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Compulsory voting – It’s not a tax, it’s a penalty, or something

2017/03/19

The poll tax emerged in some states of the United States in the late 19th century as part of the Jim Crow laws.

New Yorkers who don’t vote would pay $10 fine under assemblywoman’s bill

“Compulsory voting is a system in which voters are obliged to vote in elections or attend a polling place on voting day. If an eligible voter does not attend a polling place, or lodge a postal vote, he or she may be subject to a penalty such as fines or community service.”  — Compulsory voting – Wikipedia

New York Rep. Deborah Glick argued her bill would combat New York’s continuing problems with low voter turnout.

 “Some people without any brains do an awful lot of talking, don’t you think?” … “Well, I suppose they do.”   L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

ALBANY — A state lawmaker from Manhattan wants to make it costly for New Yorkers not to vote.

Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, a Democrat, introduced legislation this week that would establish “compulsory voting” in the state and punish those who don’t vote with a $10 fine.

“Mandatory voting would drastically increase civic participation and transform the political arena by making politicians more reflective of the constituents that elected them,” Glick wrote in a memo submitted with the bill.

Under Glick’s bill, any eligible voter who fails to vote would be hit with the $10 fine unless they have a “valid excuse” why they couldn’t do so. The legislation does not specify what constitutes a valid excuse.

Any fines collected would be used to improve the electoral process, the memo stated.

Glick’s bill drew prompt scorn from Senate Elections Committee Chairman Fred Akshar (R-Binghamton), who gave it little chance of ever being enacted.

“Last time I checked, this was the United States of America and people have the right to vote or not to vote,” Akshar said.

Akshar said Glick’s bill represented a “regressive policy that would hurt the poor and those on fixed incomes.”

Barbara Bartoletti, legislative director of the New York State League of Women Voters, was also critical of the bill.

“I doubt that we would support penalizing people who don’t vote,” Bartoletti said. “Often, it is a silent protest on their part to not vote.”

Glick did not respond to a request for comment.

In the memo submitted with the bill, Glick argued her bill would combat New York’s continuing problems with low voter turnout. She noted that Australia has a similar compulsory voting system and has seen turnouts of 90% or more.

[Byline Glenn Blain]

17 March 2017
NY Daily News (Edited)

“Mass delusion is an important tool of oppressors because they can’t survive free expression.”


Amendment XXIV

Section 1

The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.

Section 2

The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.


The 24th Amendment Ended the Poll Tax January 23, 1964
Imagine that you are finally old enough to vote in your first election. But, do you have enough money? Money, to vote? Not long ago, citizens in some states had to pay a fee to vote in a national election. This fee was called a poll tax. On January 23, 1964, the United States ratified the 24th Amendment to the Constitution, prohibiting any poll tax in elections for federal officials.

Many Southern states adopted a poll tax in the late 1800s. This meant that even though the 15th Amendment gave former slaves the right to vote, many poor people, both blacks and whites, did not have enough money to vote.

Corruptissima re publica plurimæ leges. (The more corrupt the state, the more laws‘) — Tacitus, Annals Book III, XXVII

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