Notable QuotablesSupport for the Right to Vote is growing...
Burt Neuborne, the John Norton Pomeroy Professor of Law and legal director of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University.
"The essence of democracy is the right to vote. But the United States Constitution--the most successful democratic charter in human history--does not guarantee the right to vote, even for presidential electors. Over the past 50 years, the U.S. Supreme Court, confronted with the lack of a broad protection of the franchise in the Constitution, has usually resorted to the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause when struggling to find constitutional grounds for upholding the right to vote. Congress has also provided important protection to voters who were once excluded from the franchise because of race. But as the Supreme Court's decision in the Florida presidential election case made clear, the equal protection clause is not an adequate substitute for an express constitutional guarantee of the right to vote. Indeed, as the Court's unfortunate ruling demonstrates, in the hands of hostile or insensitive justices, a federal constitutional right to vote rooted solely in the equal protection clause can be deployed as an obstacle to the effective protection of the right to vote by the general population. Thus, although it is clearly a long-range project, we should consider pursuing a federal constitutional amendment protecting the right to vote.
The amendment process at the state constitutional level tends to be less demanding than at the federal level. A parallel strategy at the state level, pursuing a state constitutional protection of the right to vote, would be an important reinforcement of democracy and would provide a grass-roots organizing strategy."
The American Prospect, March 12, 2001
Reverend Jesse Louis Jackson, Sr., Founder and President of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, is one of America’s foremost civil rights, religious and political figures.
"In Iraq you have the constitutional right to vote... Here we only have the state's right to vote. In our constitution there are 50 unequal state elections. The richer counties have better machinery the poorer counties have poorer machinery "