Two members of the House of Representatives insist the Constitution doesn’t guarantee you the right to vote—and one leading fact-checking group says they may be correct, on a technicality. Mark Pocan, a representative from Wisconsin, has joined with Keith Ellison from Minnesota to introduce a new constitutional amendment in the U.S. House of Representatives that guarantees everyone 18 years and older the right to vote in elections. The folks at PolitiFact, the Pulitzer Prize–winning website in Florida, evaluated Pocan’s statement on the House floor that “nothing in the Constitution explicitly guarantees our right to vote.”
U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Madison, aimed high with his first bill as a member of Congress: a constitutional amendment establishing the right to vote. As I explained in a recent post, the amendment may sound superfluous but legal scholars acknowledge that the right to vote is not currently guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, and adding language to that effect could impact laws that affect voting, such as voter ID. The bill may have little chance of advancing in the GOP-controlled House of Representatives, but it is getting attention — for all it’s worth — from progressives across the country.