Morality Of Voting

2223 Words 9 Pages
Since its founding, America has stood for suffrage, and has steadily increased this right to virtually all citizens through the years. Many laws and actions have been established to maintain equality amongst voters. The 15th and 19th amendments expanded the vote to African Americans and women, in an example of legal equality. In an attempt to strive for a true constitutional republic, the right to vote must be protected by the law to avoid exploitations from those in power. By maintaining a fair system, citizens are able to voice opinions, and elect officials who they see fit. However, structural and social factors have established roadblocks in the voting process. These hindrances have been linked to individuals abstaining from voting, and …show more content…
That is if a citizen does not vote, be it for individual or legal matters, is this individual violating the implicit duty he or she has to vote? And who is at fault: Is it the government for implementing restrictions, or the individual for not meeting these government requirements? Abstaining from the voting process, due to an apparent personal apathy and structural hindrances, has a moral basis stemming from both a deontological and utilitarian view.
In the previous essay, the utilitarian theory of morality was argued to describe how individuals vote, however, additional information has proved this false. Retrospectively, the belief voting decisions are based on a desire to alleviate suffering, was rather naïve. One could easily see how the idea that every moral act under utilitarianism aims to quell suffering and promote well being (Mills) would be tied to voting behavior. After all, why would an individual
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The government has established practices meant to discourage voter fraud, but often discourage demographics from voting. In this sense, the government is acting morally to ensure the validity of the democratic process. However, glitches in the system have caused an alternative effect, and lead to a decrease in voter turn out in elections. Voter ID laws have been introduced to counter the ‘rampant’ voter fraud. In the 31 states in which these regulations have been enacted, the only way order to cast a ballot requires a government issued photo ID. No ID means no vote, regardless of citizenship or legal eligibility. Opponents of these laws argue minorities, youths, and the elderly are disproportionality affected by these laws. When the government prevents participation in the system, it is preventing, “humanity in our own person as an end in itself, [which] it must also harmonize with” (Kant 3). Citizens are unable to act morally due to constraints enacted by the government, rather than partake in a moral manner. When they cannot vote, their free will cannot be turned into law and then action. Conversely, proponents of these laws argue everyone should have a form of identification. As such, there is no oppression due to the apparent duty an individual has to secure

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