For the next several months, you’ll probably hear a lot of people talking about who they’ll vote for on Election Day. But chances are, millions of Americans will decide not to vote. In 2016, only about 60 percent of the people who could have voted for president actually did.
Many people say that’s a problem. Our elected leaders are supposed to represent the interests of all Americans, but that can’t happen if so many citizens don’t vote. One solution is to make voting mandatory, or required. That has worked in Australia, where voter turnout is about 90 percent in most elections. Australians who fail to vote have to pay a fine.
Not everyone is ready to vote “yes” for mandatory voting, however. Many people argue that requiring Americans to vote won’t guarantee that the best candidates get elected. They say people who don’t want to vote are less likely to learn about the candidates and their views.