. nt ErikJ Dec 2014 #37
The United States is the only civilized country where you have to register to vote.... Spitfire of ATJ Dec 2014 #38
Compulsory voting is the antithesis of democracy. DRoseDARs Dec 2014 #39
Write-in a candidate if you like Prophet 451 Dec 2014 #47
My option is E. Jenoch Dec 2014 #41
No but purple fingers would be a wonderful addition. Kablooie Dec 2014 #43
Only if 'None' is on ballot and elections monitored by UN on point Dec 2014 #44
Extend early voting periods, maybe make it the entire month before the election. Kurska Dec 2014 #46
No need to make it manditory. Just let people vote. (nt) stone space Dec 2014 #48
Mandatory insurance, mandatory voting... Fumesucker Dec 2014 #50
Yes, I think the voters are pissed off enough already. Yo_Mama Dec 2014 #71
NO, only if they bring back literacy tests, only this time for Real . n/t orpupilofnature57 Dec 2014 #51
“If voting made any difference jambo101 Dec 2014 #52
Yes treestar Dec 2014 #53
Only if education is required too. Jamastiene Dec 2014 #55
I agree with all but forcing people to vote. I think it will bring in a lot of people who are RKP5637 Dec 2014 #56
No to mandatory voting, but yes to vote by mail davidpdx Dec 2014 #57
Should happiness also be mandatory? (nt) Recursion Dec 2014 #58
The Beatings will continue until morale improves . . . nt branford Dec 2014 #62
A study showed, America has contempt for the " Unhappy " which orpupilofnature57 Dec 2014 #80
a combination of the above tabbycat31 Dec 2014 #59
Absolutely not! rock Dec 2014 #60
Other: mandate employers provide sufficient paid time for voting. MH1 Dec 2014 #64
No. But, adding a None of the Above option might help turnout. Tierra_y_Libertad Dec 2014 #65
Tool of dictators to pretend legitimacy One_Life_To_Give Dec 2014 #68
No, and I believe the First Amendment protects the right not to vote Yo_Mama Dec 2014 #69
Mandatory voting is an insipid concept. Throd Dec 2014 #72
Absolutely not. Vinca Dec 2014 #73
No this is a free country and people should be allowed to make a statement in not showing up. hrmjustin Dec 2014 #74
The OP doesn't understand the functions of the states vs the federal gov. CK_John Dec 2014 #75
you hit on the answer right there - vote-by-mail 0rganism Dec 2014 #76
Only if, in EVERY race, the voters are given an option of Erich Bloodaxe BSN Dec 2014 #77
Vote by mail, sadoldgirl Dec 2014 #78
The wingnuts would go ape! Turbineguy Dec 2014 #79
A day without conservative poutrage is a day without cheer Prophet 451 Dec 2014 #82
Rather than a fine, maybe an extra $1000 deduction on income tax? dmosh42 Dec 2014 #81
I think $1k is a little too much Prophet 451 Dec 2014 #83
Yes, the premise is what US citizens usually respond to. dmosh42 Dec 2014 #84
No (nt) bigwillq Dec 2014 #85

Adsos Letter

(19,459 posts)
1. No, but Election Day should be a national holiday. Edited to add...
Mon Dec 1, 2014, 01:13 AM
Dec 2014

...that I also like Chocolate-Mint ice cream, and now I'm hungry.

Thanks...thanks a lot.

 

arcane1

(38,613 posts)
4. I agree with automatic registration, but I'm not a fan of making it mandatory.
Mon Dec 1, 2014, 01:26 AM
Dec 2014

An apathetic person forced to vote will pretty much just vote randomly. And I prefer a physical paper ballot over all other options. If an election is 51% to 49% with online votes, who is validating them? Plus, not everyone has internet access.

 

Man from Pickens

(1,713 posts)
5. Not casting a ballot IS voting
Mon Dec 1, 2014, 01:28 AM
Dec 2014

It's a statement that a person doesn't think that an election will make enough of a difference to make it worth their time, and/or that they do not wish to confer legitimacy on a process that doesn't respond to their wishes. When you look at how little really changes when you go from Democrat to Republican and back again, it's hard to argue the issue.

Low participation rates is a failure of the system to engage the population, trying to make it mandatory will just piss people off more than they already are.

