An Argument for Requiring Americans to Vote

E.J. Dionne Jr. and Miles Rapoport at Literary Hub:

One hundred percent democracy sounds like a grade someone has achieved in a course—and we would like to believe that our American system can be remade to live up to its promise and become worthy of such acclaim.

It refers specifically to the aspiration that every American be guaranteed the right to vote—with ease and without obstruction—and that our nation recognize that every citizen, as a matter of civic duty, has an obligation to participate in the shared project of democratic self-government. We want to make the case for what Australians refer to as “compulsory attendance at the polls” and what we call universal civic duty voting.

We see voting as a public responsibility of all citizens, no less important than jury duty. If every American citizen is required to vote as a matter of obligation, the representativeness of our elections would increase. Those responsible for organizing elections would be required to resist all efforts at voter suppression and remove barriers to the ballot box. We believe that universal civic duty voting is the decisive step toward putting an end, once and for all, to legal assaults on voting rights.

More here.