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American National Government

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Voter participation in the United States is much lower than it is in other industrialized democracies. Why do you think that is the case? Should voting be mandatory in the US as it is in a democracy such as Australia? Why or why not?

I feel that mandatory voting would produce a lot of inaccurate poll results because many unconcerned citizens would be required provide their opinion. I agree with Angelique, a lot of people would put anything down just to say they participated. Others may rather accept penalty than vote for any candidates they did not believe in or despised their way of thinking. According to "We the People", People who do not vote may know very little about Politics than people who do vote (page 8). Not knowing the Political System can lead to non-participation. Mandatory? No but I do suggest that voting be overly recommended and possibly rewarded, such as making voting worth it for taxpayers as Benjamin Franklin suggested. In my opinion, citizens have a responsibility to their country by participating in the selection process of our future leaders. Otherwise non voters should have no right to complain about decisions and laws made.

In Australia, voter turnout is 95% of registered voters because it is required by law that citizens vote. Those who do not vote may be fined or imprisoned. Advocates of mandatory voting argue it is a sensible way to ensure that elections reflect the will of all of the people. This creates a mature democracy which requires its citizens to vote which enforces the law. (

According the census figures, there were 28 million African American adults aged 18 or over in 2006. In the 2004 presidential elections, they made up 12% of the voters. This means an estimated 15 million African American voters did not vote. The ban on ex-felon voting in 15 states increases the number of ineligible African Americans. By not voting, critics say they betray the struggle and sacrifice of those who fought and in some cases died for the rights of African Americans to vote. (



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