 

Thor_MN

(11,843 posts)
49. Not voting IS none of the above.
Mon Dec 1, 2014, 06:47 AM
Dec 2014

The SSA does have an address for each person, but unless one updates them when one moves, it may not be accurate. Besides, the SSA believes that their info should not be used for any other purpose. The RWNJs would never tolerate a national ID, even though their SSNs are in fact, just that.

treestar

(82,383 posts)
54. Disagree
Mon Dec 1, 2014, 07:14 AM
Dec 2014

And if that's the purpose, it's passive aggressive. And useless. Why should those elected care?

 

Man from Pickens

(1,713 posts)
63. They should care because their legitimacy depends on the consent of the public
Mon Dec 1, 2014, 11:31 AM
Dec 2014

It may be "passive-aggressive", but what's the alternative for someone who perceives the ballot box to be a farce? I myself have turned in blank ballots as a protest before - because I always vote, as a rule - but it is functionally no different than simply not showing up at all. Other than that, the only real way to deny consent to the process is open rebellion, a step that few would take lightly.

treestar

(82,383 posts)
66. Still an excuse
Mon Dec 1, 2014, 01:00 PM
Dec 2014

you can vote for the Green party or any third party or even a write in.

I used to write in my name or my Dad's name in my local district, because only the Republicans were running a candidate.

There is no excuse, and they have perfect legitimacy. They represent the voters, the only people they have to represent.

 

Man from Pickens

(1,713 posts)
67. Constitution doesn't say "we the voters..."
Mon Dec 1, 2014, 05:19 PM
Dec 2014

it says "we the people", which includes people who can't, don't, or won't vote

Rod Beauvex

(564 posts)
8. I'm a firm believer in mandatory voting, but in addition....
Mon Dec 1, 2014, 01:41 AM
Dec 2014

...I also believe that two things should go in hand.

One should be able to choose the method, be that:

Vote online
Vote by mail
Vote at ballot box

Two, one should be able to vote for more than one person, or sign the ballot none of the above.

Prophet 451

(9,796 posts)
25. Sorry
Mon Dec 1, 2014, 02:29 AM
Dec 2014

STV is Single Transferable Vote. The way it works, if I understand correctly, is that you have the candidates and mark them in order of your first, second and third preference. After the votes are counted, the lowest polling candidate is dropped. If that was your first choice, your vote now goes to your second. And so on. So if the completed voting card looks like this:

Steve Rogers 1st
Victor Von Doom 3rd
Reed Richards
Tony Stark 2nd

Then let's say, after the votes are counted, Steve is the lowest polling. He's then dropped off teh list and your vote goes to Tony Stark instead. Then they re-count and if Tony is the lowest polling, he gets dropped and your vote goes to Victor instead.

It's a little complicated but, as I understand it, that's essentially how it works.

Rod Beauvex

(564 posts)
36. Ah. OK.
Mon Dec 1, 2014, 03:20 AM
Dec 2014

Actually, I was just thinking of being able to vote for as many candidates as one wants, and whoever simply had the most would win.

Though I see a problem with possible ties, which the system you suggested may prevent.

tabbycat31

(6,336 posts)
61. There is a none of the above option
Mon Dec 1, 2014, 11:00 AM
Dec 2014

It's called a write in. You can write in an obvious none of the above candidate (Mickey Mouse). I've voted for several fictional characters when the GOP is running unopposed as write ins.

True Blue Door

(2,969 posts)
10. Voting is a lot more important than the other mandatory responsibilities we have.
Mon Dec 1, 2014, 01:42 AM
Dec 2014

Jury duty, car insurance, health insurance...voting is clearly more important.

Kablooie

(18,691 posts)
45. Why vote when media polls do it all for us anyway?
Mon Dec 1, 2014, 04:59 AM
Dec 2014

let Fox News decide for us, that would solve the voting problem.

easychoice

(1,043 posts)
11. Yes,with a compelling fine for noncompliance.Start at $250.00
Mon Dec 1, 2014, 01:44 AM
Dec 2014

Second miss $1000.00
Now lets see who doesn't vote
Reagan got elected by 18% of the eligible voters.The scumbag of the universe...That just totally sucks.

