MLK Day: Continued Pursuit of A Right to Vote

Posted by Austin Plier on January 18, 2016

On Martin Luther King Day we remember, among Dr. King’s many contributions to America, his and others’ tireless fight for an equal right to vote, which culminated in the passing of the Voting Rights Act in 1965. However in light of the Supreme Court’s decision in 2013 to strike down a key provision of the Act, we are reminded that we must stay vigilant to secure Dr. King’s vision of voting as a fundamental right for all.

This clip from “Electoral Dysfunction,” a documentary starring comedian Mo Rocca, highlights the absence of an affirmative right to vote in the U.S. Constitution, and what that absence means for American voters. Visit their website to learn about the ways in which we can achieve a more inclusive democracy.



FairVote has long called for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to establish an explicit, individual right to vote. While several Constitutional amendments protect against discrimination based on race, age, and sex, there is no affirmative right to vote to ensure equal access to the polls. Enshrining an explicit right to vote in the Constitution would guarantee the voting rights of every citizen of voting age, ensure that every vote is counted correctly, and defend against attempts to enfranchise ineligible voters and disenfranchise eligible voters. It would empower Congress to enact minimum electoral standards to guarantee a higher degree of legitimacy, inclusivity, and consistency across the nation, and give our courts the authority to keep politicians in check when they try to game the vote for partisan reasons.  Visit to learn more about what you can do to advance a grassroots effort to establish voting as a fundamental right.


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