22 countries where voting is mandatory

BY  
Voters line up at a polling station during Brazil's national election in Belo Holizonte on Oct. 26, 2014. In Brazil, voting is mandatory for those who are eligible. Photo by Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/Getty Images

Voters line up at a polling station during Brazil’s national election in Belo Holizonte on Oct. 26, 2014. In Brazil, voting is mandatory for those 18 and over. Photo by Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/Getty Images

Despite all of the U.S. media’s fanfare about Tuesday’s midterm elections, most eligible voters likely will duck their civic duties on Election Day. Historically, nearly one-third fewer U.S. voters show up to the polls during a midterm election than a presidential election.

However, 22 nations around the world make voting mandatory for its citizens, often starting at age 18, according to the CIA World Factbook. Several of these countries are in Latin America with a handful allowing citizens to age out of compulsory voting by as early as age 65. In Australia, failure to vote can result in a $20 fine, The New York Times reported.

Altogether, an estimated 744 million people live in nations with compulsory voting laws.

Country Age of
Eligibility for
Mandatory Voting
Population
Argentina 18 43,024,374
Australia 18 22,507,617
Belgium 18 10,449,361
Bolivia 18 10,631,486
Brazil 18 202,656,788
Congo, Democratic
Republic of the
18 77,433,744
Costa Rica 18 4,755,234
Dominican Republic 18 10,349,741
Ecuador 18 15,654,411
Egypt 18 86,895,099
Greece 18 10,775,557
Honduras 18 8,598,561
Lebanon 21 5,882,562
Luxembourg 18 520,672
Mexico 18 120,286,655
Nauru 20 9,488
Panama 18 3,608,431
Paraguay 18 6,703,860
Peru 18 30,147,935
Singapore 21 5,567,301
Thailand 18 67,741,401
Uruguay 18 3,332,972

Source: CIA World Factbook

SHARE VIA TEXT