Image - the speaker and a hand
Image - the speaker and a hand

Rick Hasen: A Real Right to Vote

Throughout history, many Americans have been disenfranchised or faced needless barriers to voting. Part of the blame falls on the Constitution, which does not contain an affirmative right to vote. The U.S. Supreme Court failed to protect voting rights and limited Congress’s ability to do so. That’s why some are saying that the time has come for voters to take action and push for an amendment to the Constitution that would guarantee this right for all.

Drawing on troubling stories of state attempts to disenfranchise military voters, women, African Americans, students, former felons, Native Americans, and others, UCLA law professor Richard Hasen argues that American democracy can and should do better in assuring that all eligible voters can cast a meaningful vote that will be fairly counted. He says a constitutional right to vote can deescalate voting wars between political parties that lead to endless rounds of litigation and undermine voter confidence in elections, and can safeguard democracy against dangerous attempts at election subversion like the one we witnessed in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election.

The path to a constitutional amendment is undoubtedly hard, especially in these polarized times. Join us as Hasen explains what’s in it for conservatives who have resisted voting reform and reveals how the pursuit of an amendment can yield tangible dividends for democracy long before ratification.

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Rick Hasen

Professor of Law and Political Science at the University of California, Los Angeles; Author, A Real Right to Vote: How a Constitutional Amendment Can Safeguard American Democracy; X @rickhasen

Image - Guy Marzorati

In Conversation with Guy Marzorati

Correspondent, California Politics & Government Desk for KQED; X @guyMarzorati