By Joseph Mavilia
There is a lot of noise being made about people driving a car, truck or bus. Well, I have little concern for who is allowed to get a driver’s license. When I travel to Europe or most anywhere in the world my US issued license is accepted as legal. Likewise, visitors to America need to have convenient transportation options. If they want to take a driving test and be issued a US license that should be ok too.
That being said it does not follow that non-citizens should be able to vote in our elections. Solution: Simple. Require a properly issued voter ID to vote. The law requires it and we should be demanding that voting legally means every citizen and only citizens who shows their voter ID is indeed able to cast a vote. Not only is it the law it is common sense.
No citizen or noncitizen should disagree with that requirement of our laws of the land. So, what does the constitution say about voting?
Who Can and Can’t Vote in U.S. Elections?
You must be a U.S. citizen to vote in federal, state, or local elections.
Who Can Vote?
You can vote in U.S. elections if you:
- Are a U.S. citizen
- Meet your state’s residency requirements
- You can be homeless and still meet these requirements.
- Are 18 years old on or before Election Day
- In almost every state, you can register to vote before you turn 18 if you will be 18 by Election Day. See a table of voter registration age requirements by state.
- Are registered to vote by your state’s voter registration deadline. North Dakota does not require voter registration.
Who CAN’T Vote?
- Non-citizens, including permanent legal residents
- Some people with felony convictions. Rules vary by state. Check with your state elections office about the laws in your state.
- Some people who are mentally incapacitated. Rules vary by state.
- For president in the general election: U.S. citizens residing in U.S. territories
Voting Rights Laws and Constitutional Amendments
U.S. election laws date back to Article 1 of the Constitution. This gave states the responsibility of overseeing federal elections. Many Constitutional amendments and federal laws to protect voting rights have been passed since then.
- The 15th Amendmentgave African American men the right to vote in 1870. But many weren’t able to exercise this right. Some states used literacy tests and other barriers to make it harder to vote.
- The 19th Amendment, ratified in 1920, gave American women the right to vote.
- The 24th Amendment, ratified in 1964, eliminated poll taxes. The tax had been used in some states to keep African Americans from voting in federal elections.
- The 26th Amendment, ratified in 1971, lowered the voting age for all elections to 18.
Submitted by Joe Mavilia, author, journalist, syndicated columnist published in print media including the Los Angeles Times, The Golden Transcript – Colorado, La Feria News – Texas, The Pasadena Weekly – California, and others around the country, including www.autolove.com, Contributing editor www.theweekenddrive.com, Content writer for www.conventionofstates.com, and columnist of Caprock Patriot.