Today, the Supreme Court struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, effectively gutting one of the most important pieces of civil rights legislation in the twentieth century. The ruling will make it easier for states to pass strict voter id laws, limits on registration and early voting and redistricting plans that disproportionately disenfranchise people of color.
Frustrating as SCOTUS's ruling may be, we can take steps to expand, rather than limit, Americans' access to the polls. Currently, the right to vote is not enshrined in the US Constitution. To fix this and to create a new tool to fight discriminatory voting laws, lawmakers in the House of Representatives have introduced an amendment that would add a few simple, yet vital, words to our founding document:
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.
Contact your representative and demand Congress act now to pass a constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to vote.
Cathey Rains, left, and Mary Austin, right, absentee voting officials, wait in an empty polling place during early voting at the Oklahoma County Board of Elections in Oklahoma City, Monday, Aug 8, 2011. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
After completing this action, you will receive periodic updates on articles, events and actions from The Nation magazine. You may unsubscribe at any time.