Compulsory voting, also called mandatory voting, is the requirement in some countries that eligible citizens register and vote in elections. Penalties might be imposed on those who fail to do so without a valid reason. According to the CIA World Factbook, 21 countries, including 10 Latin American countries, officially had compulsory voting as of December 2021, with a number of those countries not enforcing it. Choosing a party to vote for is not obligatory, as blank votes can be cast, and are counted.
During the first two decades of the 21st century, compulsory voting was introduced in Samoa and Bulgaria, while Chile, Cyprus, the Dominican Republic, Fiji and Paraguay repealed it.
Technically, compulsory voting is a practice that only requires citizens to attend a polling place to get their name crossed off the electoral roll. Because of the secret ballot, people can only be compelled to cast ballots, whether they choose to vote or not.