Compulsory voting

Some years ago during one of our state elections I decided that I didn't want to vote for any of the candidates (none of them were worthy), and since I wasn't going to vote for any of them, I decided to not even go and put a blank voting slip in.

Then I find out that our electoral commission gets a bit narky about this and wants to fine you.  Which is odd considering that, by law you are allowed to “not vote” by putting a blank form in (you're not actually required to write anything, nor make any sort of mark, at all, on the ballot paper).  There's rules that state that it must be written on the ballot paper that you don't have to mark it, and laws that you can get out of voting for one of four reasons, one of them being for any “proper” reason.

I'd tend to think that a proper reason was that you weren't going to vote anyway, in accordance with the voting regulations.  Yet the system thinks that because we have a law named “compulsary” voting, that the name of the law totally negates what's written in it.

And after studying our state electoral act, and the voting regulations, I discover that nowhere in it does it say you have to go to the voting station and have your name signed off anyway.  So according to the law, you don't actually “have” to do anything.

But it gets stupider still.  Then, for refusing to pay the fine (all of $17, which they have no real justification for applying to you), they'll take you to court, and threaten you with jail, all for not voting.  However, if you don't mind paying the fine, it's completely okay to have not voted.

Some free country we live in.  Damn bloody silly laws too.  If I'm not going to buy something, I don't go down to the shops and not buy something.  If I'm not going to ask my politician to do something for me, I don't go to their office and not ask them to do anything for me.  If I don't want any of these people in power, I'm not going to give them my vote.  And if I'm not going to vote, I don't bother going to somewhere out of my way and do nothing.

The electoral commission can get stuffed.


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