Editorials: In face of voter ID laws, younger generation must get involved | Michael Sainato/The Hill
The right to vote is one of the most frequently cited constitutional right in the Constitution itself; appearing five separate times total, including four individual amendments enacted to protect it. Since African-American men were granted the right to vote in 1870, and the passage of women’s suffrage in 1920, many states have used arbitrary methods to deter certain blocks of voters from the polls. Poll taxes, literacy tests and complicated voter registration were commonplace up until the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that abolished these practices. A Supreme Court decision in 2013 invalidated a key component of the Voting Rights Act, giving nine Southern states the power to change their election laws without federal approval. Today, the impetuous transgressions against the right to vote from which the Voting Rights Act was enacted to protect Americans are being undermined by voter ID laws that are in currently being enforced in 32 states, 17 of those requiring photo identification. It is no coincidence that the year many voter restriction laws were put into place, 2014, voter turnout for the elections that year were the lowest in any election cycle since World War II.