Fun Election Facts
I know, hard to believe "fun" and "election" can be in the same sentence!
Voters have not always cast their ballots in secret. Until the end of the 19th century, voters were in full view of their neighbors. This made elections susceptible to bribes and threats, thus the change to secret balloting.
Elections in the U.S. are still mostly very low tech with paper ballots remaining a staple. Electronic voting machines were expected to eliminate paper ballots but concerns about reliability and conducting recounts have kept us tethered to paper.
Australians who are 18 or over are legally bound to register to vote and cast ballots. There is a fine for non-compliance. There about 24 nations with mandatory voting laws, but only 10 of them actually enforce them.
In the country of Liechtenstein, residents get to vote whether someone should be allowed to become a citizen. One of the few ways to gain citizenship in their 36,000 population is to live there for 3 years with a visa. After that, the residents cast ballots to decide if citizenship will be granted.
54% of registered voters in the U.S. cast ballots in the 2012 general election. By contrast, the average voter turnout was 66% in all presidential and parliamentary elections around the world.
New Zealand falls silent on Election Day. It is a criminal offense to use media of any kind to influence the votes of others. Political parties are even directed to un-publish their Facebook pages. Election billboards are banned, as are protests, demonstrations and marches.
Why is the general election held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November? It is because most residents, when the nation was mostly agrarian, had to travel a good distance to vote. Monday wouldn't work because most folks would have to begin their journey on Sunday, which conflicted with Sunday worship. They never wanted Election Day to fall on the first of November, because that is All Saints Day and most merchants typically did their books from the preceding month on the first.
BOTTOM LINE - DO YOUR CIVIC DUTY - GET OUT AND VOTE
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