Make Voting A Right of Citizenship

By Elizabeth Conroy
Published September 23rd 2004 in Morning Call

The Morning Call was right to point out in a Sept. 20 editorial that we should ''still (be) jittery about trustworthy elections.'' Since the Help America Vote Act (which Congress passed to improve the quality of elections) is not mandatory, most states have disregarded it.

States independently set voting policies and procedures, such as ballot design (remember the butterfly ballot), polling hours and registration requirements, all of which have led to improper voter disenfranchisement and miscounted votes.

This leaves no reason to believe the electoral problems we faced in the last election will not repeat themselves.

However, there is a solution. We must urge Congress to pass an amendment to the Constitution to make voting a right of citizenship.

Such an amendment would establish minimum voting standards all states would be required to follow to ensure that all eligible voters could vote and that the ballot is correctly counted.

Elizabeth Conroy