Should the U.S. make the voting compulsory, as it is in Australia and Belgium? 

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There is, of course, no way to objectively answer this question.  It is just a matter of opinion.  Let us look at both sides of the issue.

People who would support compulsory voting argue that it is important for everyone to vote.  They say this for at least two reasons.  First, they say that voting is the duty of all citizens who are eligible.  If people vote, they will be more likely to pay attention to politics and to the general conditions in their society.  Second, if more people vote, the political outcomes will be fairer.  Everyone’s voices will be heard and the politicians will no longer be able to ignore large segments of the population because those segments do not vote.

People who oppose compulsory voting generally argue that it is un-American and that it would not be better for the country.  First, they argue that forcing people to do anything is not what our country is about.  We can tell people what not to do, but we generally should not force people to do anything.  Second, they argue that making everyone vote would actually harm our system.  What we would end up with is an electorate that does not really care.  People would vote because they have to, not because they want to.  The people who did not want to vote would not bother to really learn anything about the races or the issues.  They would just vote in uninformed ways and would thus harm our democracy.