The Right To Vote: One Of The Best Ideas For An Amendment

sticker with the words I voted today

It seems like every recent election season there are the stories of Republicans trying to make it as tough as possible to vote. I mean if you can’t win on the issues the best alternative it to prevent as many of people from voting as possible. Did you know the US Constitution has no affirmative right to vote in its text? Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) want to change that. Aside from the Equal Rights Amendment, this is probably the best idea for an amendment since the Bill of Rights.

The brief amendment would stipulate that “every citizen of the United States, who is of legal voting age, shall have the fundamental right to vote in any public election held in the jurisdiction in which the citizen resides.” It would also give Congress “the power to enforce and implement this article by appropriate legislation.”

After investigating the issue, Pocan said he and Ellison decided this type of amendment was the best way to combat measures to restrict voting access.

“Essentially, what it would do is it would put the burden on any of these states that try to make laws that are more restrictive that they would have to prove that they’re not disenfranchising a voter. Rather than, currently, where a voter has to prove they’ve somehow been wronged by a state measure,” said Pocan.

Congressmen Propose The Mother Of All Voting Rights Protections

Voting laws have usually been up to the states with some states under Federal review due to historic problems with disenfranchising minorities. I’ve always thought that voting laws should be Federal so they would apply to all citizens equally no matter what state you lived in.

I would think this amendment would have an easy route to the states for ratification – I mean who would be against people having their right to vote – but we know the Republicans will raise a stink.

I hope I’m wrong.