Prophet 451

(9,796 posts)
13. I didn't want to go that high
Mon Dec 1, 2014, 01:50 AM
Dec 2014

Because I don't want to hurt the poor who didn't vote for one reason or another. Of course, if we include the option for judicial waiver, that goes away.

easychoice

(1,043 posts)
40. Obviously there would be mitigation...But
Mon Dec 1, 2014, 04:27 AM
Dec 2014

Being nice is a lot less effective than being definite.
Ya know,I am not really a draconian creep but the disdain these folks have for voting has a lot more to do with lousy government than they realize...
There needs to be a "real" penalty for not voting without cause.

former9thward

(32,631 posts)
15. No, it would be a violation of the First Amendment.
Mon Dec 1, 2014, 01:52 AM
Dec 2014

People can not be compelled to assemble anyplace including the voting booth.

Prophet 451

(9,796 posts)
20. I think that's legally questionable
Mon Dec 1, 2014, 02:17 AM
Dec 2014

The First, from memory, says the right to assemble shall not be infringed but we're not infringing it, we're encouraging it.

Yo_Mama

(8,303 posts)
70. It also covers free speech.
Mon Dec 1, 2014, 06:17 PM
Dec 2014

The SC has ruled that free speech is both positive and negative - including the right not to speak.

Therefore I don't think such a measure would be found constitutional.

AndyTiedye

(23,500 posts)
16. No. Pay People to Vote
Mon Dec 1, 2014, 02:00 AM
Dec 2014

Give each voter a refundable tax credit for voting. It should be sufficient to at least defray the costs of getting to the polls.
There should be another one (perhaps allowable every 4 years or something) to defray the cost of getting a voter ID, since so many states are requiring them now, and the courts seem to be OK with that.

Prophet 451

(9,796 posts)
32. Voter ID
Mon Dec 1, 2014, 02:35 AM
Dec 2014

I've said this before but the onloy fair way to do voter ID is to do it for everyone. Working from the SS rolls, mail out a national ID card to every citizen when they come of age, free of charge (although there could be a small fee for replacing them if you lose one or need it altered).

 

branford

(4,462 posts)
18. No mandatory voting.
Mon Dec 1, 2014, 02:08 AM
Dec 2014

Last edited Mon Dec 1, 2014, 02:55 AM - Edit history (1)

Option A: Compulsory voting is almost definitely unconstitutional, primarily as an infringement of the First Amendment. Besides, not voting is still making a choice, it's little different than an abstention that goes to the majority.

Option B: Major federalism problem and practical concerns. The states themselves set most of the voting rules for their citizens, and Congress both cannot, and will not, usurp such authority or even allocate the funds for the "free" cards. Moreover, the nature, type and extent of early voting is still controversial in many areas, and is best left to the states.

Option C: Online voting is a disaster waiting to happen. Despite you confidence, cyber-security is hardly foolproof, no less for something as important as elections. Our government is routinely hacked and there are still problems with the ACA website. Why would a government voting system be different from any other online activity, public or private?

I would also note that you should be very careful what you wish for. Just because you make voting mandatory, it does not necessarily follow that many more people will actually vote, particularly since fines or worse will likely be very unpopular (think about how the ACA penalty still polls miserably with all segments of society), and that's assuming you garner sufficient support to pass the law through Congress. More importantly, those new or once lazy voters are not guaranteed to vote the way you want. All you may accomplish is increasing the number of Republicans in Congress, at least in certain areas.

Prophet 451

(9,796 posts)
21. I honestly can't see a problem with the First Amendment
Mon Dec 1, 2014, 02:20 AM
Dec 2014

It says the right to assemble shall not be infringed and we wouldn't be doing so, we'd be commanding people to assemble.

 

branford

(4,462 posts)
23. It's primarily a violation of free speech, not the right to assemble, among other problems.
Mon Dec 1, 2014, 02:28 AM
Dec 2014
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lyle-denniston/could-voting-be-made-mand_b_1094501.html

http://harvardlawreview.org/wp-content/uploads/pdfs/compulsory_voting.pdf (see p.601-3)


Edit: However, government subsidized chocolate-mint ice cream would be entirely constitutional, and would receive my full support!

Prophet 451

(9,796 posts)
30. Thanks for teh links
Mon Dec 1, 2014, 02:33 AM
Dec 2014

I'm not going to read them right now because I'm currently doing about fifteen things and my tired PC is already complaining but I will read them later.

