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Journal Articles Political Studies Year : 2023

Compelled Turnout and Democratic Turnout: Why They Are Different

Abstract

One strategy in defence of compulsory voting is based on what I call the non-instrumental value of high turnout: the idea that almost-universal participation in elections is valuable per se. This article argues that we do not have democratic reasons to value compelled turnout. First, thanks to an original analysis of the practice of voting, I identify three constitutive rules that make the physical acts of marking and casting a ballot count as proper voting. This preliminary analysis serves to illuminate the fact that the act of voting has democratic value if it is performed in a free and reason-responsive way. Second, I identify political equality and popular control as democratic values that high turnout expresses. Finally, the article rejects the non-instrumental case for compulsory voting because it cannot ensure that people vote in a reason-responsive way and, if they do not, high turnout lacks democratic value.
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Dates and versions

hal-04103494 , version 1 (23-05-2023)

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Chiara Destri. Compelled Turnout and Democratic Turnout: Why They Are Different. Political Studies, 2023, 18 p. ⟨10.1177/00323217221148038⟩. ⟨hal-04103494⟩
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