Some major changes here in citizenship, and giving the Federal government direct jurisdiction over Federal elections. This may or may not be a good idea…let me know what you think?
Article 2: Citizenship and Voting
Section 2.1: Citizenship
Nothing in this section may be amended by the process in Section 1.3.
There are two types of citizens, native-born and naturalized. Only a native-born citizen is eligible for the offices of President and Vice-President. Otherwise, there is no difference between them.
A native-born citizen is one who is native-born when this Constitution is adopted, or one who is born to citizens of the United States anywhere in the world. A naturalized citizen is one who is naturalized when this Constitution is adopted, or one who becomes naturalized afterwards. Children who are born to parents while the parents are actively undergoing the naturalization process become native-born citizens when their parents become naturalized citizens. /* Fairly large change here. It is no longer sufficient to be born in the US to be a native-born citizen. You must be born to those who hold citizenship, or those actively trying to become citizens. */
Paragraph 2.1.3: Multiple citizenships
No multiple citizenship is allowed. Anyone with multiple citizenship who is at least eighteen has one year from ratification of this Constitution to renounce any other citizenships, or they will have their United States citizenship stripped from them. Anyone not yet eighteen has until and including their nineteenth birthday to renounce their other citizenships.
Section 2.2: Voting
/* This is a vast increase in Federal power so that the question of federal election practices are uniform across states. Not least of which because several Democratic states want to allow non-citizens to vote in state elections. This allows them to have that for State elections, but does not impact Federal elections at all. */
Paragraph 2.2.1: Franchise
Every citizen of the United States who is at least 18 years old is eligible to vote in Federal elections, unless the citizen has been convicted of a felony and not had the right to vote restored. Federal Elections are those for President, Vice President, U.S. Senator, U.S. Representative, or a referendum on any Federal issue such as a Constitutional Amendment or Constitutional Convention.
Paragraph 2.2.2: Identification
A citizen who wishes to vote in a Federal election must present Federally-issued ID to establish identity, and then a government-issued ID to verify residence, and then may vote.
Paragraph 2.2.3: Ballots
Ballots may be prepared in any manner required by law, but must have a physical copy to cast and be counted. This paragraph may not be amended by the process in 1.3.
Paragraph 2.2.4: Reporting
No results in any election may be released until all the polls for that election have closed. /* Translation: Don’t say how East-coast states vote for President before Hawaii’s polls close. Or, for the states in multiple time zones, don’t say how Senatorial elections are going before the polls close. Do not influence voters that way. Once polls close, then voters cannot be influenced, so go ahead. */
Voting shall be on the Tuesday in the range of November 2 through November 8, or on whatever other day is decided by federal law. /* Yes, the Constitution can say that certain parts can be amended simply by passing a law. After all, the current one does. */
Agree with all of your assessments. The tighter the lock, the harder to jimmy!
So, essentially an end to Federalism where Elections are concerned. Strip the states of the right to determine voter eligibility seems to be one of the major points here, otherwise the language needs tweaking. In many states convicted felons automatically regain the right to vote once their sentence is completed (or for that matter, they never lose it and can vote absentee from prison). Personally I think anyone in detentions shouldn’t be able to vote simply because they do not have control over their lives (they can be influenced by prison officials, parole officers, whatnot), but this country seems to be in love with punishment in perpetuity and I’d find it disturbing to see such a sentiment ensconced in the Constitution.
As for citizenship, I think the proposal for defining natural born is a pretty good revision of the current model.
Dual citizenship? Is that really such a large problem that it needs the blunt instrument of a constitutional change to address it? I’ll plead ignorance on this issue, so it’s an honest question on my part.
Where Federal elections are concerned, yes. At least in my view. I could well be talked out of it, though. I lived in the Seattle area for twenty years, and I heard calls for illegal aliens–not just non-citizens–to be granted the vote. I don’t want a city, county, or state granting that for Federal elections. I don’t want them doing it for any elections, at all, but that’s neither here nor there. I also don’t like the huge amount of early voting that some states do, as well as excessive granting of absentee ballots.
Regarding the point of felonies: States could say that civil rights are automatically restored after felonies. That does not change. And if civil rights are restored upon completion of sentence, then of course they can vote. For certain classes of felonies, I think that non-restoration of the right to vote is appropriate. Voting fraud, for example, whether by casting false ballots, knowingly excluding true ballots, etc. If you like, you might slog through the archives and see some of the W.O.R.M.’s thoughts (and mine) on it in previous posts and comments.
I will plead ignorance as to dual citizenship as well. The reason I put it in is that the concept offends me: a person should hold a single citizenship. Also, the concept of citizenship is vital to what a country is, and so the fundamental aspects should be recorded in the Constitution. Part of the oath of citizenship to become naturalized has them rejecting all other allegiances to any foreign country or potentate, for example. So sure, that might be taken out.
Fair enough regarding felons, though I’d think explicit language allowing the states to restore voting rights would be a good idea, otherwise at some point somebody will decide every felon needs to petition a Federal Court to be able to vote in Federal elections and the less the courts have to be involved the better for everyone. (Not snark, I just like to see the courts dealing with criminal and civil disputes more than with rights issues. Define the rights and the courts have less need, or opportunity, to mess with that side of the equation.)
From what I can see dual citizenship’s biggest benefit is not having to get a visa to travel back and forth. I suppose there are some tax implications as well, but again, we have very little information to go on, so, meh.
I’d like to address the Tuesday election: why? Why not Saturday, or better yet open the polls 8:00 AM Saturday and close them 8:00 PM Sunday? Or make Election Day a national holiday- it might go a long way towards alleviating the early voting issue (a concern I certainly share with you). This is not at all a new idea, but it seems the Tuesday election is a hold over born of tradition rather than practicality.
Finally, what are your thoughts on the Australian practice of requiring every eligible voter to cast a ballot?
I can see explicit language being a good thing. One thing that may or may not be good: only the original jurisdiction or one superior to it can restore civil rights. So, say, you commit a crime in Texas and move to California. You can’t vote in a Federal election in California unless Texas restores your civil rights. Or if Travis County (where Austin, TX, is) is the original jurisdiction, then Hayes County (just to the south) cannot restore your civil rights, but the State can. Does this make sense?
Yes, Tuesday is a holdover. Might do Monday instead.
As for requiring eligible voters to cast ballots…I don’t like the coercive element involved. Some of the voter fraud cases I’ve seen (2000 and 2004 races in Washington, especially in King and Snohomish counties) involved nursing home workers illegally filling out ballots for the residents and sending them in.