Chilean President Sebastian Pinera wants to revise the country's electoral system to incorporate automatic voter registration and voluntary voting, he said Friday.
Currently, the law dictates that voter registration is voluntary but, once registered, citizens must vote or be subject to hefty fines.
He called the electoral reform bill "an effort to modernize and strengthen our democracy."
The legislation, which the government will send to Congress next week, aims to incorporate 4 million new voters, many of them under 25 years old, who have not registered for recent elections.
In the January 2010 runoff presidential election won by Pinera, 7.2 million Chileans voted, although nearly 8 million were registered. A total of 12 million, out of the country's population of around 16 million, are over 18 years old and eligible to vote.
"The voluntary vote will bring those 4 million potential voters that aren't motivated to vote," Pinera said. ...>>>