Text of the U.S. Voters’ Rights Amendment



Section 1.
The right of all citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to cast effective votes in political elections is inherent under this Constitution and shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State.
Section 2.
Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
Section 3.
The States shall ensure that all citizens who are eligible to vote are registered to vote.
In balancing the public benefit of maximum voter participation with the prevention of voting fraud, Congress and the States shall not impose any unjustifiable restriction on registration or voting by citizens.
The intentional suppression of voting is hereby prohibited and, in addition to any other penalty imposed by law, any person convicted of the intentional suppression of voting shall be ineligible for public office for a period of five years following such conviction.
Section 4.
The rights protected by the Constitution of the United States are the rights of natural persons only.
Artificial entities established by the laws of any State, the United States, or any foreign state shall have no rights under this Constitution and are subject to regulation by the People, through Federal, State, or local law.
The privileges of artificial entities shall be determined by the People, through Federal, State, or local law, and shall not be construed to be inherent or inalienable.
Section 5.
Federal, State and local government shall regulate, limit, or prohibit contributions and expenditures, to ensure that all citizens, regardless of their economic status, have access to the political process, and that no person gains, as a result of their money, substantially more access or ability to influence in any way the election of any candidate for public office or any ballot measure.
Federal, State and local government shall require that any permissible contributions and expenditures be publicly disclosed.
The judiciary shall not construe the spending of money to influence elections to be speech under the First Amendment.
Section 6.
Nothing contained in this article shall be construed to abridge the freedom of the press, which includes electronic and digital publication.
Section 7.
In balancing the public benefits of corruption-free elections with allowing candidates to accept private campaign contributions, Congress and the States shall favor public financing over private contributions.
Broadcasters using the public airwaves shall provide free airtime for political campaign programming; ensure controversial issues of public importance are presented in an honest, equitable and balanced manner; and provide equal time to opposing candidates and political points of view.
No campaign for elective public office, including receipt of campaign contributions, shall commence prior to six months before such election.
Section 8.
Election districts represented by members of Congress, or by members of any State legislative body, shall be compact and composed of contiguous territory. The State shall have the burden of justifying any departures from this requirement by reference to neutral criteria such as natural, political, or historical boundaries or demographic changes. Enhancing or preserving the power of any political party or individual shall not be such a neutral criterion.
Congress shall apportion the number of representatives according to the decennial census to ensure the representation of a maximum of 250,000 Persons in each district.
Section 9.
It shall be a primary function of the government to ensure that the People are supplied with truthful, unbiased, objective, and timely information regarding the political, economic, environmental, financial, and social issues that affect them, and that all students are educated in the nature and responsibilities of representative democracy.
The University of the United States shall be established to incorporate all federal service academies and to provide education on the nature and responsibilities of representative democracy, the meaning of freedom, and the appropriate limitations on the use of coercion and force.
Section 10.
During the calendar year preceding a presidential election, Congress shall solicit public comment regarding the political issues that most concern the People.
Prior to the end of the calendar year preceding a presidential election, Congress shall adopt a joint resolution articulating questions regarding the twelve most critical policy issues to be addressed by the next president and Congress.
Failure of Congress to adopt such a joint resolution prior to the end of such calendar year shall result in the disqualification of all sitting members of Congress to be eligible for reelection.
Section 11.
Federal elections conducted every second year shall be held on a national voters’ holiday, with full pay for all citizens who cast ballots.
Federal elections shall be conducted on uniform, hand-countable paper ballots and, for the presidential election, ballots shall include the twelve most critical policy questions articulated by Congress, each to be answered yes or no by the voters.
Paper ballots shall provide space allowing voters to handwrite in their choice for all elective federal offices, if they choose, and all such votes shall be counted.
Section 12.
Clauses Two and Three of Article Two, Section One and the Twelfth and Twenty-third articles of amendment to the Constitution of the United States are hereby repealed.
Clause Four of Article Two, Section One of the Constitution of the United States is amended to read as follows: “The Congress shall determine the dates of the primary and general elections of the president and vice president, which dates shall be the same throughout the United States. The presidential and vice presidential candidates receiving the most popular votes by all citizens of the United States shall be elected.”
Section 13.
No person, having previously served as an official of the federal government, whether elected, appointed, employed, or serving in the military shall engage in any employment to advocate an interest or position to any Government official for a period of time following such service equal to the period of such service.
No person advocating an interest or position to any government official, whether or not for pay, shall offer or provide any campaign contribution, gifts, or things of value, including favors, services, travel, meals, entertainment, honoraria, and promises of future employment to such government official, nor shall such official accept any such proffering.
Restrictions imposed on such persons by this section shall not be deemed to violate the rights of free speech or petition for redress.
Section 14.
No member of Congress, federal judge, or federal official shall vote, or rule on any matter in which such person or their spouse, domestic partner, child, or contributor of more than minor amounts of campaign funds has a financial, legal, or beneficial interest.
Section 15.
This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by conventions in the several States, as provided in the Constitution.
Delegates to State conventions to ratify this amendment shall be selected by special elections held within three months of its being proposed by Congress to the States. The voters in each congressional district in the several States shall elect one delegate. All delegate candidates shall affirm under oath when filing as a candidate whether they will vote yes or not for ratification of the proposed amendment, and their position shall be printed with their names on the special election ballot. Delegates shall not have the power to vote differently than their stated intention.
Conventions shall be held in the capitals of each State within three months of the election of delegates, with the chief justice of the highest court in the State chairing the convention. Tie votes by delegates shall be considered a vote for ratification.
The power of delegates convened pursuant to this section shall be restricted to voting yes or no for ratification of the proposed amendment. Such conventions shall not have the power to make changes to the proposed amendment or to consider other constitutional amendments.
The costs of ratification pursuant to this section shall be an expense of the federal government.

 

3 Comments


Harvey Gendler
10/22/12

Section 5: What is to prevent what congress adopts having nothing to do with what the public wants or designates?

Section 6. Change representative term to 4 years. Scanner counters work fine. Have them audited randomly. Specify a 4 week primary and a 4 week general election to stop 2 year continuous campaigns.
Specify public financing.

Section 7 is way too vague. Who will prosecute. If the attourney general is republican and the legislature is republican nothing will happen. And someone who is convicted of same should be barred for life or serve real jail time for 5 years.


Administrator
10/22/12

First, Harvey, you must imagine that there will never be an amendment to the Constitution without a massive grassroots movement. Assuming that has taken place and the Constitution has been amended, any member of Congress who fails to address the major concerns of the voters will not remain in office.


Thomas Burke
08/08/13

What is an “adult”? That needs clarification in Section 4. Sections 5-7 are interesting proposals, but they are essentially top-down measures that may not have adequate institutional support where most voters actually live. I suspect that these sections need to be better supported from the bottom up with something like the following rewrite of Section 4:

“The eligibility of all citizens of the United States to cast effective votes in all elections is inherent under this Constitution and shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State.

“The right of all citizens of the United States with the documented equivalent of a high school education to cast effective votes in all elections is likewise inherent under this Constitution and shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State.

“Access of every sufficiently prepared citizen to a high school education is to be guaranteed by means of a well-functioning public education system with uniform minimal requirements for graduation. Such minimal requirements will include demonstrated competence in methods of rational decision making …”

… or something along such lines.

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