Wednesday, November 11, 2015

President Obama suggests that maybe it's time for mandatory voting.

Courtesy of CNN:

"Other countries have mandatory voting," Obama said Wednesday in Cleveland, where he spoke about the importance of middle class economics, and was asked about the issue during a town hall. 

"It would be transformative if everybody voted -- that would counteract money more than anything," he said, adding it was the first time he had shared the idea publicly. 

The clout of millionaires and billionaires in campaign funding has been enormous, and many claim the uber wealthy have undue leverage in politics. 

"The people who tend not to vote are young, they're lower income, they're skewed more heavily towards immigrant groups and minority groups," Obama said. "There's a reason why some folks try to keep them away from the polls."

Well I for one am all for this idea.

But I can tell you right now that the Republican party will literally fight something like this with every resource at their disposal.

And the reason for that is because data shows that when more people vote Democrats tend to win, and it is only through low voter turnout that Republicans can remain in power.

That of course is why they are always coming up with ways to make voting harder for certain groups, or trying to disenfranchise voters over all.

They know that if we turn out in greater numbers their days are numbered as well.

So yeah, I think we need to think long and hard about making this happen.


  1. Olivia5:05 PM

    I agree!

    1. Anonymous8:14 PM

      In Cali they are doing that. Absentee Ballot. Get rid of Diebold machine and everyone gets to vote even if they are working 3 jobs they have time to vote. Just have to figure out how to get the homeless and the people who may slip through the cracks. Brad of Brad Bloog has been on this for YEARS!!! Everyone who has a license should get a Ballot and if they don't have a license sign up at the post office.
      There HAS to be a way!

  2. Anonymous5:17 PM

    The correct SCOTUS would have to be in place for this to happen. The current court, or similar one, would rule against this even if passed by majorities in both houses and signed by the president. Hell, they would even find a way to rule it unconstitutional even if it was an admendment to our constitution.

  3. Anonymous5:26 PM



  4. Feel the bern5:29 PM

    I strongly disapprove of this and am disappointed that the President I love came up with an idea so stupid. If my peers are forced to vote and Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee, I can guarantee that we'll have a Republican President. Force/mandates are never a good idea. Coercion never works.

    1. Anonymous6:24 PM

      Damn, I bet you and your friends had a hissy fit when you found out that drivers licenses were mandated and car insurance too!

    2. Anonymous6:35 PM

      I'm curious how you came up with your premise?

      "If my peers are forced to vote and Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee, I can guarantee that we'll have a Republican President. "

      What does being required to vote have to do with making Clinton the nominee and therefor a Republican winning? If we aren't required Sanders will win the nom? Sorry, I'm not getting the logic here.


    3. Anonymous7:04 PM

      Your peers sound like idiots.

    4. Feel the bern7:21 PM

      Hate to disappoint, but no. I wanted to drive, therefore I got a qualification/certification to be on the road. I'm not a danger to either passengers, drivers or pedestrians. Maybe you could help me finish this sentence. "I want ____________, therefore I must vote." A decent government or some other similarly banal answer won't work.

    5. Anonymous8:39 PM

      You sound like an idiot. Maybe we should raise the voting age?

    6. Feel the bern9:26 PM

      Mildred, consider 2 scenarios in the mandatory voting model. In the 1st, Sanders is the nominee, in the 2nd, Hillary is. Being required to vote has nothing to do with making Clinton the nominee. The primaries are over, we have a nominee - either Hillary or Bernie Sanders.

      Scenario 1: Voting is mandatory, so we all vote.

      Scenario 2: Voting is mandatory, so we all vote, but since Hillary is the nominee and some of us will never vote for her, we will be forced to vote for the Republican.

      If my peers are forced to vote and Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee, I can guarantee that we'll have a Republican President. I understand that people don't like it, but I promise you this will happen. Bernie Sanders is getting all his money from unions and individuals. Hillary is getting hers from bankers and corporations. We are NOT going to vote for her. Count on it or deny it. Frankly, it makes no difference to me.


    7. Anonymous3:35 AM

      Thanks for explaining, 9:26. Similar to the PUMAs I assume. I love Bernie, but I just can't see a second choice of Trump or any of those on the right if he is not the nominee.

