100% Democracy: The Case for Universal Voting

Wednesday, April 6, 2022
4:00pm to 5:30pm
IGS Library
109 Moses Hall
Berkeley CA 94720

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 April 6 for a conversation with Dionne and Rapoport, moderated by Prof. Paul Pierson, 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?