Since the founding of America in 1776 countless people have either become disenfranchised by the federal government or backed the government. From laws being passed to decisions being made there will always be a division amongst the American people. Whether arguing over gun laws or citizenship rights, the debate is always there and met with some form of counter argument from either side. What makes America so great is the fact that you have the right to have a voice and speak out for your opinions. One of the greatest ways for a citizen to be heard is voting. Whether for local, state, or federal every vote counts and every citizen heard. In the creation of our constitution our nation has evolved from only white, male property owners being allowed to vote, to the passing of the 15th amendment in 1869 allowing every race or color to vote, up to the 1920’s allowing women to have equal rights in the voting process. Being a democracy is what sets us apart from many other nations in this country. Although Americans have the freedom to vote, there are still rules and regulations set forth to make the process a more smooth flowing affair. From filling out the application to meeting the qualifications, one American can find their voice as the determining factor for a sheriff, mayor or even president.
The Voting Rights Act was one of the most revolutionary bills ever passed by the congressional legislation in the United States. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the bill into law on August 6th, 1965, not only as part of politics but also, a depiction of morals. Since 1965, it has protected minority voters at the polls, but it has been fifty years since the Voting Rights Act has been passed and it is still a controversial topic that is constantly debated on today. The voting rights of all minorities throughout the country are once again under attack which impacts one’s ability to exercise his or her constitutional right as a citizen.
However, there are several ways to combat this problem. One way to get more voters to show up at the polls is have election officials mail ballots to all registered voters. This makes it easy for registered voters to select their candidates on their own time. This method to obtain more voters is in place in two states currently, Oregon and Washington. This method has proved effective because “in the 2010 midterm elections, just [Oregon and Washington] exceed 70 percent participation” (Koas).
Voter ID laws are meant to control cases of voter fraud according to Professor Justin Levitt, from Loyola Law School, discovered, “there were only 31 incidents of the type of voter fraud that could have been prevented by voter ID laws...”. Voters may think voter ID laws are an exaggeration, but it is not considering it secures every vote and verifies if the person is eligible to vote. Everyone is eligible to vote should have a form of ID since IDs are asked for throughout the day. Voter ID laws do not burden the minority for there are other ways of receiving an ID. Seniors, individual older than 60, receive a free ID at the DMV and it last much more longer.
We often assume that the reason behind the low voter turnout in the U.S. is due to institutional challenges (i.e. voter ID laws, registration, costs). Therefore, reformers most often focus on offering and improving various forms of convenience voting to increase turnout. Skeptics such as Graeme Orr argue that “voting whenever, from wherever, is a ‘lifestyle’ option.” Another skeptic, Adam J. Breinsky, argues that convenience voting has “perverse consequences on election reform” and that encouraging political engagement is more valuable than pursuing institutional changes. Although convenience voting offers flexibility and comfort, it is imperative not to overlook what Election Day is supposed to be: a communal event.
In Australia voter turnout doubled, going from “47% prior to the compulsory voting law... [to] voter turnout hover[ing] around 94%-96%” (source 1). Increased voters does mean a more accurate sample size of the population of the country. However, those voters who did not come before are now on equal footing with the men and women who studied and thought about the right candidate for the country. After all, a vote is a vote, and if half the voting population strikes through the first bubble and walks out the door, the first bubble candidate will win unfairly, and clearly not in the true interest of the people.
Over time our Constitution of the United States has given us more voting privileges. We’ve allowed most of our population to be able to vote now in 2017. The only people who can’t are people under the age of 18, aren’t registered, or not a citizen.
The thing that confuses me the most is that the people from The Civil Rights Movement fought so hard for equal voting rights, but the modern American citizens’ still don’t try to vote even though now all the citizens’ can vote. If we are given a right that people died for, then we should take a stand and vote, so that elections can be fair. Americans’ should vote to voice their opinion on important matter to move the country forward. Voting have to be mandatory for all citizen. There should be an equal participation
What would you do if you were convicted as a felon for the rest of your life for a crime that you knew you were not guilt of ? Many people around the world are convicted as felons not because they are guilty but because they do not have the money or support to have the proper attorney to fight their case. The articles ‘ If You Can’t Follow Laws, You Shouldn’t Help Make Them’ by Roger Clegg and ‘ Felon Disenfranchisement Is Anti-Democratic’ by Janai S. Nelson have different viewpoints on whether convicted felons should be given their rights to vote again. Felons should not have their right to vote taken away because despite what they have been through they are no less human than a regular citizen and deserve to be treated like everyone else.
Throughout the recent years the majority of the able voting population are exercising their privilege to vote. Even during the presidential elections the voter turnout rate was 50% or less than that. The act of voting should be a personal responsibility of every citizen meaning it should be a obligation. But to specify on this statement, it should not lawfully required to vote because people also have the right not to vote too (and it would be weakening personal liberties) , but it should be a personal responsibility for citizens if they are to complain about how the government run rather than every citizen. A personal responsibility is when we are the cause of our own actions.
“ While compulsion of any kind is a restriction, so is the compulsion to drive only on the right side of the road.” ( “Is It Time To Consider Mandatory Voting Laws? Worsening Voting Statistics Make a Strong Case.” by John W. Dean.) One way voter turnout can increase is by compulsory (required) voting.
Recently, state-issued photo ID has been required in order vote since the law passed in the Texas legislature. This law has caused controversy as it brings up the question over the state’s power in the regulation of elections. “While pending review within the judicial system, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in Shelby County v. Holder, which effectively ended all pending litigation. As a result, voters are now required to present an approved form of photo identification in order to vote in all Texas Elections” (votetexas.gov). The U.S. Supreme Court struck down on Section 4(b) of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in the Shelby County v. Holder case.
The serious lack of voter turnout contradicts this responsibility. There are individuals who speculate that it would be beneficial to make voting mandatory, with repercussions for those who do not vote. At the beginning of the course, I had believed that voting should be made mandatory. I thought that it would inspire people to vote, and would increase the numbers of turnout that way.
Even though voter fraud does occur, it is not as often as one would imagine. Over the years people have implied that “dead people” and illegal immigrants are voting. But according to the Washington Post, “2014 only 31 creditable cases of fraud occurred, which is little to none considering the billion that cast