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Mandatory Voting? President Obama Says It Could Be a Good Idea

President Barack Obama delivers remarks during the National League of Cities annual Congressional City Conference in Washington, DC, March 9, 2015.
Jim Watson | AFP | Getty Images
President Barack Obama delivers remarks during the National League of Cities annual Congressional City Conference in Washington, DC, March 9, 2015.

President Barack Obama on Wednesday suggested that if American voters want to "counteract" the role of money in politics, it may be worth making voting mandatory.

"It would be transformative if everybody voted," Obama said during a town hall event in Cleveland, Ohio. "That would counteract (campaign) money more than anything. If everybody voted, then it would completely change the political map in this country."

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He added that the people who tend not to vote are "young, they're lower income, they're skewed more heavily toward immigrant groups and minorities ... There's a reason why some folks try to keep them away from the polls."

The president pointed out that voting is mandatory in other countries, and cited Australia. At least 26 nations have compulsory voting, according to data from theInstitute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance.