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Not casting a vote should be made a criminal offence

(83 Posts)
palanca Fri 07-Oct-16 18:17:12

Turnout is always low, even in the Referendum. With postal votes and possibly online voting in the future, voting is straightforward. There certainly should be a further box for "none of the above" so I am not saying for one minute that people should be forced to choose one the options presented.
People have fought and died for the vote - let's make sure that it gets used.
Other countries do this including Australia, Cyprus, Belgium, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Singapore, Uruguay so it is not only North Korea!

e1y1 Fri 07-Oct-16 18:19:45

But then isn't is taking away peoples' freedom not to vote?

e1y1 Fri 07-Oct-16 18:20:15

*is it not taking away blush

TheFreaksShallInheritTheEarth Fri 07-Oct-16 18:24:27

Whilst I agree that everyone should vote, I don't agree with prosecuting those who do not.

HarpyFishwifeTwat Fri 07-Oct-16 18:25:24

I would only support this if there was a None of the Above option that could trigger a re-run of the election with new candidates.

It's the role of political parties to present candidates and policies that people want to vote for. If they don't do that, it's not the fault of the electorate. On the one time I didn't use my vote it was because I knew nothing about any of the candidates, there had been no campaign and information wasn't easily available online.

At the moment spoiled ballot papers mean absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of things, parties don't care about them.

dinosaursarebisexual Fri 07-Oct-16 18:26:14

What would NOTA vote achieve? I have little time for people who don't appreciate the right to vote but can't see the benefit to democracy, which is the point of voting.

palanca Fri 07-Oct-16 18:26:28

happy to have two further boxes then
A> I do not want to vote

B> None of the above

Fully respect deliberate decisions not to choose any of the candidates but cannot bear the apathetic which it is pretty obvious is the majority of those who do not vote

PinkSparklyPussyCat Fri 07-Oct-16 18:26:50

What a ridiculous idea! People have fought and died for the freedom to choose.

What happens if someone is ill or has some sort of emergency. Are you going to make them a criminal because they didn't vote?

I'm registered for postal voting as I can't be arsed to go to the polling station. Last year I was on holiday for the election and it was touch and go whether my ballot paper would arrive on time. Why should I end up with a criminal record?


ItsAllGoingToBeFine Fri 07-Oct-16 18:28:11


If people choose not to vote that is their choice,.and they choose not to have a say.

The way to cure voter apathy is not by making voting compulsory

AnnieOnAMapleLeaf Fri 07-Oct-16 18:29:25


gillybeanz Fri 07-Oct-16 18:30:08

Duh, by saying you don't want to vote aren't you voting?
What a stupid thread grin Go have some wine and chocolate

ThePinkOcelot Fri 07-Oct-16 18:31:04

No, I don't agree at all. Where would you draw the line? People could have all sorts of reasons not to. How would you work out who had a genuine reason and who didn't?!

alltouchedout Fri 07-Oct-16 18:31:05

I always vote (if you count spoiling a ballot, which I did in the police and crime commissioner elections). I don't think it's something you should be compelled to do though. People died for my right to vote, not to ensure that if I chose not to I'd be prosecuted.

JosephineMaynard Fri 07-Oct-16 18:33:20

A criminal offence?

So what penalty do you propose? Fines? Prison for repeat offenders? Being hauled in front of a magistrate to decide whether your reason for not voting is good enough to avoid a criminal record?

If people don't care enough to bother casting a vote - and there's options for postal and proxy voting already available to make things easier - would you really trust them to make any sort of informed decision about which box to put their cross in?

Manumission Fri 07-Oct-16 18:33:37

Attempting to compel people out of their apathy seems a slightly odd idea.

MsJamieFraser Fri 07-Oct-16 18:33:39

Yanbu, people thought and died for the choice to vote, not be forced to vote.

You seem very confused OP, by making it a criminal offence, you are forcing people to vote, unless your happy with people breaking the law. hmm

palanca Fri 07-Oct-16 18:34:47

are you really suggesting that in Australia as an example that there would not be the usual defences for not being able to get to vote ...

we need to do something to get turnout up and if it is good enough for Oz and the Belgians, why not us?

0pti0na1 Fri 07-Oct-16 18:36:52

YABU. I value the freedom to vote immensely, but don't think people should be forced to do so. However, if people don't bother to vote, I don't think it's reasonable for them to moan about the result.

"None of the Above" and spoiled ballot papers are pointless IMO. I have never heard of either of those making any difference to anything. If anyone thinks they can do a better job than the candidates on offer, they should have got themselves nominated.

gleam Fri 07-Oct-16 18:39:26


ThroughThickAndThin01 Fri 07-Oct-16 18:39:54


I really, really object to this. Voting should always be a choice.

milkshakeandmonstermunch Fri 07-Oct-16 18:40:20

1) There is no need for box "A". If someone doesn't want to vote then they don't vote. Showing up to vote to not want to vote is idiotic.

2) As PPs have said, people died for my right to choose to vote. Fwiw I always vote but that is MY choice.

honkinghaddock Fri 07-Oct-16 18:41:13

Yabu. There are too many reasonable reasons why people might not vote and you would need to be chasing up all those that didn't vote to see if their reason was reasonable or not.

buttfacedmiscreant Fri 07-Oct-16 18:45:24

Yeah I didn't vote one time because I had a migraine and couldn't stand up without throwing up. I guess in your world I would have had to go to the Dr to get an excusal note or go vote anyway. Lovely.

Who is going to pay for this?

larrygrylls Fri 07-Oct-16 18:45:47

I think it is a good idea. It is law in Australia and the penalty is a $20 fine. So, of course you can choose not to vote if there is something very important to do instead. I suspect it will discourage apathy and make the electoral mandate more convincing.

TheNaze73 Fri 07-Oct-16 18:50:06


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