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?
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
E.J. Dionne is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a syndicated columnist for The Washington Post, a professor at Georgetown University, and visiting professor at Harvard University. He is the author of Code Red: How Progressives and Moderates Can Unite to Save Our Country.
Miles Rapoport is the Senior Practice Fellow in American Democracy at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the Harvard Kennedy School. He formerly served in the Connecticut state legislature and as Connecticut’s secretary of the state. He also served as president of Demos and of Common Cause.