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Don’t want to vote? Pay the price

By paperboy - 14 October 2009 14

The ABC is reporting that almost 500 Canberrans have been summonsed to court for failing to vote in last years election.

The documented $10 fine turns out to be a bit of a furphy, because many also had to pay $50 in court costs.

Around a third of those who didn’t vote managed to get off without penalty. The other two third were fined.

Especially interesting was the Chief Magistrate’s comments that those most likely to not vote are Australians. People from overseas apparently relish the opportunity to vote.

What’s Your opinion?


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14 Responses to
Don’t want to vote? Pay the price
BabyGirl1574 7:28 pm 17 Oct 09

I’ve just turned 18 years old and barely understand the voting system, let alone politics or anything like that… And to be honest, I really don’t care either.. I think I’ll just pay the damn fine.

bd84 9:31 pm 15 Oct 09

I thought the offenders were only put through the courts if they chose to contest the fine after their reason was rejected. Otherwise it was a fine in the mail with payment details. Maybe I was misinformed..

Holden Caulfield 8:47 pm 15 Oct 09

“Especially interesting was the Chief Magistrate’s comments that those most likely to not vote are Australians. People from overseas apparently relish the opportunity to vote.”

I didn’t realise tourists were allowed to vote in Australian elections. 😉

dvaey 7:28 pm 15 Oct 09

taco said :

I believe I should have the right to abstain from voting if I so choose.

Only politicians are allowed to abstain from involvement in a vote, citizen.

busgirl 7:26 pm 15 Oct 09

…there are people in other countries, less fortunate than our own lucky country, who would give their left arm…hell probably their left leg too…for the privilege to vote. Do the old donkey vote if that’s what you want but don’t think you have the right to complain about how one single thing in this country is run if you don’t at least get off your arse and vote to try and make a difference…morons.

GnT 4:18 pm 15 Oct 09

p1 has a point. We don’t have compulsory voting, we have compulsory attendance. If you don’t want to vote, just take your ballot and throw it in the bin. With pre-poll, postal, absentee voting and elections held on a Saturday, it’s pretty easy to do your civic duty.

p1 4:10 pm 15 Oct 09

Dragging 500 people people through the courts for not voting is a waste of resources and everybody’s time.

While I agree, f there was no fine type arrangement, then we would end up with de-facto non-compulsory voting. Which personally I am against, but like I said, feel free to get it changed…

taco 2:08 pm 15 Oct 09

I believe I should have the right to abstain from voting if I so choose.

Dragging 500 people people through the courts for not voting is a waste of resources and everybody’s time.

p1 12:46 pm 15 Oct 09

If you don’t want to vote, there is nothing stopping you from getting your name marked off (pre-poll of on the day) then not writing anything on the paper.

If you have intentionally not voted, or been too lazy, well then that is why there is a fine. Don’t like compulsory voting? Then get the law changed.

Thoroughly Smashed 12:41 pm 15 Oct 09

Ralph said :

Chief Magistrate Ron Cahill noted that most of the people charged appeared to be Australian born.

1) Irrelevant; and

2) A racist comment, in my opinion.

It’s only racist if you assume there’s only one race of Australians. The irony…

And irrelevant? Come off it.

S4anta 12:22 pm 15 Oct 09

Ralph said :

Chief Magistrate Ron Cahill noted that most of the people charged appeared to be Australian born.

1) Irrelevant; and

2) A racist comment, in my opinion.

Shame on the Chief Magistrate, he must resign.

I disagree, i think its high time for Aussies to realise how easy we have it down here, if you don’t vote you deserve a foot up the bum.

Ralph 10:52 am 15 Oct 09

Chief Magistrate Ron Cahill noted that most of the people charged appeared to be Australian born.

1) Irrelevant; and

2) A racist comment, in my opinion.

Shame on the Chief Magistrate, he must resign.

GnT 8:29 am 15 Oct 09

From the ACT Electoral Commission website:

In Australia the law says that if you are entitled to be enrolled then you must enrol to vote in Federal and State or Territory elections and referendums.

dvaey 10:58 pm 14 Oct 09

FTA: But over the last fortnight, nearly 300 people have been convicted and fined $50. None of them provided an explanation.

Some of the people told the ACT Magistrates Court they had been sick on election day or simply forgot.

Sounds to me like some people provided an explanation to me?

I think voting is important in this country, but it seems wrong to force people to vote under threat of prosecution. Those who go door-to-door to sign up voters, can at times be frustrating too. One gentleman once came to my door and told me its illegal to not be on the roll, even when I questioned if it was only illegal not to vote, he insisted it was illegal not to the roll for any person. I wonder how many people are on the roll because they were deceived and never wished to be on there in the first place?

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