Voting: a privilege, not really a right

Published 9:58 am Tuesday, April 3, 2012


In response to Jo Lowe’s letter regarding voter identification, I need to ask: Is voting a right or a privilege? Are rights granted without recognition or regard for personal responsibility?

“The Constitution does not protect the right of all citizens to vote, rather the right of all qualified citizens to vote.” — Alexander v Mineta

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Nearly all of us are quick to claim benefits, but not everybody is eager to fulfill obligations. We are a nation obsessed with rights and forgetful of responsibilities. This is especially true with voting. We need to remember there is a direct correlation between responsibility and privilege.

A big part of the responsibility for the privilege of voting should be providing proof we are qualified. And it is our personal responsibility to obtain that proof. Providing proof of identity does not seem to be an issue to qualify for program benefits offered by the state or county, yet requiring ID to vote is, to some, somehow considered an infringement!


Rebecca Fredrickson