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Bad, Community, and Jesus: Joy Reid @JoyAnnReid Automatic voter registration at age 18 would be the single most powerful anti vote suppression tool. Particularly if it was national batmanisagatewaydrug: julad: thisdiscontentedwinter: salparadisewasright: sapphicdalliances: jonpertwee: hamfistedbunvendor: jonpertwee: I feel like this would be a slippery slope towards making it illegal for people to choose to not vote. that’s already how it is in australia That’s just so fucked up. :( Do certain medical conditions exempt you? ?????? why is it be fucked up to have compulsory voting? that’s the way it is in most democratic countries? it’s a part of being a citizen, like paying taxes and obeying speed limits? the fine for not voting is only like $50 and because of the compulsory voting law, our country bends over backwards to make it accessible: it’s always on a weekend, lasts most of the day, and is set up at schools and community centers so there’s one within easy reach of almost everybody. you can also mail your ballot or vote early if you’ll be out of the country on the day. like, IT’S EASY TO VOTE, and the penalty isn’t even that ridiculous. i don’t understand why the usa doesn’t have this, except obviously it would make it harder to literally stop minorities from voting. I think we Americans tend to forget that a lot of other countries don’t actively work to make it harder to vote. Adding to this here, in Australia you don’t have to vote. Or, more precisely, there’s no way they can tell if you ruined your ballot. You have to turn up, get your name marked off, but you can put a line through the ballot if you don’t think any of the candidates are worth voting for. Or do this:  Or this:  Or this:  You have get your name crossed off (if you don’t want to wear the fine), but you don’t have to make your vote counted if you’re opposed to it.  And it is so, so easy to vote. Stuck at work or on holidays? That’s fine. Do a postal vote.  Stuck in hospital? That’s fine. They’ll go to you. Stuck in an old people’s home and can’t get around? Again, they’ll go to you. It’s amazing to me that it’s so hard for so many Americans to actually vote. If you make it compulsory, than at least the government is obligated to provide you with the means to vote.  And look, I get it. Sometimes I don’t want to vote either. But I suck it up, I walk three minutes down the street, and I hope that this year they’re selling lamingtons again. Oh, and I buy a democracy sausage, which, even if all the candidates suck, makes the effort of turning up pretty worthwhile.  ALSO, you can see even on the fucked up ballots that you NUMBER CANDIDATES IN ORDER OF PREFERENCE. There’s no need to calculate whether I would be throwing away my vote on the candidate that I most agree with if they’re not from a major party. I can say, I want that independent person to get in, but if not them, give me Big Party A, and if not them, that minor party person is still better that Big Party B, and I’m not giving any preference to the Lunatic Fringe Party. Our system certainly has some issues still, but I can show up to somewhere nearby, line up for a few minutes (if at all), vote exactly in line with my values (on paper, leaving a paper trail that can be recounted), and then buy a sausage and some home made cupcakes on my way out. A country’s voting system matters a hell of a lot and every citizen deserves one that makes it easy to vote and results in a government that is representational and accountable. And by the way, one time I had a bad asthma flare-up on Election Day and didn’t make it to my polling station. I got my fine in the mail, I filled out the form explaining why I couldn’t vote, no more fine. I would rather have, you know, expressed my preference for who should run my country, but they were cool with the fact that I couldn’t do it that day. “oh no, what if people actually have to participate in picking the government officials who will impact their lives” jesus christ