C.V. Shreya, Tamil Nadu National Law University
Mandatory Voting Systems are based on the principle that voting is the civic duty of every voter and hence, a non negotiable aspect of democracy. This theory doesn’t view voting as a mere right of citizens but also as a responsibility, failure of fulfillment of which must be punished to promote deterrence. Decisions taken by democracies are far more legitimate when a higher percentage of the population participates, and this was recognized by the Belgium Government in 1892, becoming one of the first countries in the world to impose sanctions upon those who do not vote in elections. Today, more countries have joined this list, with the goal of increasing voter turnout and furthering the spirit of democracy. In India, too, discussions on the implementation of such a system have been in place in the Parliament since the enactment of The Representation of Peoples Act, 1950. While the initial position of statesmen in the country was clear regarding the impracticality of introducing such a system in India, the position of the country today is not as clear. Attempts have been made to implement the system in the country1, more on which will be discussed in the paper.
Hypothesis: Implementing a Compulsory Voting System in India will guarantee high voter turnout, an issue the Indian Electoral System has been struggling with since independence. This will ensure that the citizens of the world’s largest democracy are indeed responsible for electing their representatives in the government.