Wanna go Double Dutch?
9th December 2003
Well you probably can guess why I made this topic, hearing about the US elections and how people need to register before being able to vote (and some stuff with registration deadlines etc.) is kinda odd to me.
Overhere the electoral system is as follows: Each acknowledged citizen (person that has citizenship) has to report his place of residence (or lack there off ou ae homeless). Whenever you move you need to contact your local authorities. This ensures that the authorities know where you live and who you are (afterall they have your name, date of birth, citizenship number etc. to ID you). Whenever there are elections (local, provincial, national, EU elections, a referendum or such) you receive a card in your mailbox a few weeks in advance. This card grants you the access/right to vote at a pollingstation. This station is indicated on the card and is nearby (nearest) polling station in your area. For those who will not be able to vote at that polling station there is the oppertunity to get a permit to vote elsewhere but you have to do this a few days in advance of the the election day. Voters may also pass their voting right to somebody else (who is also legally allowed to vote) by passing their registration card to said person and both parties signing it with their signature. On electionday you go to the pollingstation in your rea, show your registrationcard and ID (ID card, drivers lisence etc.) to verify you with a list of registrated voters (for that station) and you will then be allowed to vote. Voting is not compulsory. To add to this, some towns allow you to vote at any pollingstation witin the towns borders.
My views: To me this system makes the most sense, it ensures easily accessibility (Such openess should increase voting turnups I would guess.) and thus should prevent cases such as people who forgot to register or changed their mind on the last minute and decided to vote anyway. It also prevents issues such as people not being acknowledged as registrated voters (because the registration list is incomplete). All this prevents some of the stuff that I remember hearing about in lets say the previous US elections (where people who wanted to vote couldn't because they were not listed as registrated voters for various reasons).
As for compulsory vs not compulsory voting: Demanding that all citizens vote (if they are reasonabily able to do so) should ensure higher turnups. Thus meaning that not only the "fanatical" voters have a say but also people who are undecided (I would call them "meh" voters) or people who simply don't care at all. The down side would be that people would just cast a random vote so they did their duty but in this process preventing the election turnout to be a reasonable/adequete reflection of all the citizens in the country. One might also argue that this would prevent people from their right to decide not to vote. So in all I guess I would not support compulsory voting but would encourage people to vote.
I bet that there are various aditional topics related to election days, election methods etc. feel free to discuss these aswell to debate about what makes/improves electoral systems.