Greg Roach's Berkshires Blog
Saturday, September 13, 2008
  Guaranteeing The Right to Vote
Over the past 8 years I have gotten into several heated discussions over the Republican's well documented vote suppression. Usually I hear all about in response is "voter fraud", which when pressed, none of those claiming dead people voting etc... can come up with anything other than screaming about Chicago's Mayor Daley in 1960 and the ACORN kids who faked registrations because they were paid a commission for each new registrant.

In other words, the Republicans are lying about a non-existent problem to to justify suppressing votes in poorer, more Democratic areas.

So I proposed the following question be asked at the Presidential Debates:
Do you, Senator Obama/McCain, support the introduction and passage of a Constitutional Amendment guaranteeing the right to vote to all legal citizens of the United States?
The reaction from the Republicans would tell you all you need to know about their belief in (small "d") democracy.
We already have this right.

The text in your question would not seem to have any effect on most of what you consider voter suppression, however, since the suppressed votes are from people purported to not be legally voting citizens: i.e., dead, alien, or duplicate.

I would hope that before legislators vote to change the Constitution someone could come up with some detailed and clear language as to exactly what would be allowed and not allowed when trying to determine someone's status as a legal voter. Then we can fairly ask a politician where he stands on that text.

Your vague text would seem to have the effect of enfranchising felons, at least once the felon is out of jail -- not an unreasonable policy, and something which I think most states already do (not Florida).

Personally I'd rather have this policy -- like most others -- decided at the state level, because I have no more desire to have Texans decide policies in Massachusetts than the typical Texan would want to be dictated to by politicians from Massachusetts.
I would have no problem limiting such an Amendment to candidates in federal elections.

But eliminating people off the voter rolls for arbitrary reasons such as address discrepancies and leaving their middle initial off of their registration is unacceptable.

We issue every child in America a social security number within days of his/her birth. I think we could handle a voter ID number as well. It would take a generation to implement, but so be it. It wouldn't be perfect but it would be far better than the current situation.

Why is it that conservatives always want to limit the franchise to as few a number of people as they can legally get away with?
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