What is required of the electorate to vote?

“The days of the social contract, in which citizens have obligations as well as rights, seem to be over.”

womenvoteThe arc of American history had always been to make voting available to more people. The 15th Amendment (1870) prohibits the denial of the right to vote based on race, color, or previous condition of servitude, though it required The Voting Rights Act of 1965, nearly a century later, to enforce it.

The 19th Amendment (1920) prohibits the denial of the right to vote based on sex. The 24th (1964) prohibits the revocation of voting rights due to the non-payment of a poll tax or any other tax. And the 26th (1971) allowed eighteen-year-olds (like me, that year!) to vote, and you better believe that I did.

One could make the case that the 17th Amendment (1913), which provided direct election of United States Senators by popular vote, and the 23rd, which granted the District of Columbia the right to participate in the Electoral College, also fall in this category.

Thus, the move to limit voting I find antithetical to this democracy. I’m told by proponents that voter ID is “easy” to come by. Yet it has proven to be anything but. Continue reading “What is required of the electorate to vote?”