What Are the Pros and Cons of Compulsory Voting?

Pros of compulsory voting include a higher turnout, meaning more votes, which in turn gives a better overall impression of what the people want, whereas disadvantages include the fact that minorities may not have as strong of a voice, and money often needs to be spent in order to enforce compulsory voting laws. Australia is one of the best-known examples of a country that uses a compulsory voting system.

Additional benefits of a compulsory voting system include the fact that government policy becomes less able to be tailored to particular classes, most notably the wealthy. As the majority of the electorate have to be considered if a party wishes to secure their votes, policy formation has to keep the people's best interests and desires at heart.

Furthermore, voters become more engaged when a compulsory voting system is in place. This also means that political parties and candidates can focus on addressing their main issues, such as overall government direction, rather than campaigning for voter turnout.

Some additional disadvantages, however, include the increased likelihood of donkey votes. These votes are cast by members of the electorate that are not willing to engage in politics, but given the legal requirement to vote, will often vote randomly.