And a pint of Ben & Jerrys "Minter Wonderland" to every voter!

 

branford

(4,462 posts)
33. I've never had "Minter Wonderland," but it sounds delicious.
Mon Dec 1, 2014, 02:40 AM
Dec 2014

One of my favorite flavors, however, is B&J's Mint Chocolate Cookie. Yummmmm . . .

Read the links when you have some free time. The Huffington Post article is a very quick and easy read. The Harvard Law Review Note is much more dense and scholarly, but describes some of the more detailed legal problems with mandatory voting in the USA.

 

olddots

(10,237 posts)
19. the Trader Joes Chocolate Mint Ice Cream
Mon Dec 1, 2014, 02:09 AM
Dec 2014

Was a let down and our system of voting desperately needs a rethinkk .

Prophet 451

(9,796 posts)
22. Try the Ben & Jerrys
Mon Dec 1, 2014, 02:21 AM
Dec 2014

I think it's called "Minter Wonderland", mint ice cream with chunks of dark chocolate in it. OMG, it's so good!

liberal_at_heart

(12,081 posts)
24. We'd have a lot of Mickey Mouse write ins and a lot of people simply
Mon Dec 1, 2014, 02:28 AM
Dec 2014

willing to face the consequence of not voting. You cannot make people vote.

Prophet 451

(9,796 posts)
27. Sure, that's expected
Mon Dec 1, 2014, 02:30 AM
Dec 2014

The votes for fictional characters get discarded and the money all goes to adminstering elections in future.

liberal_at_heart

(12,081 posts)
31. teaching and then encouraging rather than punishing? Nah. That's too radical.
Mon Dec 1, 2014, 02:35 AM
Dec 2014

Not the American way. Just kidding. Those are good ideas actually.

Rhiannon12866

(211,739 posts)
34. No, but I believe election day should be a national holiday.
Mon Dec 1, 2014, 02:46 AM
Dec 2014

It would give a lot more people the time to get out and vote.

 

Spitfire of ATJ

(32,723 posts)
38. The United States is the only civilized country where you have to register to vote....
Mon Dec 1, 2014, 04:01 AM
Dec 2014

In other countries it's just part of being a citizen.

 

DRoseDARs

(6,810 posts)
39. Compulsory voting is the antithesis of democracy.
Mon Dec 1, 2014, 04:03 AM
Dec 2014

You WILL tithe the Church...
You WILL swear fealty to his Lordship...
You WILL vote for the candidates the Politburo provides for you...

...or you WILL suffer the consequences.

 

Jenoch

(7,720 posts)
41. My option is E.
Mon Dec 1, 2014, 04:33 AM
Dec 2014

In my world, every voter shows up at the polls and votes in person. Of course there are absentee ballots for those who are out of their precinct on election day or those who are unable to travel to the polling location.

Kablooie

(18,691 posts)
43. No but purple fingers would be a wonderful addition.
Mon Dec 1, 2014, 04:55 AM
Dec 2014

You could point to all the people who didn't vote.

Kurska

(5,739 posts)
46. Extend early voting periods, maybe make it the entire month before the election.
Mon Dec 1, 2014, 05:55 AM
Dec 2014

Make election day a national holiday.

If that isn't enough to motivate you to vote, then I see no reason to force someone to. Frankly, such a person probably doesn't like any of the candidates or possibly isn't even basically knowledgeable about the issues to care. No reason to force such people into a ballot box

Fumesucker

(45,851 posts)
50. Mandatory insurance, mandatory voting...
Mon Dec 1, 2014, 06:52 AM
Dec 2014

What other social problems can the Democratic party solve by making some behavior mandatory?

Mandatory home purchase?








treestar

(82,383 posts)
53. Yes
Mon Dec 1, 2014, 07:14 AM
Dec 2014

Option A might be the only one that could really be trustworthy, though.

Jury duty is the only other privilege we have, and that's compulsory if you are called, so I see no problem here.

Jamastiene

(38,187 posts)
55. Only if education is required too.
Mon Dec 1, 2014, 07:19 AM
Dec 2014

The US should have mandatory voting classes to teach uninformed people about our system. If they understood both the official version of our system and how things really work in comparison, they would be more apt to vote. If that happened, we could have an actual left leaning liberal win elections at the national level and maybe some (more) state level elections too, maybe even some local elections, at the very least.

