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Kentucky Law Professor Calls for Mandatory Voting in Elections to Increase Turnout


If you can’t get people to do what you want them to do, what’s the lefty way to get it done?

FORCE them to do it.

Joshua Douglas, a Kentucky law professor, is promoting the idea of mandatory voting so voter turnout would improve. Douglas' thinking was prompted after Kentucky’s 30 to 31 percent voter turnout during its 2015 local elections.

“I think it’s horrible and a stain or our democracy,” Douglas told WKYT-TV. “To have such low turnout and to have local officials elected officials be elected by only 30 percent of the people showing up and being decided by roughly 16 percent of the electorate."

The professor authored the book “Vote for US,” in which he discusses methods that can “change the future of voting.” 

"We must do better,” Douglas said. “If we have a democracy where every person's vote should count and should be counted, then we have to find ways to improve turnout. I think we'd have a more informed electorate to learn about the candidates."

But would mandatory voting actually be a good thing? A lot of people aren’t interested in politics and forcing them to vote would probably only make the situation worse. Douglas’ viewpoint is obviously different from that.

“In Australia where they have mandatory voting and turnout of 90, 95 percent there’s no indication that voters are less educated,” he said. 

If you think you’re going to get away from voting on this law professor’s watch — you’ll be sorely disappointed, considering he’s in favor of imposing a “small fine” for no-shows, according to Campus Reform

"I'm not naive enough to think that mandatory voting is politically feasible in this country any time soon,” Douglas told the outlet in an email. “ But I would look to the experience of countries like Australia, which imposes a small fine (around $25) for not showing up to vote." 

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