Obama floats idea of making voting mandatory

A big part of the game of politics is trying to figure out who's actually going to show up show at the polls. Now, the president is talking about is a system where voter turnout would never be an issue.

"In Australia, and some other countries, there's mandatory voting. It would be transformative if everybody voted," President Obama recently said  recently said during an appearance at the City Club of Cleveland. 

In Australia, it is mandatory that people vote, and you can be fined if you don't to the equivalent of about $15. A handful of other countries do something similar.

"If everybody voted, then it would completely change the political map in this country," the president adds. 

It's an idea that, for many candidates, might break down right along party lines because most polls show that there are more Democrats than Republicans out there. If you force everyone to vote, Democrats will seemingly have an advantage.

But, there are some other issues as well.

Some people see nonvoting as a political statement, and making it mandatory may run afoul of the First Amendment.

One potential 2016 Republican candidate for the white house thinks it's a bad idea.

"Not voting is also a legitimate choice that some people make. I wish more people would participate in politics, too, but, that is their choice. That's the choice of living in a free society," says Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL). 

And in many elections, most voters choose not to participate. Turnout was less than 40 percent in last year's midterm election. 
Up Next:

  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories you may be interested in - includes Advertiser Stories