Of course compulsory voting is a good thing _ Van Badham _ Comment is free _ theguardian

I t was the understanding that compulsory voting isnt

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Unformatted text preview: was the understanding that compulsory voting isn't so much about the state making the people vote, but the people making the state accountable f or enabling universal access to the vote. W hile voting remains compulsory, that the whole nation is obliged to go to the polls, so must the polls go – physically and practically – to the whole nation. This is why, unlike other countries, we have simple electoral enrolment procedures, voting on weekends, easilyorganised postal-voting, ballot boxes in nursing homes and hospitals, an independent electoral commission, and a system that must consistently identif y and remove obstacles to voting. GTA V official trailer Watch the trailer for the latest outing in Rockstar Games' Grand Theft Auto series Spurs: Villas-Boas w ary of transfer talk Spurs manager loathe to talk about signings after Chelsea hijacked Willian signing I n countries where voting is optional, even a democratic state has no such obligation to enf ranchise its citizenry. That "not having enough time" to vote is the single biggest reason citizens of other W estern democracies don't make it to the polls is exactly why voting is held on working days in some countries, with districts potentially hostile to a ruling party's electoral f ortunes subject to extraordinary suppression ef f orts. I n the year 2000, f or example, thousands of citizens living in a democracy – most of them belonging to a racial minority – were wrongly added to a "scrub list" and were never added to voting rolls. This wasn't Croatia with its recent 20.74% turnout, but the US state of Florida during the Bush v Gore election. The controversy is rumbling on: Florida's current Republican governor has recently asked to resume a f iercely contested "voter purge" – a move which has been described as a partisan attack on Hispanic and Democratic voters. I n the same vein, this week the US state of North Carolina passed "the mother of all voter suppression bills". Amongst myriad active disenf ranchisements to voting, I D checks have become stricter, the early voting used by up to 70% of Af rican-American voters in 2012 has been cut of f a week early, local election boards have lost their power to keep polls open to deal with crowds, and any voter who by accident votes in the wrong...
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