DO You Know? | 2019-01-03


DO You Know?

3 January, 2019 12:00 AM printer

•    In most places, elections are held on Sundays. Interestingly, countries in which English is the primary language tend to be the exception to this rule; in Canada, citizens vote on Mondays, while Brits vote on Thursdays, and Australians and New Zealanders on Saturdays.

•    Swedish and French voters are automatically registered. People in France and Sweden don’t need to worry about making time to register ahead of Election Day. The government automatically registers voters when they’re eligible - in France, that’s as soon as people turn 18. Sweden relies on tax registries to create lists of eligible citizens.

•    Voting is compulsory in Australia. Every Australian over 18 is required by law to register to vote and to participate in federal elections. Anyone who doesn’t show up on Election Day is fined around $15. Failure to pay that fine results in even steeper penalties and can result in a criminal charge.

•    Kids as young as 16 can rock the vote in Brazil. Since 1988, Brazilian citizens have had the right to vote at age 16. Sixteen and 17-year-olds are also eligible to vote in Austria, Nicaragua, and Argentina, and 17-year-olds can cast votes in Indonesia and Sudan.

    •           Voter turnout in the U.S. is extremely low compared to other developed countries. According to a 2016 report about voter turnout in developed countries, just 53.6 percent of Americans performed their civic duty during the 2012 election cycle. By contrast, Belgium saw the highest percentage of eligible voters turnout for its 2014 election; approximately 87.2 percent of Belgian citizens cast their votes.