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Thread: Would you agree that mandatory voting is compelled speech?

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    Re: Would you agree that mandatory voting is compelled speech?

    Quote Originally Posted by soylentgreen View Post
    Sigh!
    The Op here is either misdirecting all of you or just does not understand mandatory voting.

    Firstly, australia does have a mandatory voting system but on the brighter side the title is a misnomer. It really does not mean that you have to cast a vote.

    What it does mean and the way the australian system works is that every eligible voter in australia has their name on a voting register. And the law states that during the voting period the voter must get their name signed off on that register otherwise they face a fine. This is a far better system than america has where apparently politicians can make law changes that prevent people from voting.

    However, and this is the important bit, so pay attention. What a person does with their voting card is entirely their choice. They can vote if they want, they can screw it up and throw it in the rubbish, they can fold it into a paper aeroplane if they like. Which i have actually done. And got it into the rubbish bin first shot as well.

    There is no law that forces anyone to actually cast a vote. Australians do have the freedom of choice on whether to vote or not.
    I'm glad there are a lot of low information voters in the US who do not vote. I'd like to know that whoever casts a vote at least has a clue what is going on, even if they disagree with my interpretation of what is going on. People need to take voting seriously. If they can't do that then I don't think they should vote anyway and I'm glad if they don't. By the way, with very few exceptions, Republican lawmakers don't pass legislation to stop people from voting but we do have laws that only those people who are legally eligible to vote do. Many of the things you refer to are both checking to make sure only those eligible to vote do and also purge people from the rolls who have gone many elections without casting a vote. These people either don't want to vote or have other reasons for not voting, such as they don't live in that area anymore or maybe they are dead. And, people set for purging are notified of the purge and can stop the process if they want to. Many businesses purge files that have been inactive for long periods.

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    Re: Would you agree that mandatory voting is compelled speech?

    Quote Originally Posted by Crusader13 View Post
    Compelled speech - Wikipedia

    Do you think forcing citizens to vote between a limited number of parties/candidates in elections would qualify as coerced speech? (or, by association, coerced expression?)

    Here in Australia, voting is mandatory and the deviation between the major parties is marginal. If there are no candidates or parties who closely represent you or who you strongly relate with, you still need to vote for one.

    Ignoring the fact that this means many parties win free votes by simple top-of-mind strategies among clueless or uninterested voters, would you agree that this is a form of coerced expression?
    actually yes it is and forced vote is unconstitutional.

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    Re: Would you agree that mandatory voting is compelled speech?

    Quote Originally Posted by ttwtt78640 View Post
    It's the same as choosing not to vote.
    not really. not filling out a ballot is not different than marking none of the above.
    plus forced voting would be unconstitutional.

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    Re: Would you agree that mandatory voting is compelled speech?

    Quote Originally Posted by OrphanSlug View Post
    Mandatory voting does not equate to empowered and engaged voters, it just means forced voting.
    Maybe I misunderstood the OP's question. I'm unaware of any Dems proposing that voting cards literally need to be punched or mail-in ballots requiring a check mark for each and every race or ballot measure. If you know of someone proposing that, I'd be interested in reading about it.

    My wife and I have been voting by mail for a few years now and what a great improvement. Taking the time to get the the polling place so you can wait in line for an hour or two, is no way to run a government. What I'd like to see and what I've heard proposed is mailing registration forms and ballots to every household. Maybe use the same mailing list the IRS uses and like them, require a signed 'form' be sent back, in this case a registration or ballot (not at the same time). That's what should be required.

    However many candidates or measures the voter actually votes for would of course be entirely up to her/him. Anyone could return a signed blank ballot with no choices made if they're apathetic Americans.

    But of course that will never happen. Repubs will create as many new road blocks to registration and voting as they can as their recent new registration requirements effecting southern states with large black populations attests. As America diversifies and we becomes less white and conservative, the last thing they want (or need) is a huge increase in voter participation in future elections...
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    Re: Would you agree that mandatory voting is compelled speech?

    Quote Originally Posted by soylentgreen View Post
    Sigh!
    The Op here is either misdirecting all of you or just does not understand mandatory voting.

    Firstly, australia does have a mandatory voting system but on the brighter side the title is a misnomer. It really does not mean that you have to cast a vote.

    What it does mean and the way the australian system works is that every eligible voter in australia has their name on a voting register. And the law states that during the voting period the voter must get their name signed off on that register otherwise they face a fine. This is a far better system than america has where apparently politicians can make law changes that prevent people from voting.

    However, and this is the important bit, so pay attention. What a person does with their voting card is entirely their choice. They can vote if they want, they can screw it up and throw it in the rubbish, they can fold it into a paper aeroplane if they like. Which i have actually done. And got it into the rubbish bin first shot as well.

    There is no law that forces anyone to actually cast a vote. Australians do have the freedom of choice on whether to vote or not.
    Nice try mate. Show me where in Australian law it is written that you have a right to deface your voting ballot or return it blank. This is not a given right to Australian citizens.

    The way the law works is that you are legally required to attend the voting event and have your name checked off by collecting a card and approaching the ballot. Granted, what you do after that point cannot possibly be monitored so the government doesn't even try. But that doesn't mean you have the right to not vote. The way the law is currently is written is that you will be fined for not voting, which includes the intentional act of not selecting a given option. With electronic voting being rolled out and set to become the norm, the government will be able to track whether you voted correctly or not, which means you wouldn't be able to hide behind the red tape by casting an invalid vote or tearing up your card.

