During the past general election, civil rights organizations across the nation fought valiantly to make certain the right to vote was not obstructed. Advancement Project, one of the leading groups in that effort, announced Thursday that it supports a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution regarding the fundamental right to vote.
U.S. Democratic Representatives Mark Pocan of Wisconsin and Keith Ellison of Minnesota proposed a constitutional amendment, known as H.J. Res. 25, that would guarantee every American of legal voting age has the right to vote. In 2013, Pocan and Ellison introduced a similar plan. The proposal recognizes voting as a “fundamental right,” and officials from Advancement Project issued a statement in support of the congressmen.
From Advancement Project:
“We strongly support amending the U.S. Constitution to affirm the right to vote for all eligible Americans,” said Advancement Project Co-Director Judith Browne Dianis. “The amendment proposed today would ensure uniform standards for elections, no longer treating voting as a privilege but an explicit right for all citizens. In the absence of a constitutional right to vote, politicians and local bureaucrats are free to enact restrictive voting policies without proving any compelling reason for imposing them. We would never tolerate this kind of deference to politicians with other rights, like the right of free speech or freedom of religion. It’s time to protect voting in the same way.”
“An affirmative right to vote is essential to an equal and just democracy,” said Advancement Project Co-Director Penda Hair. “This necessity has become more glaring in recent years, as politicians, state by state, increasingly pass laws that make it harder to vote, especially for communities of color. The rise of restrictive photo ID laws that allow only limited forms of identification for voting, cuts to early voting periods, large-scale purges of voter rolls and other practices constitute a relentless war on our democracy. A constitutional amendment enshrining the right to vote is needed now more than ever, and we support the swift adoption of this amendment.”
Advancement Project Right To Vote Campaign Director Shuya Ohno added that the United States is one of 11 democratic countries in the world that does not guarantee the right to vote in its constitution.
In recent times, within North Carolina and other states, there has been some tampering with the electoral process. The amendment would officially put into place certain protections for voters who have been consistently under threat of obstruction since the 2013 Supreme Court ruling on Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
“Our constitutional amendment would clearly and unequivocally guarantee the right to vote for each and every American, and would be an important step forward in the march for civil rights,” said Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tennessee), one of 21 congresspersons who support the act.