The US Constitution does not make it easy for citizens to cast their ballots. Nevertheless, we urge everyone who is eligible to vote.
Except for the common date by which voters must submit their choices for president and members of Congress—this year, that date is November 3—there is no national system for elections. Every state makes its own rules on who can vote, how, when, and where. And some states make voting harder than others. In both the text and graphic versions of Fault Lines in the Constitution, we discuss some of these issues, including
- Residence requirements
- Identification requirements
- Registration procedures
As a result of these and other complications,
We’ve addressed possible ways to expand access to the polls in blog posts on
- the minimum age to vote—“Should Sixteen-Year-Olds be able to Vote?”
- giving workers time to vote—“Time (Off) to Vote?”
- the right of former felons to vote—“Should You be Allowed to Vote if You’ve Broken the Law?”
Elections have consequences. If you are eligible to vote, find out where, when, and how to register in your state. Then, vote, in the safest way you can. If you are not eligible, please urge friends and family members to vote.