Baraka, Jesse Jackson Sr. push for right-to-vote amendment

By Naomi Nix | NJ Advance Media for
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on January 08, 2015

Jackson and Baraka at today's event.


NEWARK — Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and Jesse Jackson Sr. banged the drum today for a federal resoluation hat would add the right to vote to the constitution.

"Your vote is your voice," Baraka said during a press conference at City Hall.
"We want to make sure the constitution protects (all Americans' voice)."

Jackson echoed similar sentiments arguing that voting rights should not be left up to states because minority groups and students have been disinfranchized in the past and currently


"We need the constitutional right to vote," he said. "One assumes we have such a right."

Jackson and Baraka join a small group of politicians who have been advocating for an amendment as municipalities across the country continue to change voter requirement laws.

U.S. Reps Mark Pocan(D-WI) and Keith Ellison(D-MN) proposed a resolution in 2013 the house that would add an amendment in the constitution that explicitly states Americans aged 18 and over have the right to vote.

The legislation would be able to be enforced by congress.

The resolution has since been referred to committee.

Jackson Sr. said he has been working with municipalities to garner support for a constitutional amendment from the bottom up.

"It's a long term battle," he said. But it "is a fight worth fighting."

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