Should Americans Be Required To Vote?

America is noted as the land of the free, with the motto, “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Since the 1800’s, America always had the tradition to vote, but there was always someone who “decides” who can and cannot vote.

So should citizens of America be required to vote?

I don’t think so, because some citizens are not interested in voting, voting should be fair so people should have their own opinion on who they want to elect, and it only takes away peoples right to freedom and liberty away.

Everyone knows that voting is important in democracy. However, just because voting is important does not mean everyone does it. In a recent 2010 study at George Mason University, there had been a drop from 2004 to 2008 of people ages 30 and up that are not voting and citizens with different educational backgrounds have dropped as well. Which also shows that younger generations 18-29 are beginning to vote more.

Even though voting turnout is low in America,  it wouldn’t be fair to persuade people like friends or family members to vote for who you want elected, because they wouldn’t have their own voice on who should be elected. For instance, in a New York Times column by Randy Cohen states, “It’s irresponsible to encourage the unaware to put their ignorance into action…’Just vote’ doesn’t express civic virtue, it’s sentimentally.”

Lastly, it takes away citizens right to freedom and liberty to choose not to vote. People don’t want to be pressured by the government. For instance, at the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) in March 2009, in about 13 countries, they placed penalties on citizens who choose not to vote for instance:

• Possibility of getting fined

• Possible imprisonment

• Limits on certain rights (including voting) and government services

• Social informal sanctions

Which shows that having to “require” citizens to vote, will only cause citizens to lose trust in the government.

Although, it’s a civic duty or responsibility, and it’s a tradition for citizens to vote. It would be wrong to “require” them to vote.

So this was my high school economics essay that I did at the ending of the school year. What do you think? Let me know in the comments section bellow. Thanks for reading!