Argument: Mandatory voting pushes ignorant to vote

Issue Report: Compulsory voting


Randy Cohen. Must You Vote? New York Times. November 3, 2009: “It is irresponsible to encourage the unaware to put their ignorance into action so aimlessly.”

“The case against compulsory voting in democracies.” Helium: “Voting is a chance for citizens to influence their government, key to the United States’ democratic tradition. However, in today’s political climate, citizens are likewise influenced through popular media, bloggers, and so-called grassroots organizations. Special interest groups, such as unions, co-ops, and businesses, play the largest single role in determining candidate or party success through financial support and public endorsements. The idea that the American citizen will take the time to sufficiently research potential candidates is idealistic, and instead those same citizens will take only their media-spawned prejudices to the voting booth. Responsible democratic voting will become even less likely.”

Debra Saunders. “The Trouble with Compulsory Voting.” Real Clear Politics. July 13th, 2010: “if people are so ill informed as to believe their votes have no import, well, they’re probably right.”