After the 2016 Australian federal elections, parliamentary committees urging The country’s electoral commission, to examine the alarmingly low turnout, said the trend could indicate a health problem for democracy.
Turnout in question: 91%.
In the same year’s US presidential election, only 60% of eligible Americans voted.
Australia is one of dozens, including Belgium, Brazil and Peru, where citizens of these countries are legally required to vote. Those who fail to do so could face a fine of A$20 (approximately $14), which could be violated repeatedly or escalate if the fine is not paid.
Voters may be fined waived if they have “effective and sufficient” reasons not to vote.
The Australian Board of Elections says compulsory voting is the “rockets” of a democratic system. This is because it encourages candidates to benefit both the voters and not just the highly engaged people. Some people in America, including Barack Obama, quoted it admiringly. Mentioned in a speech in 2015 People who are less likely to vote are disproportionately young, low-income, immigrant or minority.
“If everyone voted, it would make a difference,” he said. “It will neutralize money above all else. If everyone votes, it will completely change the political map of this country.”
According to a survey conducted in Australia, without this authority, turnout would be uneven. Less than half of those under 35 said they would definitely vote with no prerequisites, while 71% of those over 55 said they would still be willing to go to a polling place. according to Election Integrity Project.
Enforced in 1924, the law has broad support, but it is not without opponents.
Some people who are not satisfied with a given choice donkey vote, ranks the preference for candidates on the ballot in the order in which they are listed by chance. (“Reverse Donkey” is another protest vote, ranked from bottom to top.)
Ben Berkeley, a politician from Southeast Australia’s East Gippsland Shire, told local media that he has declined to vote since 1996. .
“If you have the right to vote, you should also have the right not to vote,” said Bush pilot Berkeley. told the Melbourne newspaper In 2015, he said he didn’t even count how many times he was taken to court for failing to vote.