Obama doesn't want to mandate voting

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President Obama was not calling for a law when he floated the idea of mandatory voting, the White House said Thursday. 

“The president was not making a specific policy prescription for the United States,” press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters. 

During a speech in Cleveland on Wednesday, Obama said that it would be “transformative” if all Americans voted because it could curtail the influence of money in politics. He cited the fact that Australia and other nations have mandatory voting laws. 

Earnest noted Obama’s comments were in response to a question about the negative impact of money in politics. The president spoke “about a variety of ways this challenge could be confronted,” including a constitutional amendment that would counteract the Supreme Court's Citizens United campaign finance ruling.

The president also said that people who typically do not vote come from low-income or minority communities. 

“There's a reason why some folks try to keep them away from the polls. We should want to get them into the polls,” Obama said.