The Right to Vote
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As mentioned in the Introduction, in order to place restrictions on the right to vote, the restrictions must meet the test of strict scrutiny. Some of the restrictions that have been upheld are residence, age, and citizenship. Let’s look at each one of these concepts a little further.

The government may place reasonable residency restrictions on the fundamental right to vote. For example, your State may require that you reside within its parameters for a period of 30 days before you are afforded the right to vote in a particular election. This requirement allows the states to ensure that the people voting in their elections are people who are true residents of that respective state, and people who will truly be affected by the decisions made and the laws passed in that state.

In addition to reasonable residency requirements, the government can place restrictions on voting based on the voter’s age and citizenship. According to the 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the right of citizens of the U.S., who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied by the U.S. or by any State on account of age. Here, the Amendment makes it clear that you must be eighteen years old, commonly known as the legal age at which you reach adulthood. This is a reasonable restriction on voting because it still recognizes that all adults have the fundamental right to vote. Furthermore, the Amendment also recognizes that the right extends to citizens of the U.S. This restriction is similar to the reasonable residency restrictions, in that the U.S. government can require that all voters must be true citizens who are affected by the decisions made and the laws passed in the U.S.

Not permissible are restrictions on sex, race, color, as well as the requirement to pay poll taxes. All of these restrictions and requirements have been found to be unconstitutional over the course of time. Shortly after the Civil War, the 15th Amendment was passed in order to ensure that African-Americans and/or former slaves were afforded the fundamental right to vote. Likewise, in 1920, the 19th Amendment was passed in order to ensure that women were afforded the equal opportunity to vote. Finally, the issue of poll taxes was addressed in 1964, in which many states required payment of taxes prior to exercising your right to vote. These taxes were essentially a means to prevent people of certain races and classes from voting, and the 24th Amendment was passed to stop this unconstitutional restriction.

Next, let’s discuss the "one person, one vote" principle, and what this means to you.