Most of the people who do not understand the system and do not vote are liberals, at least from what I have seen. I think learning about our system and learning the purpose of elections should be mandatory. You'd be surprised how many people are completely ignorant of the system. There are far too many uninformed and far too many apathetic people who do not really understand why not voting is causing the country to continue to...as politely as I can clean it up...go to hell in a hand basket.

RKP5637

(67,112 posts)
56. I agree with all but forcing people to vote. I think it will bring in a lot of people who are
Mon Dec 1, 2014, 08:15 AM
Dec 2014

politically illiterate and will just significantly increase the noise level in the voting system. That said, I'm all in favor of improving and standardizing the voting system across the nation to make it more equitable and easier for many people to vote who really want to vote. I've voted for years now by mail in ballots and it's encouraged.

davidpdx

(22,000 posts)
57. No to mandatory voting, but yes to vote by mail
Mon Dec 1, 2014, 10:06 AM
Dec 2014

Oregon has vote by mail and it has been successful. I really don't think you can mandate someone do their civic duty and vote.

 

orpupilofnature57

(15,472 posts)
80. A study showed, America has contempt for the " Unhappy " which
Wed Dec 3, 2014, 06:43 AM
Dec 2014

only contributes to the Artificial exsistance being promoted .

tabbycat31

(6,336 posts)
59. a combination of the above
Mon Dec 1, 2014, 10:57 AM
Dec 2014

Compulsory voting would not work in this country, but I'm not opposed to compulsory education of voters. When I was a senior in HS, the board of elections came to our government class. THey had voter registration forms with them (and registered all who turned 18 before Election day, including myself) and brought a voting machine with them. As they registered us to vote, they also showed us how the (now obsolete) machine worked and explained the importance of voting. They were not partisan at all. But the new voters they registered that day were informed of how elections and the voting machines worked. I'd like to see every high school senior have that as part of their civics education.

Voting by mail-- In my state (NJ), you don't need a reason to vote by mail. The first year this was in effect was 2009. But because it's a (fairly) new law, very few people are aware of it (maybe if this were 2008 it would have been different). It's super easy, but campaigns and county clerks (a partisan position) have to do a better job of informing people of the option. Other states I've worked in (as a campaign staffer) have much stricter absentee voting laws. I'm in favor of lifting strict absentee voting laws and expanding early voting (which my governor vetoed on the basis of it being too expensive then scheduled a special election in October).

Online voting--- First of all not all states require your SSN when registering to vote (which is a good thing, I don't want to give mine out if I don't have to). And if states that don't already do so start requiring it for voting, you will (rightfully) get an outrage. I'm on the voting rolls in two states (I haven't voted in NY since 2006, my sister hasn't voted there since 2004 and we're both still on the rolls) and it shows that NY does not communicate with other states when it comes to cleaning their voter rolls (others are different). I don't have a common name, but for a state without a SSN on the form, a John Smith could be screwed over by an error. I'm all for being able to do things online but there has to be a better way of doing it that does not involve a SSN.

Perhaps if the state assigned everyone a voter ID #, then you could vote online. The technology is there, as evidenced by online banking (then again the companies that make voting machines without a receipt are the same ones that make ATMs that give receipts so I'm skeptical there). But I don't see it happening anytime soon.

MH1

(17,884 posts)
64. Other: mandate employers provide sufficient paid time for voting.
Mon Dec 1, 2014, 11:40 AM
Dec 2014

I.e. cannot harass or discipline an employee who is late on election day, or who needs to leave early, if employee shows a receipt showing that they voted. Baseline minimum allowance 2 hours. If long wait times are widely reported, than whatever is the wait time should be the allowance; or at least increase to 4 hours.


I would try something like that before mandatory voting.

In the end, I might be persuaded to mandatory voting, but only if all else fails.

Another option is to make Election Day a federal holiday. If we did that and people still didn't vote in reasonable numbers (at least 80%), then consider making it mandatory. (Of course, if convenience stores, gas stations, etc are still open, what about those employees? Back to mandating employers allow time. This will force employers to plan their workforce on election day accordingly.)

