Voting is a Community Right

In an election day post, I discuss how traditional voting and sortition can be viewed as aspects of the same right. Unifying both is the need to reverse the burden of action: while voting requires citizens to decide to vote, sortition requires proper authorities to find participants. Instead, voting in democracies now should require electoral authorities to obtain a valid vote from everyone who is eligible. At that point, calling random juries and assemblies will be a breeze.

2 Responses

  1. Nicely put. And, given that voting is a communal, rather than individual right, mandatory participation by those selected is necessary. To claim that this is an infringement of liberty misunderstands the status of communal rights. If Australia can make voting mandatory, there is no reason for sortition not to have the same status.

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  2. Keith:> If Australia can make voting mandatory, there is no reason for sortition not to have the same status.

    True, but I think it’s important to emphasizes that the required condition is stronger. The electoral authorities must have an affirmative obligation to obtain a valid vote from every eligible voter; i.e. the burden of action must be placed on the election administrators, not citizens. Otherwise you cannot properly call a jury, since you don’t have the pool from which to draw.

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