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Today the UK headS to the polls. exercising our vote is a global issue

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It seems that big elections and big decisions are lurking over many highly influential nations across the world. Yes, today, December 12, the British population head over to the polls for the second time since the Brexit referendum happened in 2016, following which the then Conservative leader David Cameron announced his prompt resignation and went off somewhere to write a book about it all. But the UK isn't alone. In Israel, failing to form a government for the second time, Israelis will head to the polling stations in early 2020 in what will be a historic election. And then, of course, there's the United States of America and the monumental 2020 Presidential election looping but just 11 months away. 

What is important, however, is that today and in 2020 more substantially, Gen Zs will become the largest demographic, the biggest purchasing power group and a massive game-changer for democracy. The only question is, will they vote? 

Welcome back to FairPlanet's weekly roundup, and this time we're looking at voting. The privilege of exercising our vote and participating in democracy is often overlooked. Too many people think their vote does not count. People are oppressed from being empowered by it. People are not receiving enough information about it. If we want the world around us to change – for our leaders to represent something new – voting must become an assertion nature, not a perhaps. 

Read. Debate: Engage. 

The good

Voting is compulsory in 22 countries

Perhaps a conflicting move and indeed a subject for much debate, but countries around the world are beginning to make voting compulsory in a bid to keep democracy in tact.

Voting is compulsory in 22 countries in the world

In these countries, if an elector does not present themselves to a polling station on election day, they may be fined or have to carry out some form of community service.

While 22 countries use some sort of governing law to urge people to excercise their voting right, only 13 countries enforce their laws. Here is a breakdown of these countries and their laws. 

Australia
Non voters can be fined

Cyprus
Non voters can be fined

Chile
Non voters can be fined

Peru
Non voters may be banned from banking or carrying out administrative transactions for three months, and may also be fined

Singapore
Non voters may be removed from the electoral register

Brazil
Non voters may be barred from receiving wages or takingprofessional exams. They may not be allowed to enrol at some schools or universities

Uruguay
Non voters may be fined or some of their civil rights may be removed

Nauru
Non voters can be fined

Luxembourg
Non voters can be fined

Liechtenstein
Non voters can be fined

Argentina
Non voters may be fined or some of their civil rights may be removed

Turkey
Non voters can be fined

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The bad

Women are least likely to vote

 

Although voter registration is on the rise across many countries the world over, there are certain demographics that continue to remain the lowest in terms of voter turnout. Women under 30 is one of those groups, currently least likely to vote in the UK and most likely to be an undecided voter. 

On the other side of the pond, in the US, while more people than ever are registering to vote, turnout on election day is one of the lowest in the world. With this issue in mind, HeadCount is a not-for-profit organisation that sees the potential in music events as a place to speak directly to potential voters and give them the information they need in order to feel confident and valued as they head to the polls. 

Operating in the US currently, HeadCount's goal is to “translate the power of music into real action." With a network of 20,000 volunteers and with the support of numerous music festivals, producers and musicians, the organisation as to date successfully registered approximately half a million voters. 

Visit their website to learn about volunteer opportunities at a music concert or festival near you.

 

headcount

Volunteer with HeadCount to promote voting registration through music

by Yair Oded

HeadCount get thousands of music festivals goers to exercise their voting rights in the U.S. and participate in the shaping of their democracy.
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