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Pocan, Ellison seek right-to-vote constitutional amendment

May 13, 2013
In The News

U.S. Reps. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) and Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) announced Monday legislation to amend the U.S. Constitution to guarantee the right to vote.

"The right to vote is too important to be left unprotected," Pocan said in a statement. "At a time when there are far too many efforts to disenfranchise Americans, a voting rights amendment would positively affirm our founding principle that our country is at its strongest when everyone participates."

The text of the amendment reads, "Section 1: Every citizen of the United States, who is of legal voting age, shall have the fundamental right to vote in any public election held in the jurisdiction in which the citizen resides."

"Section 2: Congress shall have the power to enforce and implement this article by appropriate legislation."

Voting rights, including the passage of voter identification laws in several states, became key issues in the run up to the 2012 election.

An amendment to the U.S. Constitution can be proposed by Congress with two-thirds majority approval of a joint resolution in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Three-fourths of the state legislatures would have to approve the amendment for it to be ratified.