Politics & Government Mandatory voting, political mandates and the Minnesota Legislature’s agenda Stephanie Curtis November 9, 2012, 8:30 AM Nov 9, 2012 12 The Friday Roundtable guests will give Kerri their opinion of mandatory voting and how the DFL will handle their newly-regained control of the Legislature. What do you think of mandatory voting? Should the United States have mandatory voting? And, we’ve talked a lot about what the White House and the U.S. Congress should be tackling in D.C., but what do you think should be on the docket in St. Paul? –Stephanie Curtis, social media host ‹ Older Poll: Who was the best Bond? Newer › Who wins at the voting booth with demographic changes? Browse by category Arts & Culture Education Behind the scenes Science Economy, Business & Jobs News & Trends Politics & Government Books Health & Medicine Field Notes Book Lists About the blogger Stephanie Curtis firstname.lastname@example.org • @stephcurtis Stephanie Curtis has produced events, daily news shows, documentaries, conferences and call-ins for MPR News. She also was among the pioneering producers who launched The Current. You can hear her discuss movies every Thursday on The Cube Critics. Jamila Hakam While I understand Kerri’s point that it’s an obligation to vote, I think that making it mandatory would be a mistake. It’s the ‘you can lead a horse to water’ problem. I would worry that people who really didn’t want to vote, but were basically dragged to the voting booth because of a law, would cause havoc with the election results by just filling in those ovals randomly, and this would be counterproductive and negate the intent of making voting mandatory. Mike M Kerri, apparently you are only hanging around with people like you. Overwhelming numbers of people do not have the initiative, motivation, or intellect to become properly informed about issues and candidates. Nothing will change that. Paul – Duluth, MN Forcing someone to do something is not an example of freedom. I spent most of my life choosing NOT to vote. Although I now take part in the voting process, I do not feel that people should be required to vote. I think that there is already a large amount of voters who VOTE WRONG or at least vote uninformed and close-minded. Forcing people who would not normally vote would just increase this type of ignorant voting. It wouldn’t be an accurate vote if people just fill in random ovals without caring. Yes, it would be wonderful if everyone accepted their part in the political machine. Perhaps the U.S. government needs to be more personable and interesting to get more people to care. For a long time, hardly any political position failed to create optimism or confidence. This is the main problem causing the lack of voters – the government just ins’t engaging the people’s attention in a positive way. Kate I am more concerned that vulnerable/marginalized voter’s rights would be denied by an ID amendment than I am by the idea that a politician’s race outcome might be affected by system mistakes, glitches, or abuse. I was concerned that the close races would be recounted fairly. This is less important to me than the idea that college students, the disabled, the elderly, and people in unstable housing situations be able to exercise their civil rights. ziggy For some, it very well might pique their interest, wherein they will research candidates and become more invested in their city, state or country, because they are required to give a darn. For others, being required to vote would be disastrous. There will always be those who don’t care, and how would they vote? It could skew results toward unqualified candidates (one that most people would consider unqualified, not party-affiliated). That said, I already know an awful lot of people who are uneducated about candidates in general and still vote. I’ve doorknocked many a local campaign and am always floored that people don’t know they have State Reps and Senators (as opposed to our US Reps & Senators). Sarah S I am extremely liberal. I voted NO twice. However, I would not be opposed to voter ID usage in the *far* future. If we had the database and ID practices already in place and verified that it worked for citizens BEFORE placing a requirement on voting, then I wouldn’t have a problem with it. But to apply requirements for which we don’t already have the foundation in place means that the government was putting obstacles in front of its citizens to vote. Give citizens free photo IDs FIRST, see how much it costs and how accessible it is for people to update IDs when they move. Set up a database with the Secretary of State to start keeping track of citizen profiles and the ID information on there. Then, try using the photo ID to vote… And DON’T do it through the constitution! And P.S. It seems ridiculously hypocritical for Republicans to moan and groan about government spending and then propose an amendment for which they have no idea of the cost. annie A comment on Phil Krinkie’s rationale for keeping out even a tiny amount of ineligible voters because it could tip the balance in one of these super-close MN legislative races….while Mr. Krinkie would exclude those, say 3 ineligible voters who could change the outcome in a 2-vote margin, what about the far greater number (even, in this case, say only 10) of ELIGIBLE voters who were excluded based on the strict ID requirements? And to another of his points, same-day registration is not only done by those who could have registered early but didn’t, it’s often done by those who have had name or address changes just in the last few weeks before the election and thus missed the pre-registration deadline. So, no more weddings in late October (like mine), no more moving at the end of your lease if it’s up Oct. 31, etc. if we do away with same-day. Dave Johnson I am a retired sailor…. yes everyone must vote, the poor need to standup and let their feeling be known…..bring back the active draft also, so everyone is part of this national service….stop sitting on the side being a naysayer, the rich need to put their blood on the line just like the poor kid from the wrong side of the track! . http://www.lukeweinhagen.com Luke Weinhagen Mandatory does not equal better informed about. How well do you know the tax code? That has been required your entire life and impacts everyone. Making something mandatory makes the average person, after a generation or two, pay less attention to the issue rather than more. Separate point: In a government of the people, that gets it authority from the people, how to the people withdraw that authority? If voting is required, they have no non-violent way to withdraw their consent. The real question is, how low does participation need to get before we acknowledge the withdrawal of the consent of the governed. Thomas Mr Krinke stated that you had to reside in MN for 3 months in order to vote , and that election judges did not know the rules. As a judge myself, it states on the secretary of states office web site that you must have resided in MN for twenty days before the election. Also does Mr. Krinke believe a homeless MN does not deserve to vote(via a voucher)? It upsets me that people don’t see the “others” among us! Thomas Grant Sandra Weston The Democrats lost power in the 80′s precisely because they did not ram through their own agenda. The Republicans took power by saying that they would use it. And they did. One of your guests said that the ruling party had to take into account the fact that there were people with other agendas. Since when did Republicans care about other people’s agendas? AND I REALLY WANT AN ANSWER TO THAT. But Democrats have always considered other peoples agendas. That is how they lost power last time. You will continue to falsify the discussion as long as you continue to speak of Democrats controlling things. Democrats don’t deal in control. They never have. They still don’t. Republicans deal in control. They always have. They always will. Daniel Moses Having lived in Argentina during an election cycle, I have some experience with mandatory voting. It was HORRIBLE. I was there as a missionary worker and worked extensively with a population that wouldn’t have voted if not for the mandatory requirement. Their criteria for choosing a candidate? “He gave me a free hot dog the day of the election.” While I would not stop someone from voting for that reason, I would hate to force people to vote that will make their decision without being informed. Candidates didn’t even try to talk about policies. They could get the votes with cheesy marketing tactics. I already find it hard enough in the USA to determine what policies a candidate will put at the forefront of their term. With mandatory voting I fear I would have no clue. I realize that Argentina is not the same as the USA. But the fact still stands that candidates would have a better return on investment advertising to the new demographic (people that don’t care about policies electoin). Don’t get me wrong, I want everyone to vote. I also don’t think everyone that doesn’t vote doesn’t care. But I don’t want someone voting that doesn’t want to and won’t put any mental effort into it. I won’t stop them from voting, but I also won’t make them vote and in so doing create a large incentive to funnel dollars into more cheesy advertising than we already have.