Linked by Howard Fosdick on Thu 8th Nov 2012 20:12 UTC
Editorial In the United States, state and local authorities are in charge of voting and the country uses more than a half dozen different voting technologies. As a result, the country can't guarantee that it accurately counts national votes in a timely fashion. This article discusses the problem and potential solutions to the U.S. voting dilemma.
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Voting isn't actually mandatory in Australia. You are merely required to attend a polling booth and get your name marked off. What you do with the ballot paper after that is your own business.

Failing to attend a polling station attracts a very small fine. Nothing happens if you don't pay the fine.

I know (from personal experience) that if you don't pay the fine (and don't have a valid reason/excuse), eventually you do (silently - you're not informed of it at the time) get an arrest warrant. The police have better things to do than actually arrest you, but it does show up on things like police checks, etc.

I'd assume (but don't know) that if you ever get arrested for any reason they'd append any outstanding "failure to vote" charges to your other charges.

- Brendan

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