Commentary_ The Case for Compulsory Voting _ The National Interest

Res ting on this s mug platitude may be c omforting

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Unformatted text preview: , y ou s hould not partic ipate. Res ting on this s mug platitude may be c omforting, but it does not hold up. Barac k Obama and all U.S. pres idents are c harged with repres enting not jus t thos e who vote for them but all Americ ans . Yet as more and more people c hoos e to abs tain, elec ted offic ials rule with les s and les s c ons ent, whic h attenuates the very fundamentals of our republic . W e s c off when des pots and dic tators are “elec ted” with 99 perc ent of the vote, y et I find it almos t as s obering that Bill Clinton bec ame pres ident in 1992 when more than 75 perc ent of the elec torate did not vote for him. W hat about the ques tion of overall dis enc hantment? Many Americ ans may dis lik e all major c andidates and prefer to abs tain from voting. Given the dearth of ups tanding or otherwis e remark able elec ted offic ials , we c an hardly blame any one for this s entiment, and c oerc ing any Americ an to vote for a c andidate he or s he des pis es would mak e a moc k ery of the s y s tem. W rite-in vote options are notorious ly c umbers ome and inc reas ingly a relic in the age of elec tronic ballots . Any s c heme for c ompuls ory voting mus t unequivoc ally protec t the right to s ay no. Nevada offers an interes ting s olution: in 1975, fac ing unprec edented voter dis gus t over W atergate, Nevada bec ame the only s tate in Americ a to inc lude a “none of thes e c andidat...
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This document was uploaded on 01/16/2014.

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