East Antrim DUP MLA Alastair Ross has voiced opposition to compulsory voting in Ulster’s elections during a recent discussion at Stormont.
He was responding to a call by Ulster Unionist MLA Danny Kinahan for compulsory voting to address voter apathy.
Mr Ross said: “Voting is a hard-won right for citizens, but it is fundamentally a right, not a duty.”
He added: “The very basis of a democracy is that individuals can choose to exercise their democratic right to vote, but equally choose not to.
“For that reason, I would be opposed to following the model in Australia where voting is compulsory and citizens are fined if they don’t cast their ballot at election time.”