Letters to the Editor

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VOTING: Denying felons the right to vote is unconstitutional

Letter by Robert Randle, tacoma on June 21, 2010 at 10:45 am | 14 Comments »
June 21, 2010 10:45 am

Re: “9th Circuit should rule against using Voting Rights Act to let felons vote” (TNT, 6-17).

Before weighing in on this matter further, it seems prudent to read the U.S. Constitution to find out what it says about the “right” to vote, especially paying attention to the 15th Amendment, section 1, the 19th Amendment, the 24th Amendment, section 1 and the 26th Amendment, section 1.

The aforementioned constitutional amendments are the minimum set of guidelines set forth by the founding fathers of this democratic republic to guarantee every person enjoys the full rights of citizenship and freedom, to establish the common good and to promote life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The right to vote is certainly among these most cherished of our lofty ideals.

Not only that, but even the First Amendment guarantees the freedom of speech, and voting is a part of that “right.” For any state to enact felon disenfranchisement laws to keep felons from voting is clearly unconstitutional.

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