Today’s headlines are filled with arguments over restrictions on the right to vote and attempts to expand it. But what if we leapt over the current argument, and made a commitment to a ‘100% Democracy’, an election process where every citizen has the right to vote and full opportunities to do so—but also the duty to vote, a requirement to participate in our national choices?
In 100% Democracy: The Case for Universal Voting, co-authors E.J. Dionne and Miles Rapoport argue for just that, and it’s not as far out as it sounds at first hearing. Twenty-six countries around the world require participation in elections including Australia, which has required citizens to cast a ballot since 1924 and had over 90% voter turnout in their last major election. The U.S. on the other hand lags behind other democracies, with only 66.8% of eligible voters participating in the record-turnout election of 2020. If Americans are required to pay taxes and serve on juries, why not ask—or require—every American to vote?
Join us on Tuesday, April 5, for a conversation with Dionne and Rapoport about 100% Democracy, universal voting, and how it might be implemented. Is it time for the United States to take a major leap forward and recognize voting as both a fundamental civil right and a solemn civic duty?
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