Should voting in the United States be mandatory?
Published: Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Updated: Friday, December 9, 2011 02:12
In many countries, it has become mandatory to vote in every election, as this is a requirement for a nation to be a true democracy. However, while the United States has always encouraged voters to participate, our government has never imposed a law requiring each citizen to vote. As the voter turnout drops each year, the debate of whether or not the U. S. should require all eligible citizens to vote in every election grows stronger.
I firmly believe that we as a nation have been blessed, and as loyal citizens we are very fortunate to call the U. S. our free country and home. Many countries do not have the ability to elect representatives or make decisions for their countries, and, as a free democracy, we Americans should be eager to involve ourselves. It is an honor to be asked to voice our opinions, yet we treat it as if it is an inconvenience. We have been free to choose what we do with our time, yet, if we are not doing our duty as a united body by consciously electing men and women who are well suited to run our nation's affairs, then we must be held responsible for our laziness.
In Luke 12:48, Jesus tells his followers, "When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required." We have been given more than any other country. Therefore, we hold the largest responsibility with this honor.
The only possible way for the voter turnout to reach even 95% and hold citizens accountable for this nation's affairs is through mandatory voting.
According to the New York Times, Australia put a mandatory voting system into effect over 87 years ago, and this move has received a 70% approval rating, boosting levels of satisfaction with the way the democracy is working. Mandatory voting in Australia has also contributed to diminishing wealth inequality and political corruption, both of which are powerful changes in a democracy.
Some say, "This is unfair! It's taking away our freedom!" yet the United States imposes taxation upon its citizens, deems it mandatory to perform jury duty and it requires that all children be educated. These are the average duties of every American citizen, and the same should be true of voting. It would be wise to place a law to hold all citizens accountable for their country's actions and decisions.
As a free individual, I would like to be involved in my nation's affairs. If this requires me to sacrifice less than an hour of my time every year or so to vote for what I believe will benefit our country the best, then so be it. If we as a nation cannot pull together and act like a proper democracy, let us be held responsible and made to vote to become involved in our country.
Sources: New York Times