Dissenting Electorate: Those Who Refuse to Vote and the Legitimacy of Their Opposition
It’s the same message every election year: “Get out and vote–It’s your civic duty.” Those who audit the sound bites of the candidates, read headlines about the debates and finally pull the lever at their local precinct are touted as moral, upstanding citizens; those who find among the candidates no agreeable representative, no platform worthy of espousal, and who then refuse to turn out on election day, on the other hand, are labeled apathetic and the legitimacy of their opposition is denied. This book is an anthology of articles and excerpts from a variety of sources that deal with the topic of nonvoting. In presenting the minority view that important moral and political reasons abound for not voting, the book unfolds four general arguments: voting is implicitly a coercive act because it lends support to a compulsory state; voting reinforces the legitimacy of the state; and existing nonpolitical, voluntarist alternatives better serve society. Many people do not agree with the concept of nonvoting–but the serious and well thought through underpinnings of such a belief are of crucial importance to an understanding of modern American politics.
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