June 13, 2012 by David K. Sutton
A Quick Lesson For Republicans: The Right To Vote
First, let’s get this out-of-the-way. If the Republican governors and legislators who are engaging in active voter suppression efforts (yes Rick Scott, I’m talking to you) can vote, then all other citizens can vote as well. But my statement isn’t required to make that so. The Constitution of the United States makes it so. You should read it sometime.
But I hear all you Republicans saying that we have to make sure non-citizens are not allowed to vote. You say voter fraud is a serious concern. Some of you even say it accounts for 1 or 2 percentage points in many elections. I’ll make it easy. You can ease your worries because you are misinformed. But even if you were 100% correct, efforts to purge voter registrations that result in legitimate citizens being unable to cast a ballot is un-American. If you support it, you’re un-American. Ah yes, it feels good to use the usual conservative hyperbole against conservatives for once. But guess what? Even your un-American ass can vote because you are a legal citizen.
I mentioned earlier you should read the constitution. I’ll give you a few clauses that you should memorize.
The following is straight from the 15th Amendment:
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.
or how about the 19th Amendment:
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
or here’s a good one from the 24th Amendment (by the way, notice how many amendments deal with expanding voting rights? Does this strike you as a trend, one your party is fighting against right now?):
The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.
That last one is a particularly good one. You know how Republicans in some states have passed voter ID laws requiring voters to have a photo ID? Well, these laws are unconstitutional because they are a form of “poll tax” since not everyone has a photo ID and they cost money to obtain.
And last, the most broad and all-encompassing is the following passage from the 26th Amendment:
The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.
Interpretation? Well, I’d say it’s pretty clear, but if you need clarification, it means every citizen has the right to vote, period. Denying that right in an effort to combat voter fraud (or worse) to rig the election against minority voters (hence, in favor of Republicans) is at a minimum un-American, and at worst criminal.
So Republicans, this lesson, as it regards current suppression efforts, can be summed up in one simple sentence: