Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Vote by Mail?

Interesting article from "Campaigns and Elections", on national vote by mail rule.


The bill, called the Universal Right to Vote by Mail Act, was approved by the House Administration Committee, of which Davis is a member, in early April. Davis' office says the next step is to get a full House vote, and Lisa Sherman, Davis' chief of staff, said at least one member of Congress is currently considering sponsoring similar legislation in the Senate.

"We believe it is the constitutional right of every voter to vote by absentee ballot," said Sherman. She added that Davis believes the bill can become law in time for the 2010 elections. Federal election law reforms, however, have been rather rare in recent legislative times...

Leaders with the American Civil Liberties Union have already hailed the bill as a way to eliminate "the unnecessary, burdensome, and often intrusive requirements that some states impose on voters requesting absentee ballots."

"The bill levels the playing field for all voters," said Deborah J. Vagins, ACLU policy counsel for civil rights and civil liberties. "We firmly believe that there shouldn't be unnecessary and artificial barriers to vote-and certainly there shouldn't be different standards for voting in the same election just depending on which state that you're in."

Whoa. The ACLU says there shouldn't be different standards for voting in the same election depending on which state you are in?

I have to ask: isn't it a problem for the ACLU that Article I, Section I in the Constitution says:

Section 4. The times, places and manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each state by the legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by law make or alter such regulations, except as to the places of choosing Senators.

Debate on this question, from 1788, in VA ratifying convention.

The point is that Congress does have the power to command the states to hold the elections in a certain way. But unless EVERY ASPECT of elections is commanded by the Congress, then the states will ALWAYS have different rules. Vive le difference!

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