Archive for March, 2013

Right to Vote; Not yet!


America’s democratic foundational underpinnings are explicitly linked to our right to vote and thereby the participation in the voting process of small “d” democracy is as essential as national defense. The exercise of democracy therein lies in the RIGHT of the We The People to VOTE uninhibited by the very government which represents us.With this fact being an unquestionable reflection of America freedom, it is amazing that America has no coherent approach to elections rules on BOTH the local and federal levels.  Currently America has a wide-ranging mosh-posh of election laws that can be changed at any given time by the local ruling parties.

Most Americans believe that they have the right to vote, but are unaware that the right to vote is not enshrined in the Constitution and this is a fact that some/many on the political RIGHT love to exploit via legislative barriers. Examples of this attempt at voter restriction can be witnessed in the election of 2012 as evidenced by the attempts at voter disenfranchisement via voter ID restriction laws.

The rationale that some have for the need of voter ID laws is their belief that there is a wide range of voter impersonation in America’s voting system. This symptom has yet to produce any tangible evidence of such voter fraud. Those who see the need for this additional level of voter protection ignore the fact that we have in place laws for dealing with the extremely rare (to the point of irrelevance) cases of in-person voter impersonation.

According to a study from NYU’s Brennan Center, Voter ID laws adversely affect the elderly, minorities, low-income groups, and the young that tend to vote for the Democratic Party. Obtaining photo ID can affect a person financially and can be very time-consuming endeavor. Even when a state supplies the ID “free of charge” acquiescence of a state ID can require such documents as a birth certificate that can cost up to $25 in some places, Social Security Card, bills, and other which can great inhibit the voter’s ability to vote.

The facts are out there, but why does America find itself in this state of voting stagnation? Given that the right to vote is not in the constitution, America has relegated the conditions, regulations, and procedures of voting to individual state discretion. This nonsensical local approach to voting has led to a great level of disenfranchisement when it comes to voting, whether intentional or not, the fact is people are denied the right to vote for a myriad of reasons that typically lack any credible rationale.

We The People are denied the right to vote because of ballot box design or availability, inconsistent and unequal provisional ballot counting policies, registration front groups losing registrations (intentional or unintentional, voting machine dysfunction, residency errors, convictions, and the list goes on.

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