[E-voting] Compulsory voting

Catherine Ansbro cansbro at eircom.net
Fri Sep 9 01:38:53 IST 2005

David GLAUDE wrote:

>Michael McMahon wrote:
>>Ita Ryan wrote:
>>>This is how, in my opinion, voter turnout should be
>>>- Make it as easy as possible to register
>>Eg. Co. Meath has an online registration page at
>Why do you need to register to vote?
>Is there no "database" of every citizen above 18?
No.  At least, not yet.

>Is there no piece of identity that can "proof" who you are?
>In Belgium you vote near your legal residence (the place where you are
>suppose to sleep).
Here it's up to you--it has to be someplace where you live.  But lots of 
people sleep one place during the week and another place during the 
weekend--especially students and some construction workers.  You could 
pick either place to register to vote.  (Some people are registered in 2 
or more places.  This isn't illegal.  It's only illegal if you actually 
vote in more than one place.)

>In Belgium you do receive an "invitation" to come to vote a few week
>before the vote.
>If you don't get yours you can ask why and ask for one until the morning
>of the day of the election.
Lucky you!  Here you can register easily by mail up to a certain date.  
(In fact it's so easy you can add lots of extra names, because the form 
allows you to register up many voters from the same family.  Some people 
have registered their dog, for example.  The only times I've heard of 
them checking up are when a name is obviously foreign.  Talk about 
prejudice.)  After that date, up until about 2 weeks before the election 
you can only register by going in person to a police station with ID.  
And after that deadline, up until the election, you can't register at 
all.  So if your name has been removed by someone "by accident" and you 
only discover this in the last 2 weeks before the election, it is your 
tough luck--you can't vote.  This is lousy.  It means people who get 
interested in the last weeks before an election can't vote.

>Anybody can go and check the list of elector to detect ghost, dead voter
>or if someone you know is on the list.
>Candidate can get a list of all the elector in their place including
>name and address... however the limitation of the usage of that list is
>well define. I use to be "on paper" but now they get that on CD-ROM.
We can see this too, by looking at a printed list in every library, 
police station and post office.  Only candidates are allowed to receive 
their own personal copy of the complete list (either on paper or on 
CD).  The use of the list is well-defined.

>if you have good reason not to be present but
>you want your vote to be counted then you can give your vote to someone
>else (proxy-voting)... someone you trust.
Proxy-voting--wow, that's something I never heard of in relation to 
elections.  (Just votes for corporate AGMs.)  That sounds like an 
interesting idea.  But how do they then check the "identity" of the 
vote?  If you're voting by proxy do you just give your ballot to a 
friend and they take it in for you?  Is there something else they have 
to take in to prove it is from you?  But couldn't that bring about voter 
intimidation?  I can imagine party operatives demanding that elderly 
voters hand over their ballot so that they can fill them in and force 
them to vote for a certain candidate.  I don't think that would ever be 
accepted here, since the ballot has to be secret according to our 

>In Belgium we are lucky:
>1) We vote on the sunday.
>2) We vote near the place where we officially sleep.
>3) You can get your travel by train reemburs.
>Think about it... in Greece you vote at the place where you were born!!!
>even if you moved to another island and require 5H to get there. BUT in
>Greece political party do organise travel by bus so that voter can
>return to the place they were born on the day of the vote. This might be
>the back to the root day, a day of nostalgy where you meet old friend
>that did not move... it has some social value. ;-)
Wow--having to vote where you were born.  That would be really difficult 
in the USA!  Very interesting that in Belgium they reimburse your train 
fare.  Here that would be a real joke because there is so little public 

>>>- Make it as easy as possible to check your vote
>>>hasn't been mysteriously deleted
>Your VOTE can not disapear because it is a piece of paper in a crystal
>box and your paper ballot is handle by other non partisan citizen under
>the scrutiny of party representative.
Ita meant to say "Make it as easy as possible to check your vote 
REGISTRATION hasn't been mysteriously deleted."  (Clarified this in a 
later post.)

>>Absolutely. Also, the problem with ballot spoiling would be dramatically
>>reduced if people knew what a spoilt ballot actually is.
Believe it or not, they don't inform anyone of the rules.  Only when I 
was at the count did I learn that if you wrote a comment on your ballot 
it would invalidate it.

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