I believe that all citizens in America should be required to vote. I would argue this because if voting is made to be optional, then you lose the voices of many citizens who may have an opinion on matters but did not vote because they:
a) think that their opinions will not affect the general outcome
b) do not know how to go about voting
c) do not understand the issues being voted upon
or d) have some other reason or excuse.
If people have to vote, it will make our government system more accurate and fair, and will be a huge benefit to all citizens who can feel heard and have their opinions and ideas taken into account.
I would think that if voting were required of all citizens, the punishment for not voting would be a fee not unlike a parking ticket. This is the case in Turkey, yet 15% of the country doesn't vote. This is because some people would rather pay a fee than vote. I believe this is because either they think the fee for not voting costs less than the time they need to spend in order to figure out how to vote, make a decision, and vote. Others may choose to vote for a random person in order to avoid the fee charged for not voting. Right now, 35% of the country chooses not to vote. While it would be great for these people to vote for their interests, I doubt that making all citizens vote will help us do this. As I said, many may choose not to vote anyway (as 15% of Turkey does), others will vote for a random candidate that may likely not even be in their best interest (just as many athletes let the press approach them as they promise in their contract, but refuse to answer any of their questions), and still others will outright protest! I think people may protest not only because of the previous reasons I listed but also because many believe that they shouldn't have to vote if they don"t want to. And some have very valid reasons for not wanting to vote. Lastly, people who decide to vote in order to avoid the fine for not voting may be especially vulnerable to being swayed by advertisements or the media and I don"t think people should decide to vote for on what the media thinks or the quality of candidates" advertisements (seeing as this may reflect how much money they have which is likely to be donated to them by rich people in a sort of quid pro quo). They would probably be especially vulnerable to bribery for the same reasons. In conclusion, I believe that requiring all citizens to vote would probably make election results less representative of the best interest of the polity.