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There is NO constitutional right to vote for president

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Hugabear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-15-08 11:41 AM
Original message
There is NO constitutional right to vote for president
Edited on Tue Jan-15-08 11:43 AM by Paint It Black
Article II of the US Constitution:
http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/constitution.ar...
http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/constitution.am...

"Each state shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors, equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or person holding an office of trust or profit under the United States, shall be appointed an elector.

...

The Congress may determine the time of choosing the electors, and the day on which they shall give their votes; which day shall be the same throughout the United States."

We currently have the Electoral College, described in detail in Article II, Section I, and further elaborated in Amendment XII. Each state gets to decide how to chose its electors. It just so happens that so far, every state has held a popular election to determine its electors. When you vote for president, you are not actually voting for that candidate, rather you are voting for your electors, who will then cast their votes on your behalf.

The XV, XIX, and XXVI amendments don't guarantee anyone the right to actually vote for president. They merely state that states cannot deny anyone over the age of 18 the right to vote based on race or gender.
http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/constitution.am...
http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/constitution.am...
http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/constitution.am...

Note also that the Poll Tax amendment (XXIV) states: The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax. Note that even here, it specifies voting for electors for President and VP, not actually direct votes.
http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/constitution.am...

I am not defending this practice, but I'm merely stating the facts. There is an incorrect assumption among many that there is a constitutional right to vote for President, when that just doesn't exist. In order to accomplish that, we would need to pass a new amendment abolishing the Electoral College, and institute a direct popular vote.
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Kucinich4America Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-15-08 11:43 AM
Response to Original message
1. Neil Bore-tz fan, are you?
And yes, the Electoral College should be abolished. Florida 2000 is a good reason why.
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Hugabear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-15-08 11:45 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. How does that make me a Boortz fan?
Because it's the truth?

For the record, I agree we should do away with the Electoral College.
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BlackVelvet04 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-15-08 11:49 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. Why does that make him a boortz fan?
Yes, the electoral college should be abolished IMO. And NO, there is no constitutional right to vote for president.
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Hugabear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-15-08 12:08 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. You know what they say about broken clocks
They're right twice a day.

The huge difference is that Boortz wants to restrict who can vote for president, by administering some sort of IQ test. Of course, I'm sure that he would set up the test so that only conservatives could pass.
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damntexdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-15-08 02:12 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. If they could come up with a legitimate intelligence test, then ...
no conservatives could pass. ;-)
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TechBear_Seattle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-15-08 11:47 AM
Response to Original message
3. You are indeed correct
We are a republic of (theoretically) sovereign states; it is they, not the people, who elect the president.

This is civics 102 stuff. It constantly surprises me at how many otherwise knowledgeable people never passed civics 101.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-15-08 11:50 AM
Response to Original message
5. Or, the states could reapportion their electors and make an inter
state pact. (Is it inter or intra? :dunce: )

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damntexdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-15-08 02:11 PM
Response to Original message
7. Even were we to get an amendment to assure right to vote for electors, ...
we'll never get rid of the Electoral College and electors because the system gives disproportionate power to smaller states; and those that so benefit account for more than 12 states -- so can prevent passage of an amendment doing away with the EC. What CAN work, however, is the current effort of larger states to create a compact to vote their electoral votes for the prez candidate who gets the most votes nationally, to go into effect once sufficient states have joined to constitute a majority of the EC. This would not do away totally with the undemocratic EC, nor the disproportionate power of smaller states, but it would go far toward democratizing prez elections.
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LoZoccolo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-15-08 02:14 PM
Response to Original message
9. Awesome, that means there is no Constitutional right to vote for Nader! n/t
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LoZoccolo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-15-08 02:14 PM
Response to Original message
10. Awesome, that means there is no Constitutional right to vote for Nader! n/t
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