Mandatory voting occurs in a country when the country requires the citizens to vote. In some countries, there are penalties for not voting, while in others it is just a compulsory requirement to live there. Some countries have it in certain regions, while other countries will have the law nationwide.
Countries With Mandatory Voting:
- Fiji Islands
Some of these countries levy penalties in the way of fines and other consequences for failure to vote.
Argentina is a country where failure to comply with mandatory voting laws results in penalties of a fine. Individuals in violation are not permitted to hold public office for one year after the offense. Some exceptions such as health or distance from polling stations may apply.
Australia has a fine of $20 for those that do not comply with mandatory voting laws.
Austria requires a valid reason for not voting and will levy a 1,000 schilling fine for violations, the equivalent of approximately $70 USD.
Reprimands and fines are the penalties for not voting in Belgium, but citizens can send proxies to vote for them if they hold power of attorney.
Voting is optional in Brazil for citizens that can not read, but there are fines for citizens that can and do not vote.
Cyprus considers it a criminal offense to ignore voting regulations. It could result in one month in jail and a fine.
Civil rights are removed from those in Ecuador who do not vote, although it is unclear what those rights would be.
In Fiji, the fines for not voting include a $20 fine, and a $50 fine if you don’t register to vote.
There is a $5 penalty for citizens that do not vote.
In Thailand, citizens that do not comply with voting regulations will lose their rights to vote in future elections. It is unclear how long that penalty will last, but voting is considered a serious offense. A clear cause provided will mitigate that rule and permit citizens to abstain from voting.
Uruguay is another country where suffrage played an important role in the nation’s history. The law requires every citizen of age to fulfill the requirements of voting. Fines are levied for citizens that do not.