In a new research paper—The case for universal voting: Why making voting a duty would enhance our elections and improve our government—Brookings scholars E.J. Dionne, Jr. and William Galston make the case for universal voting—an electoral system in which voting would be regarded as a required, civic duty. Why not treat showing up at the polls in the same way we treat, say, a jury summons? Dionne and Galston argue that universal voting’s benefits would include enhancing the legitimacy of our governing institutions, increasing turnout and the diversity of the American voter base, and easing the intense partisan polarization that weakens our governing capacity.
What do you think of Dionne and Galston’s proposal? Specifically, if voting and registration rules were made easier, should voting in national elections be universal and mandatory for all eligible citizens?
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