Essay on Voting Rights in the Age of Partisan Competition

3 pages
589 words
Carnegie Mellon University
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The enactment of the Voter Identification Act ushered a new era that would allow African Americans and other minority communities the right to vote, and the Act further empowers the Federal government to oversees the voting process. Strict voter Identification laws prevent a voter from participating the voting process without presenting valid identification. An exam0le of such a State is Indiana, which is said to have enacted the stringiest voter identification laws, with voters required to submit a recent photo issued by the Federal government to exercise their voting rights, blacks are significantly affected by the law. Several reasons have been given for the enactment of the stringent requirements, with most using it as a means of preventing voting fraud. Reports, however, indicate Indiana has not experienced voting fraud issues, in Crawford v Marion County Election Board, the Supreme Court categorically stated that the state had not experienced false impersonation in the voting process. Voter impersonation is a rare occurrence; therefore stringent voting identification laws only hinder legible voters from exercising their right to vote.

Voting is a fundamental freedom enshrined in the Bill of Rights in the constitution, any law that contravenes the constitution is null and void. Thus the Texas voter ID law is not only discriminatory to minorities inhibiting them from exercising their right to vote, but also contravenes the Bill of Rights. The majority representative reacts to the participation of the minority through amendments to the Voting Rights Act. The articles pinpoint that legislators enact strict voter ID laws to restrain the minorities from participating in the voting process, to gain voter advantage. The Court decision presents a possible scenario of Texas being stripped of the right to changes its electoral laws, a power that interests of minority groups and Democrats, seeking the counsel of the government to protect the fundamental right to vote. The manipulation of voting rules is advantageous to one party in the election process affecting voter turnout. The laws require voters to present seven forms of identification. Voters are however allowed to avoid the law by swearing an affidavit to confirm they are in the process of obtaining documents such as drivers licenses and photo identification card. The Federal court has however withdrawn its restriction on Texas; this, therefore, means that the strict ID law shall be operational.

Representative democracy is an allusion to the achievement of equality in the voting process. Each representative, Republican, and Democrats serve to protect their interests for example, in a state where the majority are Republicans legislation that infringes on the rights of the Democrats are enacted. Further, representative democracy focuses on the majority ignoring the minority, and it also discourages accountability. Elections and the voting process is a dictation of the law, enactment of laws that favor a particular political party mirrors the outcome of the election process. The voting process is heavily impacted by the stringent voter ID laws, restricting on the minority groups such restrictions in return affect the nations political decision making. After the reconstruction period, the US Congress provided constitutional protection of voting and electoral participation in the 14th Amendment. Electoral rules affect the ratio of representation for the minority that is further divided into ethnic descriptions. Interest groups and political parties play a vital role in the legislation of election laws. Interest groups play a lobbying role, lobbying the government against the enactment of legislation that has adverse effects on the electorates. Such groups also influence the election process seeking support for particular candidates who advocate their interest.

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