    Even if none of the above was an option, it doesn't negate the fact that you are still required to attend an event you may not support and express an opinion you may not want to express. That's the definition of compelled speech - it was explained in the Wiki article you so thoughtfully ignored.

    God I worry for the future of this country when so many citizens are willing to put up with restricted freedoms and make excuses for it. Unacceptable.
    Last edited by Crusader13; 03-11-19 at 07:10 PM.

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    Re: Would you agree that mandatory voting is compelled speech?

    Quote Originally Posted by Crusader13 View Post
    Compelled speech - Wikipedia

    Do you think forcing citizens to vote between a limited number of parties/candidates in elections would qualify as coerced speech? (or, by association, coerced expression?)

    Here in Australia, voting is mandatory and the deviation between the major parties is marginal. If there are no candidates or parties who closely represent you or who you strongly relate with, you still need to vote for one.

    Ignoring the fact that this means many parties win free votes by simple top-of-mind strategies among clueless or uninterested voters, would you agree that this is a form of coerced expression?
    I dont know anythign about austriala to really answer

    some questions:

    1.) can you vote for anybody you want including none of the above?
    2.) what happens if you dont vote

    IMO in the US I'd much rather have mandatory voting with the ability to vote forever or none of the above rather that gerrymandering and silenced voters
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    Re: Would you agree that mandatory voting is compelled speech?

    Quote Originally Posted by Moderate Right View Post
    I don't understand the point of the OP then when he says voting is mandatory and that you are forced to vote. Apparently you're not.
    True, it is not mandatory to actually vote. Once in a voting booth no one has the right to tell you what you must do with a voting paper. It is your choice whether to fill it out properly or leave it blank.
    The op's author simply has no idea what the mandatory voting law is about.

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    Re: Would you agree that mandatory voting is compelled speech?

    As a not-so-wise old philosopher once said, "Corporations are people too."
    “Fascism thrives in obscurity and darkness.”_ ― DaShanne Stokes.
    "Democracy Dies in Darkness."_ -- Washington Post

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    Re: Would you agree that mandatory voting is compelled speech?

    Quote Originally Posted by Moderate Right View Post
    I'm glad there are a lot of low information voters in the US who do not vote. I'd like to know that whoever casts a vote at least has a clue what is going on, even if they disagree with my interpretation of what is going on. People need to take voting seriously. If they can't do that then I don't think they should vote anyway and I'm glad if they don't. By the way, with very few exceptions, Republican lawmakers don't pass legislation to stop people from voting but we do have laws that only those people who are legally eligible to vote do. Many of the things you refer to are both checking to make sure only those eligible to vote do and also purge people from the rolls who have gone many elections without casting a vote. These people either don't want to vote or have other reasons for not voting, such as they don't live in that area anymore or maybe they are dead. And, people set for purging are notified of the purge and can stop the process if they want to. Many businesses purge files that have been inactive for long periods.
    That is not the information i am seeing. It appears that republicans especially are passing laws that make it difficult if not impossible for eligible voters to vote, for example.
    ‘They Don’t Really Want Us to Vote’: How Republicans Made It Harder - The New York Times
    Restrictions on voting, virtually all imposed by Republicans, reflect rising partisanship, societal shifts producing a more diverse America, and the weakening of the Voting Rights Act by the Supreme Court in 2013.

    In North Dakota, Republicans passed an ID law that disproportionally affected Native Americans, strong supporters of the state’s Democratic senator, Heidi Heitkamp, who is in an uphill fight. In Florida, New Hampshire, Texas and Wisconsin, among others, out-of-state university students face unusual hurdles to casting ballots.

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    Re: Would you agree that mandatory voting is compelled speech?

    Quote Originally Posted by Crusader13 View Post
    Nice try mate. Show me where in Australian law it is written that you have a right to deface your voting ballot or return it blank. This is not a given right to Australian citizens.

    The way the law works is that you are legally required to attend the voting event and have your name checked off by collecting a card and approaching the ballot. Granted, what you do after that point cannot possibly be monitored so the government doesn't even try. But that doesn't mean you have the right to not vote. The way the law is currently is written is that you will be fined for not voting, which includes the intentional act of not selecting a given option. With electronic voting being rolled out and set to become the norm, the government will be able to track whether you voted correctly or not, which means you wouldn't be able to hide behind the red tape by casting an invalid vote or tearing up your card.

    Even if none of the above was an option, it doesn't negate the fact that you are still required to attend an event you may not support and express an opinion you may not want to express. That's the definition of compelled speech - it was explained in the Wiki article you so thoughtfully ignored.

    God I worry for the future of this country when so many citizens are willing to put up with restricted freedoms and make excuses for it. Unacceptable.
    You do not have the right to deface your voting ballot. how silly can you be.
    What you do have a right to is a right to privacy and anonymity in casting your vote. No one can tell you what you must put on your voting paper and no one by law can look at what you are putting on your ballot paper. if a person wants to scribble obscenities on it there is no way anyone can stop them from doing so. There is no way anyone can tell who has done so.

    You really do not know how to make sense.

    if it is the case, and it is the case, that they cannot monitor what you do in the voting booth then how is it possible for them to fine you for not voting. Are they just magically guessing what you have done?

    And please do give me some bull**** about electronic voting systems being able to track voters. It is as you have already agreed, illegal for the government to track what a voter does in the booth. There is no reason to think and no one has made any claim that this will change just because voting is done electronically.

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