Like an early Christmas present, “U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Middleton, announced that he is co-sponsoring a bill that would legalize Election Day voter registration for all federal elections. “Feingold introduced the legislation in response to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that determined Indiana’s voter identification law was constitutional. ‘The right to vote is at the heart of our democracy, and we should constantly be looking for ways to make it easier for Americans to exercise that right,’ Feingold said in a statement. ‘Election Day registration has worked well in Wisconsin for more than 30 years and is a major reason why Wisconsin is a national leader in voter turnout. By allowing people to register in person on Election Day, we can bring more people into the process, which only strengthens our democracy.”
“Some Republicans have pushed for an end to same-day registration in Wisconsin, arguing the change is needed to cut down on the opportunity for voter fraud.” -AP
If you haven’t heard already, voter fraud is rare and simply not an issue nationwide. Unless someone out there is crazy enough to commit a felony so they can tip the scales of an election with a single illegal vote.
The real issue is election fraud, like changing the votes electronically, misplacing boxes of ballots or purging voter roles.
If you were unsure about the current laws, the AP article conveniently supplies the answer: “Laws determining voter registration regulations are currently handled separately by each state, with some guidance from Washington, D.C., as the running of elections — even elections for federal office — is one of the tasks left to the states by the U.S. Constitution.
According the press release: “The bill’s introduction comes days after the Supreme Court upheld an Indiana voter ID law that seriously impedes the ability of elderly and low-income Americans to vote.”
I have often heard from know it all conservatives that there is no constitutional guarantee to vote. Let’s take a look at, what George W. Bush calls, “that goddamn piece of paper.”
The Right to Vote:
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.— Fifteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (1870)
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.— Nineteenth Amendment (1920)
The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election . . . shall not be denied or abridged . . . by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.— Twenty-fourth Amendment (1964)
The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of age.— Twenty-sixth Amendment (1971)
Funny, you’d think that the founding fathers and subsequent Congresses were somehow concerned about democracy and the right to vote. And for the strict constructionist, sorry, you won't find the requirement for picture IDs.