Constitutional Right to Vote

During the hearings this past Wednesday on the Ohio voting irregularities held by the Democratic Representatives from the House Judiciary Committee (not a single Republican showed up, though the entire Congress was invited), Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr, put forth something not many of us have heard of.

Each year for the last three years, Jackson has put forth a bill that would lead to a United States Constitutional amendment guaranteeing each United States citizen 18 years of age and older the right to vote. It sounds simple enough, that it’s logical we all have the right to vote. But in Bush v. Gore before the Supreme Court, the five justices in the majority cited that “US Citizens do not have the guaranteed right to vote for the office of the President”. That seem right to you? I think not.

That said, we should all ask our elected officials, especially the Republicans who kill this legislation every time, if they support our rights. If not, WHY not?

Jesse Jackson Jr’s amendment from 2003 can be found here as well as being archived on this site.HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION 28

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States regarding the right to vote.

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, (two-thirds of each House concurring therein), That the following article is proposed as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States:

SECTION 1. All citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, shall have the right to vote in any public election held in the jurisdiction in which the citizen resides. The right to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States, any State, or any other public or private person or entity, except that the United States or any State may establish regulations narrowly tailored to produce efficient and honest elections.

SECTION 2. Each State shall administer public elections in the State in accordance with election performance standards established by the Congress. The Congress shall reconsider such election performance standards at least once every four years to determine if higher standards should be established to reflect improvements in methods and practices regarding the administration of elections.

SECTION 3. Each State shall provide any eligible voter the opportunity to register and vote on the day of any public election.

SECTION 4. Each State and the District constituting the seat of Government of the United States shall establish and abide by rules for appointing its respective number of Electors. Such rules shall provide for the appointment of Electors on the day designated by the Congress for holding an election for President and Vice President and shall ensure that each Elector votes for the candidate for President and Vice President who received a majority of the popular vote in the State or District.

SECTION 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

  • fractal moonshine

    I’d never heard of Rep. Jackson’s proposal before. It sounds like the Republicans want to make sure the coup option is still available to them should they need it.
    Reminds me of one of the curious elements of right wing crank Alan Keyes’ platform when he ran this year for Senator from Illinois. He wanted to repeal the 17th amendment, which has senators elected by popular vote, instead of being picked by the state legislature. Here’s Findlaw’s link on the 17th Amendment:
    http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/constitution/amendment17/

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