Importance of Voting Essay Example
Voting is a process that has been in our country since the day this country was created. Going to the polls has became a common practice for many voters and is the process that we select the leaders of our nation. It is how our country stays a democracy, yet many eligible voters don’t show up. However, forcing everyone to vote to increase voter percentage is not the answer to improve voter turnout. Mandatory voting should not be required because many there are many uninformed and apathetic voters and it is a violation of a person’s liberties. For these reasons, requiring citizens to vote should not be allowed.
Compulsory voting would mean more uninformed and apathetic voters in all elections across the states. Under the compulsory voting system, people who lack interest in politics and are uninformed could end up choosing randomly for a candidate and therefore screwing up election results (FairVote Democracy). The effect of this is that it can cause a candidate, who necessarily does not represent the majority of the people can end up winning an all-important election. In the end, that candidate can end up doing non-beneficial acts for the people. In addition, many people choose to not vote because they are disengaged and uninterested in the world of politics. Therefore, people should not be forced to do something if they do not want to. You can make a person go to a poll, but you can’t make them think about who they are voting for. Especially, if none of the candidates support their standpoint. Election results would be more accurate and correct if there is no required voting.
Another reason to not support required voting is that it is also a violation of a person’s rights and liberties. The 1st Amendment prevents the government from passing laws that limit the people in expressing their freedom of expression and speech in whatever way they want to. Therefore, when the government and the law force people to vote then, against their will, it is a violation of this right. This is because people have the decision on how to express their voice in politics and in elections. Enforcing certain laws to vote is a violation of this right. Also, voting is supposed to be a right, not a duty. This means that a citizen has a choice in whether or not to vote, but not should be forced upon to do so. So when people are required to vote as a duty for the government. Or else face the consequences, it is an infraction as the government is not obligated to require a law that conflicts with one’s freedom of expression. As in the social contract, between the citizens and government, citizens give up some of their freedoms and in exchange, the government protects the rights of a citizen. One of these rights that the government is obligated to protect is freedom of expression.
Opponents of optional voting may argue that compulsory voting would increase voter turnout and percentage by a greater amount and that would mean candidates would be more legitimate. While this may be correct, a good chunk of those votes would be uninterested voters, who are uninformed and only vote to not face the consequences. Therefore, required registration would actually reduce the legitimacy of elected representatives.
As the final result would have many more uncaring and apathetic voters in it. Others may additionally argue that mandatory voting would mean political activity from every citizen, making it a true democracy. However, according to Joe Carter, senior editor at the Acton Institute, this type of voting would most likely not increase political activity and informed votes, as he says, “There is no evidence that requiring people to vote provides sufficient incentive for them to gain the information necessary to cast an informed ballot.” This ends up meaning that even though people are being forced upon to vote and it aims to increase interest in politics, it does not. Instead, voting requirements, do not have a good enough reward that comes with the effort of making an informed ballot and vote. Therefore, making political interest not increase by a significant amount with compulsory voting.
The proposed idea of mandatory voting is a violation, unnecessary, and there is no clear benefit that comes with it. There is no real winner with this system. It violates the freedom of expression that our founders believed every citizen should have possession of. Compulsory voting would mean a disaster for apathetic voters and would only push people to vote, simply since the effort of voting outweigh the consequences of not checking a ballot. Voting is something that needs to change, but the action of forcing people to do so is just politically wrong and incorrect.