Voting Rights and The Constitution

November 6, 2012, marks Election Day in the United States. Many Americans do not realize that there is no Constitutionally protected right to vote. While there are amendments to the U.S. Constitution that prohibit discrimination based on race (15th), sex (19th) and age (26th), no affirmative right to vote exists.

Though the Constitution requires that Representatives of Congress and Senators shall be elected by “the People,” the qualifications for voters outside of gender, race, and age are left to the states. In some states mentally incompetent persons and felons are prohibited from voting. The procedure and type of ballot also vary by state. Thirty four states, including Arizona, in addition to the District of Columbia, currently offer “early voting,” where citizens may vote before Election Day either by mail or in person.

Despite how voting procedures may vary, voting is a national civic duty. This year Arizona voters have the ability to vote on numerous propositions in addition to voting for presidential, senatorial, congressional, and local candidates. No matter where you stand on the issues, we hope that any clients with the opportunity to vote were able to get to the polls and make their voices heard this Election Day.

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