Pocan sponsors right to vote amendment

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(2 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

U.S. Reps. Mark Pocan of Wisconsin and Keith Ellison of Minnesota recently announced legislation to explicitly guarantee the right to vote in the Constitution.

The proposed Pocan-Ellison Right to Vote Amendment would amend the Constitution to provide all Americans the affirmative right to vote and empower Congress to protect this right, according to a news release.

“The right to vote is too important to be left unprotected,” Pocan, a Democrat, stated. “At a time when there are far too many efforts to disenfranchise Americans, a voting rights amendment would positively affirm our founding principle that our country is at its strongest when everyone participates. As the world’s leading democracy, we must demand of ourselves what we demand of others—a guaranteed right to vote for all.” 

Ellison, also a Democrat, said, “Americans’ ability to elect their leaders is a backbone of our democracy and our most fundamental righ. Even though the right to vote is the most-mentioned right in the Constitution, legislatures across the country have been trying to deny that right to millions of Americans, including in my home state of Minnesota. It’s time we made it clear once and for all: every citizen in the United States has a fundamental right to vote.” 

According to the Brennan Center for Justice, in 2013 more than 80 bills restricting the right to vote have been introduced in over 30 states.

The congressman said that without a constitutional provision, courts have upheld voter identification laws, burdensome registration requirements, and reduced early voting opportunities in various states across the country.

The proposed amendment reads: 

SECTION 1: 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. 

SECTION 2: Congress shall have the power to enforce and implement this article by appropriate legislation.


0 4 William House 2013-07-12 13:34
All who live here for more than 5 years are a part of this democracy and deserve the right to vote.

Anti-Immigrant Bigots do not deserve any consideration for their Undemocratic discrimination.
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+2 3 Sa-Rah 2013-07-10 19:52
Citizen: All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.
—from the Fourteenth Amendment.
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+1 2 American Citizen 2013-07-10 15:49
So where is a petition that I can sign to support this amendment?!
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-2 1 Pau Aguilar 2013-07-10 14:35
Before submitting this Amendment proposal you should make your definition & specifications of "citizen" abundantly clear. As your proposal currently is written, many xenophobes would declare this proposal does NOT exclude illegal aliens who reside in the county.
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