Toronto Book Review

7

A REAL RIGHT TO VOTE: HOW A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT CAN SAFEGUARD AMERICAN DEMOCRACY BY RICHARD L. HASEN

In this thorough sequel to “Cheap Speech: How Disinformation Poisons Our Politics—and How to Cure It,” Hasen presents a compelling case for enshrining the right to vote in the Constitution, despite the numerous challenges currently impeding access to the ballot box. To bolster his argument, he offers a proposed constitutional amendment aimed at ensuring voting rights for all eligible citizens. Hasen identifies several key barriers to protected voting rights, including restrictive state laws, discrimination against marginalized groups, poorly managed elections, unfounded claims of fraud, and decisions by the current Supreme Court majority, which he deems particularly concerning. As the director of the Safeguarding Democracy Project at UCLA School of Law, Hasen dismisses Electoral College reform as impractical and suggests that a nonpartisan federal voting administration, previously endorsed by him, would not adequately safeguard the vote. However, Hasen acknowledges the need for pragmatism in crafting his proposed amendment, omitting certain contentious issues such as voting rights for felons and residents of U.S. territories. Despite potential challenges, he argues that the amendment could garner bipartisan support by addressing concerns about electoral integrity and ensuring universal access to voting. While Hasen’s optimism may overlook the political realities of securing congressional approval and state ratification for an amendment, his well-reasoned and engaging book is likely to spark public dialogue and mobilize efforts toward its objectives.
Overall, Hasen presents a compelling and timely proposal that merits serious consideration and widespread attention.

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