Jim Nolan: Make voting mandatory

September 14, 2013 

Make voting mandatory

With an average voter turnout of approximately 50 percent since 1960, why are we intent on making it more difficult for people to vote? We should be doing all we can to encourage Americans to perform the most important function of citizenship, but instead we continually create obstacles.

While we will toss into jail anyone who does not respond to jury duty or does not pay their taxes, we allow people not to vote, the most important function of all.

The right to vote is mandatory in some countries, and their voter turnout is as follows: Australia 95 percent, Chile 93 percent, Belgium 91 percent and Greece 86 percent, to name a few.

With this turnout, the people of these counties truly have spoken, and the elected government is not guessing as to the people's opinion. If someone chooses not to vote, a penalty is imposed ($20 to $50).

We are laughed at when we declare our desire to spread democracy while demonstrating our disdain by our abysmal participation in the process. Would it not be refreshing to have politicians know how America actually feels about certain issues? Would Americans acquire a better respect for their government and feel a part of the process?

Register everyone over 18 and let them know voting is required, then let us see what America really thinks.

Jim Nolan

Morehead City

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