In Australia mandatory voting is the law. But could it actually work in the U.S? Well President Obama posed the question earlier this week in Cleveland. While speaking about money influencing elections, the president stated that the U.S. should make it easier, not harder for people to exercise their right to vote.
“If everybody voted, then it would completely change the political map in this country,” Obama said, he also said universal voting could “counteract money more than anything.”
In regards to poor people and minorities not voting, Obama recognizes that people try to keep them away from the polls as well. “There’s a reason why some folks try to keep them away from the polls,” he said in a veiled reference to Republicans.
In countries such as Belgium, Brazil and Argentina, if you don’t have a valid excuse as to why you’re not voting, you can face a fine.
Obama said he thought it would be “fun” for the U.S. to consider amending the Constitution to change the role that money plays in the electoral system. But don’t hold your breath.
“Realistically, given the requirements of that process, that would be a long-term proposition,” he said.