Average voter turnout in the United States is seldom higher than 60 percent.
Just before the Soviet Union collapsed, my uncle came to visit us from Latvia. An election took place during his visit. I was tired after a day’s work; I didn’t feel like going to vote. Anyway, it was a minor, off-year election. When I told my uncle, he exclaimed, “You can’t not vote!” He eagerly accepted my invitation to come along. Of course, they wouldn’t let him go into the voting booth with me. But he got to see how a free people uphold democracy. Just the fact that he was allowed into the school gym to watch was a big deal to him.
It’s more than twenty years since Latvia regained its freedom. I’m sure that during the first heady days of freedom everyone voted. I wonder if, in the years since, they’ve become as complacent as we have.