When asked what democracy is, many of us instantly think of elections, and thus voting. Although we tend to see voting as central to democracy, we also think that voting is optional – a commendable activity that a citizen might choose to do, but one that can be omitted blamelessly. What’s more, political theorists and philosophers tend to regard voting as irrational, reckless, or worse. Some have even suggested that low voter turnout is a signal of the health
of a society.
In The Duty to Vote
(Oxford University Press, 2019), Julia Maskivker
argues that voting is an obligation rooted in a Samaritan duty.