The right to take part in the conduct of public affairs, including the right to vote and to stand for election, is at the core of democratic governments based on the will of the people. Genuine elections are thus a necessary and fundamental component of an environment that protects and promotes human rights. The right to vote and be elected in genuine, periodic elections is intrinsically linked to a number of other human rights, the enjoyment of which is crucial to a meaningful electoral process. These prerequisite rights include the right to freedom from discrimination, the right to freedom of opinion and expression, the right to freedom of association and of peaceful assembly, and the right to freedom of movement. (OHCHR)
ACLU Fact Sheet: Voting Rights are Human Rights
- Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
- Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.
- The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.
- 15th Amendment: The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.
- 19th Amendment: The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
- A Timeline: When Women Got the Right to Vote in the US.
- 26th Amendment: The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.
This law prohibits voting practices and procedures that discriminate based on race, color, or membership in a language minority group. It also requires certain jurisdictions to provide election materials in languages other than English.
- U.S. Voting and Voting Rights Fact Sheet by the Sanders Institute
- Learn how voter suppression efforts in the U.S. impact minority voters
(California Voter Bill of Rights. Click to watch, 2:16)