Why is Turnout Higher in Some Countries than in Others?
Our study allows us to confirm that a certain number of institutional variables help increase or decrease voter turnout. It is clear that turnout can be substantially increased if voting is made compulsory, provided that the legislation prescribes definite penalties. Similarly, a proportional voting system is considered fairer by most citizens and generally tends to induce more electors to exercise their right to vote.
We showed that measures of a more administrative nature also help to increase voter turnout. Turnout is clearly higher in countries that facilitate voting by allowing voting by mail, in advance or by proxy. This could be an avenue to explore: Would it be possible to make things even easier for Canadian electors who want to vote?