      You and your peers should look further than your dislike of Hillary. You have less dislike for the Republican bunch? I understand the self righteousness, but as you get older, and hopefully wiser, you understand that you have to let go and pick your fights. Voting "the lesser of two evils" was something that angered me when I was young, but now I see it is better, obviously, than voting the most evil. no?

      Put your energies to work in fixing the system, stopping the corruption, and puts the power with the people. In the meantime, we have to have a leader who won't be taking everything away while we are out fighting for those things.


    8. "since Hillary is the nominee and some of us will never vote for her, we will be forced to vote for the Republican."
      I'm sorry, but that is just the stupidest reasoning I have seen. You would never vote for Hillary, but you will vote for republicans who are promising to do all they can to deport millions of people (including US citizens), eliminate the minimum wage, take away reproductive health care and decisions away from women, take away health care from millions, destroy the social safety net and on and on and on. Oh and pack the Supreme Court to support these goals?

      You would not be "forced" to vote republican. You would be freely choosing to do so. It would be your responsibility and yours alone that you would choose to do so.

      If you are representative of Sanders supporters, I am not impressed. And from everything I have read, Sanders would be horrified.

    9. Anonymous4:47 AM

      @ FTB

      If anyone who's favorite candidate is Bernie Sanders and they choose to vote for anyone in the GOP then they know nothing about Bernie Sanders at all. BTW, you might as well start getting upset and deciding you are not going to ever, never, ever vote because Bernie is not going to be the candidate of any party.

      BTW not all your peers feel the same way as you do. Try in the future to not think in terms of anything but your own vote because that is all you control.

    10. Anonymous4:56 AM

      Then I guess you don't think access to birth control, plan B, or even access to safe abortions is important.
      Believe me, I grew up with none of those things and fought hard to change things, but I actually don't need any of them any more so I guess your generation that doesn't need them. Go back to a time where women couldn't get birth control without a husband's and a Drs permission and even then hope you could find a pharmacist that would fill it.
      Not to mention the minimum wage, an ability to stay on your parents insurance until age 26, or have the ability to buy insurance are important.

  5. Anonymous6:02 PM

    Speaking as an Australian, a country with compulsory voting, we have a hard time understanding your entire election system.
    Our entire system is coordinated by a nonpartisan professional commission, voting is always held on a Saturday 8am to 8pm with numerous easy to find election centres, usually your local primary school or town hall. Last time I voted I talk the dog for a walk planning to pass the primary school on the way home when half way round my walk I found a voting centre in the local Soccer club that I didn't even know was there. Voting took less than 5 minutes and I continued with my walk.

    The time before that the venue coordinator personally came out down the queue and apologised for keeping us waiting for 15minutes because it was the busiest time of day but we wouldn't be much longer.

    The penalty for not voting is nominal fine $50 or so or you need a good excuse.
    Participation rates are 98-99% of eligible voters.

    It works.

  6. Anonymous6:07 PM

    Great idea, and, Election Day should be a national holiday.

    1. Agree with Election Day as a holiday but how to better encourage/enforce mandatory voting? A fine, loss of government bennies/pension? I like the idea but fear it could lead to coercion by the party in power or corporate interests. In a perfect world.......

  7. Anonymous6:21 PM

    @ feel the bern

    Oh get over it. If your peers ( BTW I know quite a few that are smarter than you and your friends) would vote for a republican over Hillary than they are stupid. Get over your millennial angst, there are many other age groups that vote and frankly it's not all about your generation.

    1. Feel the bern9:29 PM

      Lol. It sure didn't seem like "there are many other age groups that vote and frankly it's not all about your generation" when you all whined about us not voting last time around.

    2. Anonymous4:48 AM

      Well I didn't whine about you not voting last time so get over your self importance.

    3. Anonymous6:09 AM

      Feelthebern is a dumbass, pure and simple.

  8. Anonymous6:23 PM

    The GOP would fight this tooth and nail. For supposed "patriots" they sure work very hard at stopping people from voting and making it harder for everyone to vote.

