Should Voting Be Compulsory in Australia?
Compulsory voting was introduced in Australia in 1924 after the voter turnout of those registered to vote in Australia was as low as 47%. Since voting was made compulsory by the Federal Government, voter turnout has remained around 94-96%. Over twenty countries have some form of compulsory voting which requires citizens to register to vote and to go to their polling place or vote on election day. "Nearly seven-in-ten Australian electors (67%) believe voting in Australia should be compulsory, while 31% say it should be voluntary and 2% are undecided." 89% of voters said they would vote at the next Federal election even if voting were voluntary. Only 9% said they would not vote while 2% were undecided, according to the 1997 Roy Morgan poll.
Today, the right to vote, or universal suffrage, is considered a given element of democratic rule. However, there is the issue of universal participation. In order to guarantee this goal, must the right to vote be supplemented with the application of a legal duty? …
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