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The 7 - Current Events & Politics - Kerry: Trickery Kept Voters From Polls Register and log in to post!
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Eddie Famous
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#21 Posted on 12.4.05 1010.09
Reposted on: 12.4.12 1013.45
    Originally posted by spf
    Here's a thought that I know others will disagree with it, but I'll throw it out there to get shot...mandatory voting. You want a democracy, you have to be a part of it. $500 if you don't vote. Set up the polls over the course of a weekend for primaries and local elections, and an entire week for Presidential elections.

Has as much chance as reinstating the draft.

Kerry didn't win because he is a twit. His excuses help prove that.
Von Maestro
Boudin rouge
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#22 Posted on 12.4.05 1015.42
Reposted on: 12.4.12 1019.18
    Originally posted by Ozzysun
    That would be cool. Can you imagine the turnout if people had an entire week to vote.

The turnout would be awesome... People would have time to vote 4, 5, even 6 times!!!

    Originally posted by spf
    Here's a thought that I know others will disagree with it, but I'll throw it out there to get shot...mandatory voting. You want a democracy, you have to be a part of it. $500 if you don't vote. Set up the polls over the course of a weekend for primaries and local elections, and an entire week for Presidential elections.

Part of living in a free country is having the freedom to choose NOT to go & vote. To actually go make voting mandatory & even go so far as to fine people for not voting is absurd.

Plus, I'm not sure I want everyone eligible to vote, being forced to vote. I'd sooner see a quiz of voter awareness at the polling place before I'd see mandatory voting. (although, part of the whole freedom thing is the freedom to be ignorant, so more power to the idiots who choose to exercise their rights!! ;-)
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#23 Posted on 12.4.05 2059.56
Reposted on: 12.4.12 2105.59
    Originally posted by DrDirt
    Where I live, a county of over 800 square miles, there are 4 polling places due to the lack of population. Here absentee voting means taking time off work and going into the court house and voting in a little room in the clerk's office. I always vote but I can be flexible.

To show the difference on that: I'm in a town of about 30,000 that has about a dozen polling places, with the one I'm at within 500 feet of another polling place.
As for spf's idea: Hell, if it is enforced, I'd have no problem with it. I vote anyway, so it wouldn't cost me money, although it could theoretically dilute my vote. Also, if the government collects the money from those who don't vote, perhaps then the government would take less from me in taxes, or, even better, less speed traps used under the guise of safety when they are actually revenue collectors.
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#24 Posted on 12.4.05 2116.59
Reposted on: 12.4.12 2125.00
I would agree that we should not have any laws in effect that call for mandatory voting. While the revenue collected by fining people may be a fringe benefit, there would be lots of unnecessary problems involved. Certainly, everyone is entitled to their vote, but I don't relish people who don't know ANYTHING about politics and don't really care to learn being forced to vote in an effort to make sure that everyone who wants to vote can do so. I'm not saying that in order to vote you need to be able to write an essay on the United States' role in the World Economy, but I think that the number of people who don't know who John Kerry, let alone John Edwards, is would be a shockingly high number. Or maybe I'm underestimating people by giving too extreme an example. Plus, if people don't care who they're voting for, their vote might just be up for sale.
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#25 Posted on 12.4.05 2118.16
Reposted on: 12.4.12 2125.12
If voting was mandatory there would have to be an option to vote for "None of the above" in every category.

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#26 Posted on 12.4.05 2247.52
Reposted on: 12.4.12 2250.03
If mandatory voting were put into effect (something that shouldn't happen; "mandatory participation" denies people their right not to vote), voter lists would have to be made much more current. How much time/money would be wasted hunting down for punishment people who "escaped" the polls who, as authorities eventually discover, are dead?
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#27 Posted on 12.4.05 2337.10
Reposted on: 12.4.12 2337.16
    Originally posted by Grimis
    I hope that he is not rehasing this Urban Legend from the 2000 election...

And I REALLY hope his source wasn't this.
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#28 Posted on 13.4.05 0642.08
Reposted on: 13.4.12 0642.12
If mandatory voting were in effect, this country would stop being about freedom and liberty...
Lap cheong
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#29 Posted on 13.4.05 1730.31
Reposted on: 13.4.12 1739.54
Just the act of merely voting is not what makes democracies work. (Hell, nearly every nation in the world has some form of voting, even those ran by ruthless dictators) It requires the active participation into the political process throughout the other 3 years, 364 days that there is not a Presidential election. That means you have to make some attempt to keep up with current events and the positions held by politicians and candidates. A vote made without any basis is not only pointless, it actually hurts the democratic process. By forcing people to vote, you guarantee baseless votes, and you hurt the democratic process. And that's without getting into the freedom issues that others have pointed out.

A force vote is the "easy" solution to low voter turnout that won't even solve the real root problem with low voter turnout (it's not the fact that they don't show up, it's that they don't care to). The real solution is to convince people of how important the whole election process is so that they will go voluntarily to the polls and make an informed decision. That takes a lot more work.

As it is, I think we are much, much better to have 60% of the voting age public making an informed decision than we would be if we had 100% of the voting age public making a decision, with 40% weight given to the uninformed.

(edited by ges7184 on 13.4.05 1731)

(edited by ges7184 on 13.4.05 1731)
Big G
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#30 Posted on 13.4.05 2132.36
Reposted on: 13.4.12 2132.36
    Originally posted by Jaguar
    If voting was mandatory there would have to be an option to vote for "None of the above" in every category.


We have 'Mandatory Voting' down here. Have had for years, unless I believe, you qualify as indigenous. I would count Australia as a reasonably democratic settling.

Anyhoo, the bit that is mandatory is actually turning up to vote, not the actual process of voting. So long as you turn up, postal in, or absentee - you don't get fined. You could take your ballot and scrawl "George W is an arseclown" all over it and nobody has a problem. No fines, no stormtroopers kicking in your front door and pack raping your cat. I believe, although I haven't actually tried it, that you can turn up, check your name off, and then walk out with no problems.

The fine, last time I took any notice, was about $50-60, but the infringement notice basically said - you have failed to vote, please explain why, or we shall fine you in 28 days. So provided you come up with a reasonable story, you don't get fined. Democracy lives on. I imagine there would be some very good reads amongst these.

There is always some grumbling about stupid people voting, particularly from intellectuals whose party has lost. Comments such as dole bludgers shouldn't be allowed to vote, etc. But as someone said above, people have the freedom to be as ignorant as they like.

However, in these enlightened times, every time something gets brought up that can be interpretted as having implications on civil freedom, it is going to end up as an argument. Maybe if in 1926, the pres decided that the US was going to have mandatory elections (obviously in THOSE days it would have been for people elligible to vote) then it may have gotten through with minimal fuss and would be in place today without any real issue.

But what I think will happen is:
Australia has mandatory voting and will continue to do so for the rest of my lifetime.
The US does not have mandatory voting and will continue not to do so for the rest of my lifetime.
Both countries are free democracies and will continue to be so for the rest of my lifetime.

(edited by Big G on 14.4.05 1650)
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