Citizenship and Elections

Throughout the history of the United States, we have seen controversies in how elections are run as well as what makes someone a citizen. Before the civil rights movement in America, African Americans were not given the opportunity to be full citizens and have their say in elections. In 1787, there was the three-fifths compromise. That basically meant that slaves would represent only sixty percent of the actual votes.  That stayed until after the Civil War ended when all men were considered free. Recently, the United States has been in an uproar over illegal immigrants as well we voter fraud.

The chapter goes into depth about how rights and responsibilities connect to citizenship and how they are unevenly distributed internationally and within nation-states. The reading also brings up the idea of cosmopolitan forms of citizenship that operate at a scale above a nation-state.  The roots of citizenship come from concepts from the ancient Greeks and the Romans. In 1950, T.H. Marshall argued that there are three aspects for modern citizenship. They were civil rights, political rights, and social rights.  Civil rights are basically the protection of freedom for an individual.  For example the civil rights movements in the 1960’s to end segregation and give more rights to African Americans. Political rights involve right to participate in the government. And finally social rights involve rights to certain economic and social conditions.

The last few pages of the text deal with the Electoral College. The authors create a case study over the Electoral College and even show maps to represent outcomes of elections if votes we’re tallied another way. So what is the Electoral College? “The Electoral College comprises five-hundred and thirty-eight presidential electors and it is these individuals who choose the President and Vice President after the counting of the public vote. The presidential electors are divided between the 50 states of the USA, roughly proportion to the total population.” For example, California has fifty-five electoral votes since there are around thirty-seven million people there, whereas Wyoming has a population of five hundred thousand and only has three electoral votes. There fore the magic number for a presidential candidate is a two hundred and seventy electoral vote.

We our selves have seen how elections and citizenship in the United States have created controversies. Today, we have the issue of illegal immigration.  It has spun a great debate of how one is a citizen and become stricter on protecting our boarders.  In recent years, there has been an issue of voter fraud.  Recently, a State Senator, Roderick Wright was just found guilty of voter fraud.  The democrat lied about his address on voter registration and candidacy papers in 2007 and 2008.  He was voted fraudulently in five elections.  In fact, you can log on to Google and search voter fraud in Google news and see links to articles all about voter fraud.  A lot of people also argue that these systems of elections and citizenships do not work and need a solution.  So I ask what do you think the best solution would be for citizenship and elections.

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