Voting Policies Not Uniform Across States

By Andrew Kirshenbaum
Published September 24th 2004 in

I had always thought that every American had an equal opportunity to vote. Apparently, Utah, Missouri and North Dakota believe only servicemen should have special privileges ("3 states to let overseas soldiers vote by e-mail," September 23, 2004). It is right to question the security of e-mail voting, but at the very least, if this privilege exists, shouldn't it be extended to every American abroad: aid workers, civilian contractors, students and families?

Sadly states are not required to treat each voter equally; there is no right to vote in the U.S Constitution. States independently set voting policies and procedures such as ballot design and registration requirements.

Instead of this haphazard state-based system, we should urge Congress to add an amendment to the Constitution to make voting a right of citizenship that all Americans can equally enjoy. Such an amendment would streamline electoral policy and ensure that every American has the same privileges when voting.