Joshua Trey Cash
Americans Should be Required to Vote
Voter turnout in America, especially in midterm elections, constantly averages around 50% of the eligible voting population. Instead of being a country ruled by the majority, we are more accurately a country ruled by those who turn out at the polls. Today, thirty-two countries have required voting laws, including some very successful ones such as Switzerland, Greece, and Australia; and you would be hard pressed to say these countries are significantly less free or less prosperous because of it. The question really is can our government effectively represent all Americans, as it claims to, if it is elected by merely half of its citizens? I think it is time for Americans to be required to vote.
In ancient Greece, the inventors of democracy passed a law that required every person to vote, regardless of who they voted for. If anyone was found not voting, the person would be publicly marked and labeled an idiot, someone who thought their own personal needs trumped those of the society around them, and over time, the word "idiot" has evolved into today's usage.
While I wouldn't publicly mark them, I think idiots and their idiocracy should not be fostered or ignored by society. Instead, we should make voting as mandatory as taxes. If you don't at least vote for a given issue, you should be fined and/or ticketed for being an idiot.
Make a law to combat iodiocracy? Why not, we have fines for everything else. If we can get tickets for driving too fast or late fees for not turning in our movies on time, shouldn't we have a fine for effectively causing our political system to change?
The advantages of required voting are huge. For one, the cost of campaigning would fall. Get out the vote campaigns would no longer be necessary, and because all citizens would be required to vote, I think you can reasonably assume people would pay slightly more attention to politics, meaning media campaigns could be a bit...