Some people have suggested that the United States should require people to vote.  Would this be a good idea?

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Requiring Americans to vote would be both undemocratic and unwise.

The ability to do more or less as we please is one of the foundations of American society and of our system of government.  Our democratic system typically does not require people to do anything of a political nature.  Allowing people to decide for themselves what they want to do is fundamentally a democratic thing to do.  Besides, imagine being required to vote.  What would happen if you were actually required to vote and you did not like either candidate.  How democratic would it really be to force you to express support for some candidate even if you did not actually want to do so?  For this reason, mandatory voting strikes me as undemocratic.

Secondly, it is simply unwise.  People who do not vote often choose not to vote because they are ignorant and/or because they do not care about the issues.  Mandatory voting would force people to vote even when they do not know anything about the candidates or issues and when they do not care about those candidates.  This would surely not improve our political system.

For these reasons, mandatory voting would be both undemocratic and unwise.

keithwnorris | Student

Well it really all depends on the person voting. I personally think that if they do not care enough to vote for the leaders of our country then they should not be forced to. I would rather the right person win do to the right people then the wrong person when just because people that didn't care checked the first box on the ballet.