California proposes mandatory voting

The golden rule in the Golden State is that you will do what the government tells you. And that increasingly applies to virtually every aspect of your life. Soon you may be adding voting to that list if a new bill introduced in the state assembly is passed into law. Yes, California is actually considering making voting mandatory for all residents who are registered. They aren’t specifying what the penalty for noncompliance will be because that decision is being left up to the secretary of state. (LA Times)

Following a series of sweeping expansions to expand access to voting in recent years, a California lawmaker is pushing to require voters to cast a ballot in future elections.

The proposal, introduced in the state Assembly on Tuesday, would be unprecedented and probably challenged in court should it ultimately become law. It would place the burden for determining the civil penalty and the ultimate punishment on the secretary of state, California’s chief elections officer…

Various academic studies through the years have sought to determine whether one political party would benefit more than others should voting be mandatory. Supporters of such efforts have argued it could inspire elected officials to better represent the interests of a broader spectrum of citizens. Opponents, on the other hand, have said that mandatory voting could be in conflict with the right to free speech guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution.

Remember that California has a motor voter program in place. In other words, every adult who has a license to drive is registered to vote and under this law, every one of them would have to cast a ballot whether they liked any of the candidates or referendum proposals or not. That is, unless they include a provision allowing you to cast a blank ballot, which would only heighten the idiocy of this measure. And since when can you pass a law without specifying what the penalty for violating it is?

If I lived there I would probably cast my first vote against the guy who came up with this bill. That would be Assemblyman Marc Levine (D-San Rafael), the author of this scheme. He’s quoted as saying “Democracy is not a spectator sport. It requires the active participation of all its citizens.”

Except that’s not really true, is it? There are countries that have mandatory voting, including Australia, but they don’t have constitutionally mandated free speech. In America, you have the right to vote (assuming you’re of age and don’t commit any felonies), but not an obligation to do so. You have the right to speak, but also to remain silent if you wish. And voting is a form of speech.

Here’s another question. What about the illegal aliens who inevitably wind up being mistakenly registered under the motor voter program? Will it be mandatory for them to illegally vote and will they be punished if they fail to do so? Of course not, since illegal aliens are a protected class in California.

Hopefully, there’s still someone left in California with enough common sense to challenge this law if it’s passed. And really, anyone with a driver’s license would have standing to bring the case forward. In the meantime, this bit of news represents yet another reason to flee California if you have the means to do so.