Voting is Not a Constitutional Right

Hadn’t heard much of Jesse’s son before but he has the same gift for gab as his dad (or at least the same speechwriters and elocution). I knew that voting was a state right but hadnt thought of the implications of that:

[W]hen it comes to voting, a person does not have such a fundamental right. They have a State right. A State right is not a citizenship right, but a right defined and protected by each State and limited to each State.

108 of the 119 nations in the world that elect their public officials in some democratic manner have the right to vote in their Constitution, including the Afghan Constitution and the interim document in Iraq. The United States is one of eleven nations that does not have an affirmative right to vote in the Constitution. Should we not be the 108th nation that does just that?

We need to provide the American people with the citizenship right to vote and provide Congress with the authority to craft a unitary system from Maine to California so we do not have so many separate and unequal systems. Mr. Speaker, it is the foundation upon which we build a more perfect Union amongst the States.

This is why I could never figure out how no-voting-felons laws could apply to a federal election and not just at the state level. I did sort of understand how this affected the 2000 elections but hadn’t really thought of the summation as there is no constitutionally protected right to vote.

I even stumbled on Jackson’s draft legislation: HJR 28.

2 thoughts on “Voting is Not a Constitutional Right

  1. L. E. O'Laughlin

    If this is so, then what governs the eligibility or ineligibility of illegal imigrants voting in local, state or national elections. Also, is any of this addressed in the 14th amendment as I’ve been told by some lawyers. Personally I don’t see it, but then maybe I’m reading it wrong,… or not?

  2. Andy

    I think it boils down the fact that voting is a state right – which is why federal elections are governed by state-by-state guidelines (like ‘no felons can vote’) laws.

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