A new bill making its way through the US Senate would allow everyone in the world to vote in US national elections for the first time. SR 5043 the “Worldwide Voting Rights Act” enjoys widespread and popular support among the leadership of both parties. Sen. Barbara Sanderson the bill’s author makes several important points in favour of the bill.
“America is a unique nation in the history of the world in that rather than being a nation built around a common sense of identity, ethnic, or otherwise America is founded on the idea of democracy itself. Since America is an idea and not a traditional nation, it belongs to the entire world, everyone everywhere who loves democracy and believes in equality and freedom is equally an American regardless of their legal citizenship or other national identity.” Sanderson noted before adding. “This bill enjoys widespread bipartisan support among leaders of both parties. It is not controversial at all.”
Despite the widespread support that SR 5043 enjoys, a few critics allege that it does present very serious logistical problems. If everyone in the world votes in US elections, how will those votes be counted? A few extreme critics of the bill claim that individuals hostile to America could vote in US elections for the purpose of undermining the nation somehow. The bill which authorizes absentee voting for new overseas voters unfortunately comes with a high price tag at a projected cost of 18 trillion dollars in the first worldwide US presidential election alone with estimates suggesting that as many as 78% of the world may opt to vote in US elections.
Although under SR 5043 individuals around the world will be able to vote in US elections, votes by persons of white ancestry will be counted as only three fifths of a vote due to the legacy of white slavery and racism in America and around the world. Experts agree that it is important to ensure that disproportionately wealthy Europeans are not able to influence elections in their favour over the more numerous but impoverished masses of India and Sub Saharan Africa.
Whites from South Africa and Zimbabwe will not be eligible to vote in US elections. Whites who are or were formerly members of hate groups such as those which campaign against third world immigration into Europe, America, Canada and Australia will likewise be barred from participation. Eastern Europe as well as Greece, Italy and Hungary have been barred entirely as experts agree that racism enjoys “widespread support” in those regions as evidenced by recent elections.
“I think we need to ask ourselves, why should someone vote in US elections if they are not even a citizen of the US. This bill doesn’t even make any sense to me, if you love democracy you are an American? Really…? In other words, maybe billions of people who have never even been to this country will be able to say they are Americans, and vote in US elections suddenly?” Senator John Klaussen of Oklahoma stated during a recent interview. Yesterday, an amendment was added to SR 5043 to censure Senator Klaussen for making “defamatory and hostile remarks” regarding the bill. Republican party leadership has urged Klaussen to step down stating that his views do not represent the party in any way.
Some countries express scepticism and disbelief over the idea of allowing the world to vote in US elections. An anonymous senior official in the People’s Republic of China stated off the record that “The idea that all of our citizens who embrace certain ideological values are somehow really Americans is just ridiculous. This is an idea that is very difficult I think for the people of the world to accept. Such a peculiar action on the part of the US government warrants careful analysis.” The anonymous official however, when pressed stopped short of saying that the Chinese government would necessarily bar its citizens from voting in US elections.
Despite the reservations of some overseas, a few foreign countries have expressed surprising support for allowing non-American citizens to vote in US elections. The President of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto has welcomed the proposal stating “This idea receives my strongest possible endorsement. Finally all of the people of Mexico and South America will have a real opportunity to more equitably effect the results of US elections. Without a doubt this is probably the most exciting initiative to come out of the US in my lifetime. I pledge my full and steadfast cooperation to the US government in ensuring that every single citizen of Mexico has the opportunity to vote in US elections.”
President Nieto claims that he is already in “serious discussions” with the US state department on formulating a plan so that every Mexican will receive a US ballot, even discussing the possibility of a new Mexican law to require all citizens to vote in US elections. American leaders have praised President Nieto for his cooperation and goodwill.
As one immigrant rights activist noted “We are all Americans whether we are here legally or not.” Hopefully, with the passage of this landmark bill, along with comprehensive immigration reform her positive and humane affirmation will take on legal significance.
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