by Laura Haefeli

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A new proposal is heading to the assembly floor that would force registered voters in California to cast a ballot — or else.

Assemblymember Marc Levine (D-Marin County) introduced AB 2070 on Tuesday which would require all eligible California voters to vote in every election. The law would be enforced by the Secretary of State.

But, the half-page piece of legislation neglects to suggest any repercussions should you choose not to vote. In a press release, Levine wrote in part, “California is a national leader on expanding voting rights to its citizens… This is not a time to be complacent at the ballot box.”

The lack of consequences laid out in the bill have left a lot of questions unanswered.

Mike Heller of Sacramento doesn’t think voting should be compulsory.

“Everybody should vote. I don’t think everybody should be forced to vote,” Heller said.

Law professor John Myers broke down the legality of the proposed law.

READ: Bill Proposes Virginity Testing Ban In California

“One of the fundamental problems with doing that is that it is a massive, in my judgment, invasion of our fundamental right to exercise or not exercise our right to vote,” Myers said. “Some democracies in the world do require people to vote. It has never been an idea that’s caught on in the United States.”

Rachel Pyle studied abroad in Argentina for three months, where there is a compulsory voting law. She says the fine for not voting did not seem to make much of a difference.

“If people didn’t want to vote it’s just a $10 fine and it didn’t really matter either way,” Pyle said.

Other countries, including Brazil and Belgium, also fine citizens who do not vote.

But, Assemblymember Levine is hopeful that the bold move will get more people to the ballot box, writing in part: “Democracy is not a spectator sport – it requires the active participation of all its citizens.”

Despite the assemblymember’s enthusiasm, it seems to be a hard pass across the board for the voting public CBS13 spoke with.

Comments (6)
  1. rene latosa says:

    how many years do you get for not voting….I can steal 950.00 worth of goods in SF and get a citation…..

  2. And how far is this Marin assemblyNazi aka Pol Pot #2 from mandating HOW voters are to vote, and specifically for whom. This mentality of the CA Dem party is the reason my entire subdivision no longer votes Dem.

    1. cheetoincharge says:

      “No one in my house will ever vote dem!” screams man – alone in home – to no one.

  3. Willy Cham says:

    People don’t vote because they’re fed up with our governments, the candidates, and the office holders. The office holders are never held accountable nor responsible for their actions. The office holders represent special interest groups, campaign donors, and their parties , long before they would ever represent their constituents. They’re tired of politicians not staying within spending limits of the tax revenues brought in and kept raising the state and national debts. Forcing people to vote may not get the results they are hoping for.

  4. John Sarsfield says:

    “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

  5. Rochelle Crosson says:

    we should start by allowing those convicted of felonies to vote and have a ballot box in the prisons. I dont believe their right to vote should have been taken away in the first place. The laws affect them too so they should have a voice.

Leave a Reply