Help make the “All U.S. Citizens Should Vote” amendment to the Constitution guaranteeing the right to vote to ALL U.S. citizens, no exceptions, become a reality by leaving your comments, both positive and negative, in the Comments section at the end of my blog post.
10 categories of U.S. citizens who currently do not have the right to vote in America.
* Washington, D.C. (citizens of DC can currently vote for President but not members of Congress) and Puerto Rico will be the 51st and 52nd states (Any ideas on what our new flag will look like?)
* U.S. citizens in the U.S. Virgin Islands (Caribbean Sea), Northern Mariana Islands (North Pacific Ocean), Guam (North Pacific Ocean), and American Samoa (South Pacific Ocean) may vote for President and members of Congress from congressional voting districts in Miami, FL or Honolulu, HI. (About 375,000 population for all four islands)
* All U.S. citizen felons can vote, even in prison, like in Maine, Vermont and Canada.
* Election Day voter registration allowed in all 52 states and the 4 island territories.
* Allow Vote by Mail for all registered voters. For some voters voting in person is not a viable option.
* Automatic preregistration for voters at age 16 in high school (with opt out) and automatically update voter addresses with permanent change of address at the Post Office.
* Legal guardians can vote by proxy for their U.S. citizen clients with mental disabilities based on their client’s best interest as they do now for their clients’ financial, medical and legal decisions.
* Parents/Guardians can vote by proxy for their U.S. citizen children <18.
* “Green Card” legal residents must become U.S. citizens after 5 years. Dual citizenship will be allowed.
* Citizenship cannot be revoked for any reason, even treason.
I have yet to meet one person who agrees with me on all 10 categories. So I doubt that all 10 categories of U.S. citizens that currently don’t have the right to vote will eventually be included in the final version of the “All U.S. Citizens Should Vote” Amendment to the Constitution that I am proposing.
In colonial times in some states you had to belong to the right religion to vote. In 1787, when the Constitution was written, most states required you to own property to vote. Only homeowners could vote, not renters. African-Americans, Asians and Native Americans now have the right to vote. 1/2 the population of the country, namely women, now have the right to vote. 18 year olds now have the right to vote. In some places you had to be a resident for a whole year to vote. No vote by mail, so if you couldn’t get to the county courthouse in person on Election Day (no early voting either) you weren’t allowed to vote.
This country has a long history of expanding voting rights to more and more people and I see giving these ten categories of U.S. citizens the right to vote just a continuation of this historical trend.
Despite our democracy’s many flaws (You know that famous quote by Winston Churchill, “Democracy is the worst form of government; except for all the others.”) I still have faith that using voting in a democracy is the best way to select our President. I am also a firm believer that getting more people to vote and voice their opinion will make for better elections, even if there are many voters who are not intelligent enough or informed enough about the issues to make good choices.
Our Founding Fathers worried about this at the Constitutional Convention in 1787 and it’s still a problem. But because of universal free public education and better communication and transportation since 1787 it’s not nearly as big of a problem as back then.
To quote Martin Luther King, “I have a dream” that someday we will actually have a 90% voter turnout in a presidential election, not just of registered voters but of all U.S. citizens. This will take 50 years to happen, but it will happen. I will not live to see this day but maybe your grandchildren or great grandchildren will.
And when this does happen our democracy will work better, if not perfectly, and America will still be the greatest democracy in the world as it was when our Founding Fathers signed the Constitution on September 17, 1787.
p.s. Nobody has ever accused me of setting my sights too low.
Steve Scott, U.S. Citizen & Voter, Sarasota, Florida
Your comments, both positive and negative, will be greatly appreciated.