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Significance of Mandatory Voting

Updated on July 6, 2020

Significance of voting


A healthy representative democracy massively relies on citizens exercising their respective right to vote. Nevertheless, nations such as the United States, normally 40 percent of the underlying voters do not vote during the g presidential elections, and typically 60 percent do not take part in voting within the congressional midterm elections. According to the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, thirty-one nations possess certain kinds of mandatory voting, which encompasses nine members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development as well as two-thirds of the corresponding Latin American countries (Bugarin & Portugal, 2015). The kind of mandatory voting within these nations demands citizens to register in a bid to vote as well as to go to their respective polling locations vote during Election Day. With secret ballots, it is impossible to ascertain the people who have actually voted, and thus, the process could be more precise when compulsory turnout since voters are needed to go to their respective polling locations on Election Day. Voting is deemed to be right as well as a responsibility, and individuals who vote during the elections depict a mere proportion of the entire population. This paper intends to explore whether voting should be mandatory coupled with its underlying consequences.

Voting ought to be made compulsory to ensure that the leaders elected deserve to lead the country. The majority of nations require to become more politically literate. Granting individuals suitable to vote is not sufficient. Individuals require to make mandatory as this ensures that individuals to learn concerning their positions concerning issues like social alteration, empowerment, and financial policies coupled with supplementary aspects that are of the critical significance development and development (Carreras, 2016).

Making voting mandatory would result in relatively greater political awareness among the citizens. Numerous individuals are deemed to be disengaged from politics which makes them skeptics and critics hence ridiculing the process. Nevertheless, making voting mandatory would escalate individuals' political awareness even if it were solely as casually as acknowledging the country's major parties and their respective broad policies (Bugarin & Portugal, 2015). There exist quantitative evidence ascertaining that citizens staying within nations where voting is mandatory, citizens are sufficiently politically knowledgeable compared to the nations where voting is not obligatory. Moreover, within direct democratic exercises like referendums, mandatory voting would aid in decreasing individuals who pride themselves on their respective political ignorance since it does not impact on them by taking part directly within the political process and thus making them active contributors at the expense of passive receptors (Carreras, 2016).

Compulsory participation in myriad civic institutions such as attending public education, accomplishing jury service as well as recompensing taxes as deemed to the rites that an individual can never evade. The chief ingredients regarding healthy democracy, as well as a socially organized society, pertains to trusting the government that has been chosen by a robust majority of the underlying liberated population (Singh, 2017). The government elected by a majority of voters ensures that the underlying legislative direction regarding the administration is more precisely reflected on the citizen's will as well as granting the administration robust democratic legitimacy needed to undertake the intended alterations. Relatively greater participation would typically mollify the developing sense of the disillusionment as well as the isolation that numerous people presently feel with politics (Carreras, 2016). It would also ensure that sufficient people are involved in the election of lawmakers.

Mandatory voting will also aid in considerably narrow the underlying gender gap within the society, which will foster the culture of the electorate in terms of race, age as well as supplementary demographic. Statistically fewer women vote typically vote compared to men due to the poor political education and consciousness as well as engagement within the underlying political culture (Birch, 2016). Nevertheless, compulsory voting boasts as depicted within numerous nations is deemed to bridge the gender gap in terms of political knowledge.

Mandatory voting will also aid in defining the relatively healthier democracy of any nation since when solely minority individuals exercise their respective franchise, democracy typically morphs into the corresponding oligarchy that makes power to be concentrated within the hands few individuals (Singh, 2017).

Conversely, voting ought not to be made mandatory since individuals who do not take part presently in voting do not care, and they can opt to pick randomly and consequently making a bad selection that could undermine the votes of the knowledgeable individuals. Moreover, the majority of the median voters are incompetent at politics and if they are compelled to vote, they would become even more unreasonable and misinformed (Bugarin & Portugal, 2015).

From a democratic theory standpoint, the right to participate in the election is deemed to indirectly encompass a right not to take part in voting. Thus, such a right about abstention is more significant compared to any societal good that might accompany elevated turnout. Moreover, nations would be relatively better in case those who are reluctant to take part in voting are not pushed to partake in public affairs.

As aforementioned, mandatory has myriad benefits such as escalated political awareness among the citizens, defining relatively healthier democracy of the nation, enhances civic engagement among the citizen, as well as to ensure the election of able leaders (Birch, 2016). Through escalating participation among the underlying dormant citizens, mandatory voting results to the escalation of voting populations that are more likely to incorporate people who are both unknowledgeable concerning politics as well as the government.

In summation, it is clear that compulsory voting massively boosts electoral participation via inducing numerous of the people who would normally abstain to take part and hence altering the character of the underlying voting population. Consequently, it alters electoral choices and hence leading to significant social, economic, as well as political consequences. The turnout rate is typically impacted when a nation either adopts or abandon compulsory rules.


Birch, S. (2016). Full participation: A comparative study of compulsory voting.


Carreras, M. (2016). Compulsory voting and political engagement (beyond the ballot box): A multilevel analysis. Electoral Studies, 43, 158-168.

Singh, S. P. (2017). Politically unengaged, distrusting, and disaffected individuals drive the link between compulsory voting and invalid balloting. Political Science Research and Methods, 1-17.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2020 Michael Omolo


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