If US elections operated like Australia’s, voters would be required to vote. And they would likely get a sausage at the polls.
Registered voters down under must sign into a polling place on election days or face a $75 fine. That’s led to a typical turnout among eligible voters north of 90%, far higher than in the US, where roughly half of eligible voters tend to show up.
But avoiding the fine is just part of the reason so many Australians do their civic duty. Many polling places have sausages grilling on the “barbie.” Most of these “sausage sizzles” are fundraisers, but they’re also a part of the culture.
“Everyone loves to go to the polls and get a sausage,” said Emma Buckley Lennox, a law student and voter in Melbourne, Australia. “It’s just part of being Australian.”
Lennox told us about Australia’s way of voting, and whether the US can learn from it, on our new podcast, BIQ, where we ask a big question each week. Listen here: