Voting is one of the crucial citizen duties in participating in the development of a country. In many countries, including the United States, voting is optional for the citizens while in other countries voting is compulsory. Some scholars in the United States argue that voting in the state should be compulsory to bring some changes such as preventing democrats from winning all elections in the country (Vile, John 14). The introduction of compulsory voting would enhance reforms that would otherwise increase voter turnout to trigger a stiff competition.
Voter turnout has been a big challenge in the United States election because the voter turnout ranges between 60% and below and with the introduction of compulsory voting, there would be full voter appearance. This helps the majority to decide on the candidate of their choice and not the movement of a small crowd through campaigns. Compulsory voting also does not deprive a handicapped citizen their right to vote. Since voting becomes necessary, provision of voting equipments is availed in all places such as hospitals and remote areas to ensure that everybody involves in an election. This would enhance everyone in participating in the election of the candidate of his or her choice. Compulsory voting offers the cast of blank or spoilt votes to people who seem not be contented with any of the candidates on the ballot paper. This helps people to gather enough knowledge before the election date so that they can have clear information about the candidates (Chong, Alberto 24). This also will make the candidates to be more impressive and productive in order to win the favor of the majority.
Because of massive turnout during election, the use of money to get more votes decreases because everybody will turn up without having the option of not voting. The use of money to lure voters is therefore not applicable and this leads to promotion of good governance. Compulsory voting also encourages civil education as the people strive to have a better knowledge in politics because they are aware they have to vote (Chong, Alberto 42). This form of voting also helps in reducing the risk of selfish leaders voting themselves in government through influence and therefore avoiding political instability.
Although compulsory voting would be good for the United States, it is in some ways unsuitable. Compulsory voting leads to violation of other freedoms such as freedom of religion; an example is Jehovah witness, who in their beliefs, distance themselves from politics. This can make it hard for the religion believers but they can cast a blank or a spoilt vote. Some religious believers may tend to feel that they are being forced to follow laws that are contrary to their beliefs hence resulting to conflicts. Introduction of compulsory voting in the United States can also lead to careless voting because the people are not used to that form of voting unlike a country like Australia where they adopted the method long time ago. This can result to electing unsuitable leaders leading to poor administration.
The United States should have compulsory voting laws because they yield more positive results than the negative. Compulsory voting helps in promoting civil education among citizens, participate in unison in electing the leaders of their choice without influence, provide equal voting rights without depriving the socially disadvantaged society and promoting political stability. This form of voting also encourages healthy competition between the democrats and republican because there is no party, which is under-represented.
Ethnic discrimination and racism are major issues in America since the colonial and slave era. There existed sanctioned racism, which led to the imposition of burdens on African American, Asia America, Latin Americans, and the Native Americans (Curry, James 84). However, the European Americans had privileges because the following rights were observed. The rights included, right to vote, immigration rights, land acquisition, and matters of literacy. Racism is a belief that characterizes people based on race, whereby some racial groups are seen superior than others. Discrimination and racism in the society encourage economic downturns, conflict, fear, wars, and even hatred among members in the society. However, in the United States the state and federal law determine the issue of voting.
The constitution of the United States in article 5 section 3 states that people from all religions have a right to vote. Further, the law asserts that there is no religious test that will be done before an American citizen qualifies for any public or private post. In America, there are fifteen post-civil war constitutional amendments. In order to extend the voting rights to all the citizens without discrimination, the constitutional amendments were ratified. According to the amendments done, the rights of a citizen to vote cannot be due to the following factors. These include; race, birth, color, and sex. Regarding to the U.S. constitution, the right to vote is not clearly stated. The right of an American citizen to vote can be denied by the state. Example, in America the citizens are expected by their different states to register as voters before the election date appears. In case a citizen has not registered as a voter, the citizen is not allowed to vote. This explains one of the ways in which restrictions can be applied against voting by the states.
The U.S government has applied negotiating treaties in order to resolve the relationship between different various tribes in America. This led to the formation of agreements between sovereign nations, which implied that the American Natives were citizens of their tribe, although they lived within the American boundaries. The American senate ratified the treaties after an executive branch negotiated them. The native tribes were expected to give up their hunting rights. They were also expected to live on land that they had acquired thorough the exchange of trade goods. The Native Americans were denied the right to vote regardless the fact that the natives were born in America. According to the American law, the natives were considered illegible to vote. The Native Americans were promised American citizenship if only they gave up on their tribal differences. Nevertheless, the western states denied the natives a right to vote through economic pressures, hiding polls, condoning violence, and property requirements.
After the wring of the U.S constitution, the only people who were allowed to vote were the white male property owners. The religious prerequisite for voting was eliminated in 1810 (Curry, James 56). Later, the tax requirements and property ownership were eliminated, allowing the entire white male to vote. In 1870, the slaves were given rights to vote after the 15th amendment of the constitution was made. The 17th amendment was made in 1913, which called for the senate members to be elected directly by the U.S citizens instead of being elected by the legislature. The voting systems of the United States portrayed forms of ethnic and racial discrimination.
Curry, James A., and Richard B. Riley.Constitutional government: the American experience. 7th ed. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt Pub. Co., 2009. Print.
Vile, John R.. A companion to the United States Constitution and its amendments. 5th ed. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, 2011. Print.
Levy, Leonard W., Kenneth L. Karst, and Adam Winkler. Encyclopedia of the American Constitution. 2nd ed. New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2000. Print.
Chong, Alberto and Olivera, Mauricio, "On Compulsory Voting and Income Inequality in a Cross-Section of Countries", Inter-American Development Bank Working Paper, May 2005.