10 categories of U.S. citizens who can’t vote

Help make the “All U.S. Citizens Should Vote.” amendment to the Constitution guaranteeing the right to vote for ALL U.S. citizens become a reality.

10 categories of U.S. citizens who currently don’t have the right to vote in America.

* Washington, D.C. (citizens of DC can 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 in the Caribbean, and Northern Mariana Islands, Guam and American Samoa in the Pacific may vote for President and members of Congress from congressional voting districts in Miami, FL or Honolulu, HI.

* All U.S. citizen felons can vote, even in prison. We can’t say “All U.S. Citizens Should Vote.” Unless felons can vote too. If Maine, Vermont and D.C. can do it so can the rest of America.

* Election Day voter registration allowed in all 52 states and the island territories. U.S. citizens can be disenfranchised in some states if they don’t register to vote up to 30 days prior to an election.

* 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 a permanent a 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. Citizens with mental disabilities need to have their voices heard at the ballot box too.

* Parents/Guardians can vote by proxy for their U.S. citizen children <18. Children may not be able to make intelligent choices in elections but they need to have their voices heard too.

* “Green Card” legal residents must become U.S. citizens after 5 years. Dual citizenship will be allowed. It is not good In a democracy  to have millions of people who live here, work here, pay taxes and call this their home but can’t vite because they are not U.S. citizens.

* Citizenship cannot be revoked for any reason, even treason. It would be too easy for a corrupt government to use this loophole to take away an opponent’s right to vote by taking away their citizenship.

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 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 Constituriin.

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 in 1787 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 giving these ten categories of U.S. citizens the right to vote is 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 paraphrase 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 happens our democracy will work better 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.

Steve Scott, Blogger on Voting and Elections

Sarasota, Florida


Your comments, both positive and negative, will be greatly appreciated.

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