The Colombian government on Thursday said to be open to exploring the possibility of instituting obligatory voting in elections that have suffered abysmal turnouts.
Interior Minister Juan Fernando Cristo said the government supports analyzing the mechanism as a means of aiding the Colombian political system with a more engaged citizenry and culture of participation. He suggested it could be introduced “temporarily for one or two election cycles.”
The measure would be included in package known as the “Balance of Powers” reforms that have been proposed by the national government.
In Colombia’s most recent presidential election in May of this year, voter participation in the first round was 40%, with that number increasing to 47.7% in the second round. There are nearly 33 million potential voters in Colombia.
The 2014 presidential elections had the lowest voter turnout in a first-round presidential race since 2002.
- ‘Guiño’ del Gobierno al voto obligatorio en Colombia (El Espectador)