Why do only half the people registered to vote vote on election day ?

Are they fined if they don;t vote ?

if not they should be.

8 Answers

  • 4 weeks ago
    Favorite Answer

    a)  It depends upon the country. 

    b)  In America few people are registered to vote and only 32% to 39% (on average) of the eligible population actually vote.  No, they are not fined for not voting.

    c)  In Australia it is compulsory to vote. All Australian citizens over 18 are supposed to register and then turn up at the polling booth to have their name ticked off. Once they have their ballot papers, they can vote, not vote or whatever, so long as the paper is put in the ballot box. Usually there is around 4-5% informal vote.  Yes, people are fined for not voting at State or Federal elections but not necessarily at local council elections.  I am a strong advocate for compulsory voting, and because I am elderly and informed, I vote by postal vote.

    c)  Some countries with non compulsory voting turn out in high numbers because they are interested in who is elected. In Cambodia in the 1993 election around 95% of the population were registered to vote (a strong campaign by Australian Electoral Commission people  working for UNTAC made that possible) and around 92% actually voted with long queues well before opening. Voting number have dropped slightly in following elections.

  • 4 weeks ago

    IF NONE are worth voting for why vote... I am not going to vote for BAD or for WORSE... I rather not vote for either.

  • Clive
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    In which country?  From your previous questions, I will assume the USA.

    You have a "first past the post" voting system.  If your area always votes the same way by a big margin, people are going to think "what's the point of voting?"  What difference can my little vote make?  Of course if enough people who felt like this DID vote, they might be able to swing it the other way, but they don't.  This is why you have swing states in presidential elections - those are the ones that get the closest results so that's where the election gets decided.

    They are not fined because there is no compulsory voting.  To see why this is a bad idea, look at Australia.  Voting is compulsory there, they have a parliamentary system where which party gets most members in the House of Representatives determines who becomes Prime Minister, and the voting system is the Alternative Vote with the variation that voters must vote by numbering the entire ballot paper in order of preference.

    With compulsory voting, they found that uninterested voters just numbered the paper from top to bottom to avoid being fined, and with those being printed in alphabetical order of surname, it was a distinct advantage to have a name that begins early in the alphabet.  This was noticed so they changed to printing the papers in random order.  Oh great - that merely turns the election into a lottery.  It didn't occur to anyone that a better solution is to make voting non-compulsory.  It's much better to just let people who actually have a view vote.

    If you have proportional representation voting, that encourages people to vote to some extent.  You know your vote will count for something and not just be ignored if you don't vote for the winner.  But this only works for electing a whole legislature - it can't work for electing one person to a post.

    And then there is the point Brockdeez makes - what if there is nobody you think is worth voting for?

    Just for fun, a significant number not voting also expresses a view, though not a useful view.  When the UK first elected Police and Crime Commissioners, the big news story next morning was that only 15% of voters voted.  The rest weren't even aware of the election (despite being sent a poll card) or didn't see why we need elected PCCs.  What's the point, when the previous method of having the police governed by local councils seemed to work perfectly well?

    I agree, voting is a great privilege and should be exercised by everyone, but if you're going to make it compulsory, you need an option for the uninterested or those who feel their vote should be "none of the above".  I always turn out to vote but on the occasions when I feel I can't choose, I write that across the paper.  Here in the UK, that gets recorded as a spoilt paper, those get counted as well so my view is still recorded for all to see in the numbers.

    LOL would you believe some people haven't twigged it's a secret ballot and think they should sign the paper?  "Mark by which the voter can be identified" is counted too.  And yes, we still do it all by pencil and paper - we don't trust voting machines.

  • Snoopy
    Lv 5
    4 weeks ago

    No they don't get fined. Their vote goes to the majority so it's better to vote null than not to show up. 

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  • Mike L
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    They are not fined, it is an American right to chose whether or not to vote.

  • 4 weeks ago

    Elections are designed so the smallest number of people possible actually are able to vote. When I had a 9-5 job plus commute, the polls were always closed by the time I got to the voting place. Now, I'm often overseas where, if I'm really lucky, I might get an absentee voting package a month or so after the election has already happened.

  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago

    Ain't nobody got time for that.

  • 4 weeks ago

    Fined for not voting?  Yeah, that's freedom right there.  I am a registered voter but rarely vote.  My reason being that it isn't very often I find a candidate worth my time to vote for.  I see no sense in picking between the better of two bad candidates.  I don't conform to one party or the other so that matters none to me.  Give me a candidate worth voting for and I'd be happy to go cast a vote for them. 

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