President Obama, whose party was trounced in last year’s midterm election due to poor turnout among Democrats, endorsed the idea of mandatory voting Wednesday.
“It would be transformative if everybody voted,” Mr. Obama said during a town-hall event in Cleveland. “That would counteract [campaign] money more than anything. If everybody voted, then it would completely change the political map in this country.”
Mr. Obama raised the subject during a discussion of curbing the influence of campaign donations in U.S. elections. The president said he had never discussed the idea publicly before, but said Australia and some other countries have compulsory voting.
The president didn’t commit to pushing a mandatory voting initiative at the federal level but said, “that may end up being a better strategy in the short term” than finding a solution to curbing campaign donations.
Australia is one of 11 nations worldwide with mandatory voting. Australians who fail to vote can be fined, or even jailed for repeatedly not casting a ballot.
The president repeated his frequent complaint that Democrats tend to stay home in midterm elections. Last November, Republicans regained control of the Senate and added seats to their majority in the House despite Mr. Obama’s massive fundraising efforts for his party.
“The people who tend not to vote are young, they’re lower income, they’re skewed more heavily towards immigrant groups and minority groups,” Mr. Obama said. “And they’re the folks who are scratching and climbing to get into the middle class and they’re working hard. There’s a reason why some folks try to keep them away from the polls. We should want to get them into the polls.”
Copyright © 2015 The Washington Times, LLC.
~~~~Are we no longer a free society? Mandatory voting seems to me like an effort to remove yet more of our freedoms. I vote in every election where my vote could be of help to this nation. What troubles me is Obama just got trounced in the mid-terms because a lot of Democrats did not show up at the polls. I have news for Mr. Obama, if voters had all filled the polls Obama would have truly gotten an understanding about how most people truly feel about his leadership. He sucks plain and simple. So what does he do? He wants to force you and I to vote! Force! Do we go to jail if we don’t vote? Fined maybe? lose our right to vote? Any elected official who stands behind Obama and his insane desire for yet more power at the cost of our rights should be recalled and sent packing. In fact I think the lunatic in the White House should have packed his bags a long time ago because he is a cancer on the ass of this great nation.