One_Life_To_Give

(6,036 posts)
68. Tool of dictators to pretend legitimacy
Mon Dec 1, 2014, 06:14 PM
Dec 2014
raqi officials say President Saddam Hussein has won 100% backing in a referendum on whether he should rule for another seven years.

There were 11,445,638 eligible voters - and every one of them voted for the president, according to Izzat Ibrahim, Vice-Chairman of Iraq's Revolutionary Command Council.


Is this what we aspire to?


We really should look at it as a failure of the politicians themselves. When they are unable to inspire 100% of the people to turn out and vote for them. When it's a local issue like building a Nuke-Waste Dump 100% will turn out. Really it's more like people saying "We hate all the candidates" They should take it as a challenge to improve upon.

Yo_Mama

(8,303 posts)
69. No, and I believe the First Amendment protects the right not to vote
Mon Dec 1, 2014, 06:16 PM
Dec 2014

Just as it protects the right not to speak.

Vinca

(50,484 posts)
73. Absolutely not.
Mon Dec 1, 2014, 06:27 PM
Dec 2014

I don't want a numb nuts who can't name the POTUS picking any old box to check because he's forced to. It's bad enough half the voters are too stupid to know they're hurting themselves with their votes.

0rganism

(24,228 posts)
76. you hit on the answer right there - vote-by-mail
Mon Dec 1, 2014, 06:57 PM
Dec 2014

Didn't see it in the poll, but it's the answer, really.

Oregon has vote by mail. Guess what our turnout rates were for the midterm elections. Go on, guess. Or google it, i'll wait.

...

70%

Problem solved. Get vote-by-mail for the whole country, and watch the turn-out rise by 20 points for the mid-term elections.

It's not that people don't want to vote, it's that they don't have time to vote. Look at some of those lines at the polling places, especially those where the GOP-dominated state leg decided that the major metropolitan areas deserve about 1/3 the voting apparatus of the rural counties. You want to vote there, you set aside half a day, most of which is spent standing in line. Outside. In November. On a Tuesday.

Which brings me to my next point. People work, many at jobs where they don't get time off for voting. People often feel like they have better things to do than stand around waiting for an opportunity to cast a vote which may never happen in which case they have to cast a provisional ballot which probably won't get counted for candidates who all-to-often fail to inspire the slightest bit of interest. And that last bit is key, too: important as that local bond measure may be, you can't count on it to generate a lot of turnout. That takes high-quality candidates.

OR vote-by-mail. You want turnout? Go with that, no need to punish people for not doing something expensive, annoying, and difficult.

Know what else you get with vote-by-mail? An informed electorate. By sending out ballots and election information booklets describing candidates and ballot measures, you ensure that people have time to read about what they're voting for before they mark the page. People get to take their time, sit down, and think it over, without being rushed to get out of the tiny booth to make room for the next citizen. Nice, huh?

Another thing you get: instant paper trail. People differ on how reliable paper-free touch screen voting is, but vote-by-mail ends the debate because it's all on paper. No more wondering if the overpriced touch screen machine mis-read your vote by accident or by design, no more fretting over how to do a recount. With vote-by-mail you can shift your suspicion upstairs to the central tabulators where it belongs.

Anyway, that's my take: establish vote-by-mail nationwide, and watch the problem of midterm turnout evaporate.

Erich Bloodaxe BSN

(14,733 posts)
77. Only if, in EVERY race, the voters are given an option of
Mon Dec 1, 2014, 07:19 PM
Dec 2014

'None of the Above', and if that option wins in any race, that race has to be run again, with different potential candidates, and none of those who ran for it before are allowed to re-run for that office, either in the new race OR the next election cycle.

sadoldgirl

(3,431 posts)
78. Vote by mail,
Mon Dec 1, 2014, 07:48 PM
Dec 2014

but if people really don't believe their vote makes a difference,

then offer the option "none of the above". The problem with

that are the sheep, who go by (D) or (R) only. Unfortunately

the other parties don't get enough exposure.

Prophet 451

(9,796 posts)
83. I think $1k is a little too much
Wed Dec 3, 2014, 06:13 PM
Dec 2014

I like the idea but I don't think the US could afford a thousand on every voter. Still, that's quibbling over sums rather than the basic premise.

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