Did you know that Bolivia has TWO voting ages?

In Bolivia, suffrage (the right to vote) is universal. That means both men and women have the same voting rights. In many countries voting rights depend on your gender, but in Bolivia voting rights depend on your age and marital status. If you are married, you can vote when you are as young as 18. But if you are single, you have to wait until you are 21.

Some other interesting facts about voting in Bolivia

1. Voting is compulsory (obligatory) for all Bolivian citizens of legal voting age. Bolivians don't have the freedom to choose whether they want to vote or not. In fact, although they can freely choose who they want to vote for, there are certain punishments for those who don't vote at all.

For example, for the first 30 days after an election takes place, businesses such as gas stations, grocery stores, and banks are supposed to refuse service to anyone who can't present proof of having voted. All voters receive a voting card once their ballots have been cast and they must carry this card around with them every day for 30 days. This isn't always effectively enforced, but because enforcement is random, no one is willing to chance it.

2. Since voting is obligatory, all elections take place on Sundays. That way no employer can keep an employee from voting. Likewise no one can use work as an excuse not to vote.

3. No public or private transportation is allowed on election days and businesses are closed. All voters must vote at assigned voting stations in their neighborhoods and must walk or bike to the voting stations.

4. Anyone who is traveling or working outside of their voting district must apply for a permit to cast their vote somewhere else, but they can't use travel as an excuse not to vote. It is still obligatory for them. In very rare cases, some citizens are given permission to not vote, but they must apply for the permit in advance.

5. It is against the law for bars, restaurants, and stores to sell alcoholic beverages (and it is against the law for anyone to buy them) during the 24 hours prior to election day. This is to ensure everyone is clear-minded when they cast their vote.

So those are some more interesting facts about voting in Bolivia. What is voting like in your country? Or... Return to the Bolivia Facts Home Page.

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Bolivia Trivia.