This post has gone through so many iterations in my head over many months, but I thought Election Day would be a good time to resolve my issues and complete it. The concept is that I would sue various states with voter ID laws in federal court. I know that the Supreme Court has upheld voter ID laws, but I'm not looking to overturn them. At this point I would like to cite the following passage from the 14th Amendment to the Constitution:
"when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice-President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age,* and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State"
With that citation out of the way, results of several studies on the effects of voter ID laws lies below the fold:
Studies show that as many as 11 percent of eligible voters do not have government-issued photo ID. That percentage is even higher for seniors, people of color, people with disabilities, low-income voters, and students. Many citizens find it hard to get government photo IDs, because the underlying documentation like birth certificates (the ID one needs to get ID) is often difficult or expensive to come by. At the same time, voter ID policies are far more costly to implement than many assume.
Having admitted that voter ID laws have been ruled Constitutional, I must find a different reason for bringing the aforementioned lawsuit. This is why I have had many versions of this post.
The Per Curiam decision in Bush v. Gore held that the individual citizen has no Constitutional right to vote for electors for president and vice president. I think they were wrong, but I do not get to make that call. That being said, the section of the 14th amendment cited above says that if a state denies a portion of the population the right to that vote, it loses an equal portion of it's electoral vote.
Citing the studies that say 11% of the population will be unlawfully disenfranchised, I thought Texas, as one example, would lose 3 electoral votes. Then I misread the amendment as applying to white males only. The word white is nowhere in the section.
Since women are more than half the population, the percentage of males over 21 that are denied the right to vote because of these voter ID laws might make up 20% of the males in the state, thus reducing Texas' electoral vote by as many as 7.
That is what my suit would be about. Since these states have a Constitutionally protected right to ask for these ID's, I would demand that the 14th Amendment's provision be enforced, and that those states lose electors.