U.S. Citizens Right to Vote under attack by States
Many states have always been on a path to trample the citizens’ right to vote as they attempt to discourage certain people from voting or attempt to manipulate the outcome by various scheduling and procedural means. For that reason, citizens and the Federal Government must be vigilant of State’s behavior.
“The United States Constitution, in Article VI, section 3, stipulates that "no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States." The Constitution, however, leaves the determination of voting qualifications to the individual states. Over time, the federal role in elections has increased through amendments to the Constitution and enacted legislation, such as the Voting Rights Act of 1965. At least four of the fifteen post-Civil War constitutional amendments were ratified specifically to extend voting rights to different groups of citizens. These extensions state that voting rights cannot be denied or abridged based on the following:
§ Birth - "All persons born or naturalized" "are citizens" of the US and the US State where they reside (14th Amendment, 1868)
§ "Race, color, or previous condition of servitude" - (15th Amendment, 1870)
§ "On account of sex" - (19th Amendment, 1920)
§ (For federal elections) "By reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax" - (24th Amendment, 1964)
(For state elections) Taxes - (Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections, 383 U.S. 663 (1966))
§ "Who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of age" (26th Amendment, 1971).
The "right to vote" is explicitly stated in the US Constitution in the above referenced amendments but only in reference to the fact that the franchise cannot be denied or abridged based solely on the aforementioned qualifications.”
“Asking voters for proof of citizenship isn’t outlandish
Rushing to pass laws before an election is suspicious
I beg to differ with Eugene Robinson about voter qualification and registration. He wrote that “The most popular means of discouraging those young and minority voters — who, coincidentally, tend to vote for Democrats — is legislation requiring citizens to show government-issued photo identification before they are allowed to cast a ballot.”
Being a citizen of the USA is a legal requirement for voting. Asking for identification should be a fair and straightforward requirement with easy compliance. Use a passport and that is done. Use a passport to register and driver’s license to confirm state and local residence and 1) the combination is valid, and 2) if states want to issue a voter ID as an alternative, that should be OK too. These are easy for satisfying standards for compliance.
You don’t have to broach the subject of a National ID card, though that would be a nice alternative too.
The motivation of states to press for voter ID is suspicious and in many cases politically motivated as Eugene suggests, however, the best way to parry away that ill-motivated behavior is to solve the problem as I have suggested. Then, make it easy for people to comply.
“A GOP witch hunt for the zombie voter
By Eugene Robinson, Published: April 30
Republicans are waging the most concerted campaign to prevent or discourage citizens from exercising their legitimate voting rights since the Jim Crow days of poll taxes and literacy tests.
Four years ago, Democrats expanded American democracy by registering millions of new voters — mostly young people and minorities — and persuading them to show up at the polls. Apparently, the GOP is determined not to let any such thing happen again.
According to the nonpartisan Brennan Center for Justice at New York University, which keeps track of changes in voting laws, 22 statutes and two executive actions aimed at restricting the franchise have been approved in 17 states since the beginning of 2011. By the center’s count, an additional 74 such bills are pending.