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Espresso Talk Today

May 8, 2020

Does the U.S. Constitution guarantee the right to vote? Most Americans answer a proud and resounding "Yes!" Unfortunately, this answer is wrong. The Constitution does not guarantee the right to vote--and this has led to many problems. From onerous registration requirements to blatant acts of voter suppression, this "missing" right has disenfranchised millions of potential voters and undermined the integrity of the American electoral system. Many people also charge that it has undermined the legitimacy of American democracy. (Most democracies provide an affirmative right to vote in their national constitution.) Civic organizations are now working to amend the Constitution to add the right to vote, asserting that this would protect the individual's most fundamental right in a democracy. Doug and Robin, who have examined voter suppression in previous episodes, are now discussing this constitutional omission and its appalling effects. They also consider the impact of a right to vote amendment, whether it can prevent blatant acts of voter suppression, and why some people are opposed to taking this important step. Join this uncommon conversation that can help to protect your right to vote. America is a democracy, right?