What Professor Barack Obama Taught Us

Jesse Jackson | 3/20/2014, 10:28 a.m. | Updated on 3/20/2014, 10:28 a.m.
This week, I wanted to focus my column once more on the issue of voting, as the 49th anniversary approaches ...
Rev. Jesse Jackson

If the fundamental individual right to vote had been constitutionally guaranteed in 2000, Al Gore would have been elected President over George W. Bush because all the individual votes of Floridians would have had to be counted, as felons in Florida were not allowed to cast their votes. The individual right of Florida's citizens would have taken precedence over Florida's state laws.

If there were a constitutionally guaranteed right to vote, we would not have different laws for 50 different states and 13,000 election jurisdictions. We'd have a federal law that would govern voting rights for all.

Congressmen Mark Pocan (D-WI) and Keith Ellison (D-MN) have introduced House Joint Resolution 44 to amend the Constitution to guarantee the right to vote. It would provide every American with a fundamental individual right to vote and give Congress the clear authority to create a unified national voting system with minimum standards.

The right to vote is not a partisan question. It should not be left to changing legislatures or biased Supreme Court majorities. It should be clearly guaranteed in the Constitution.

You can write to the Rev. Jesse Jackson in care of this newspaper or by email at jjackson@rainbowpush.org. Follow him on Twitter @RevJJackson.

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