  9. Anonymous6:37 PM

    OT: Ben Carson told the media to take a long walk off a short pier. Perhaps the media justs needs to stop reporting on Ben Carson (No press conferences, no sound bites, etc). Let him talk into an echo chamber.

  10. Anonymous6:53 PM

    As long as there is no penalty, for not voting. Some people don't want to be part of the process, and that's fine. Some people should not vote.
    Efforts should be aimed at stopping restrictive voting laws.
    There should be a national Holiday for voting, or at least weekend voting.
    I like the idea of being automatically registered to vote when you turn 18.

  11. Make voting day a holiday with everyone required to vote, early voting, absentee voting, on-line voting with downloadable proof for the voter, motor voter registration, etc. There are so many ways we can make it easy to register to vote and to vote. I vote for mandatory voting (with only death, near death, incarceration, and a few other possible excuses not to vote).

  12. Anonymous8:23 PM

    Its like voting for a giant douch or a turd sandwich. .nod to southpark. I'm sorry but nobody is going to make me vote for somebody because they may be the least of two evils. What if both of the candidates have policy views I am diametrically oppose to? What if they both are excepting of war? When you are a part of putting somebody in office you have to take responsibility of their choices. I will never be a part of blowing some little girls head off while she is carrying a bucket of water simple because she lives in Syria where our newly elected president ordered a air strike. I will take the fine and hold onto my conscience.

    Normally love Obama but this suggestion is badly done.

    1. Well if you really felt strongly that you could not vote for either candidate, then if our penalty were like the one in Australia you would simply pay a 50 dollar fee.

      I am sure it is worth 50 dollars to have a clean conscience.

    2. Choose a minor party or write someone in. With compulsory voting, such strategies might actually become effective in breaking the "lesser of two evils" grip on the electoral process.

    3. Anonymous8:40 AM

      Can you do a write in vote?

  13. Has anyone bothered to factor in just how many stupid and uninformed people would then be made to make a decision?
    I'm all for getting more people to vote, but maybe a quick quiz to
    make sure they know which planet we're on.

    1. Well I think we can safely assume that the majority of the people are not too stupid to make a fairly rational decision.

      And the more people who vote, the more likely we are to get a better class of politician.

      This would also undermine the Right Wing's use of pastors organizing church members to vote en masse. And would also destroy efforts to make voting more difficult in precincts with more a liberal population.

    2. Feel the bern9:31 PM

      2 words Jonathan Sands: Poll Tax

    3. Anonymous6:19 AM

      Uh no Gryph. I will not assume that because I'm not a moron. The majority of the population is ill informed, irrational, and just plain dumb.

  14. While mandatory voting will require a long and difficult fight, there are some other measures we should enact along the road to mandatory voting.

    1. Make election day two days over a weekend and make it mandatory that everyone have a minimum of 24 consecutive hours off work during the two-day voting period.

    2. Universal registration with free universal documentation. When you register to vote, you are issued a permanent identification document -- a photo id -- that is good anywhere in the country. When you move, show the id to the local registrar, enter a change of address, and vote.

    Of course, the GOP will fight these measures also.

  15. Anonymous10:32 PM

    In Australia voting is considered the duty of a citizen. Nobody can buy your vote and nobody can suppress it.

    And voting with paper and pencil renders the election results unhackable.

    Australia has squeaky clean elections but Australians still manage to elect dickheads. ;(

  16. Anonymous8:58 AM

    Universal voting does not mean you have to actually complete the ballot. You could leave the Prez spot blank, or put in "Mickey Mouse" if you desired. But at least you'd be at the polls. I like the idea. Yellowgir.

  17. For those of you who think that it would be a horrible thing to be forced to vote, how about if the ballot had a "I am stupid - I prefer not to vote" choice?

  18. Here in Oz we have had mandatory voting since independence, including for women.
    You have to turn up and get your ballot paper, you can then vote for someone or write something rude on the paper and put it in the ballot box.
    The number of informal ballots is included in the count and can be used to send that old message " a pox on both your houses"!
    BTW get rid of all the fancy machines and go back to pencil and paper - quicker, cheaper and a lot more hack proof.

  19. Anonymous4:10 PM

    I think it's past time, and makes absolute sense.


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