While giving a speech on the economy in Cleveland, Ohio yesterday, President Obama floated the idea of mandatory voting in the U.S. to both increase voter turnout (duh! mandating something does that), but also for what he says would reduce the influence of big money in politics.
“Other countries have mandatory voting,” Obama said Wednesday in Cleveland, where he spoke about the importance of middle class economics.
“It would be transformative if everybody voted — that would counteract money more than anything.”
How? Why would there be fewer ads just because everybody has to vote? President Obama went on to claim that it’s voter suppression that’s keeping people from voting:
“The people who tend not to vote are young, they’re lower income, they’re skewed more heavily toward immigrant groups and minorities,” Obama said. “There’s a reason why some folks try to keep them away from the polls.”
Nonsense. People aren’t voting because they can’t. People don’t vote because they don’t care. From Pew in 2006:
The survey also finds large differences between Americans who are not registered to vote or vote only rarely, and intermittent or regular voters. The two groups at the bottom of the voting participation scale are much less likely than regular or intermittent voters to believe that voting will make much of a difference. They also are less likely to agree with the statement: “I feel guilty when I don’t get a chance to vote.”
But, don’t worry. President Obama’s plan will make you care:
Well, not yet.
So, President Mandate — what would be the penalty for not voting, heh?
Or the NSA can track if you’ve voted or not…