With President Sebastián Piñera’s signature at a ceremony in the Presidential Palace on Monday, Chile joined a community of nations in which all eligible voters are automatically registered to vote.Piñera was joined by young beneficiaries of Chile’s latest voting reform on Monday. Photo by Alex Ibañez/Gobierno de Chile. This reform is the heart of this administration,” Secretary General Cristián Larroulet said while introducing President Piñera. “This is a step in the right direction for Chile, but not yet the answer to all our problems.” The new voting law will make registration automatic and voting itself voluntary. It is projected that over 4.5 million new voters will be added to the nation’s electoral registry, with most of the additions under the age of 30.
“This is a great and historic day for Chile,” President Piñera said before signing the bill. “But we as a country still have much more to do.” President Piñera went on to note that although Chile’s democracy is “recognized internationally,” important democratic reforms like this one are still underway.
The new law was passed by the Senate in December and approved by the Constitutional Court last week, the final step before Piñera could sign it into law. The reform will be in place for the coming municipal elections in October. Previously, the law in Chile had been that registering to vote was voluntary, but once registered, it was mandatory to vote. If a registered voter did not vote, they were subject to a fine up to US$210.
Full Article: Chile’s president signs new voting reform into law.