This article published by The Boston Globe is written by Miles Rapoport and Alex Keyssar. Here is an excerpt:
It is no secret that we are at a perilous moment in our country’s democratic journey. The challenges to the fundamental right to vote and to the legitimacy of our elections are stronger than they have been in half a century. But thanks in part to our state’s progressive history, Massachusetts can act as a laboratory for a truly game-changing idea: requiring every citizen to vote.
Universal voting as a required civic duty may sound like a radical idea. Yet it is in use in 26 democratic countries around the globe. In one of them, Australia, it has been in effect for almost 100 years. In Australia, all registered citizens must vote and almost everyone is registered; the enforcement mechanism is a fine of about $15, and people can cast blank or “none of the above” ballots to express their indifference to the offered slate of candidates. The result has been turnout of about 90 percent in every Australian election since 1924. Despite this enviable track record — and the fact that we happily imported the concept of the secret ballot from Australia in the late 19th century — there has been little discussion of this idea in the United States.
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