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The constitutional amendment America really needs

K. Sabeel Rahman

To help make that vision real, we should consider not just bold legislative change, but also finally remaking our Constitution to make real the aspiration for an inclusive democracy.

America is in the homestretch of our fight to save what's left of our imperfect democracy. With a little over two months to a crucial election -- one that guarantees future fights between a progressive vision and ascendant authoritarianism -- we're out of time to plan for what's next. We are already living what's next. And we need to be working hard.[...]

One of the origins of our democracy's current crisis lies in the history of our fundamentally flawed, in some ways undemocratic Constitution, built originally through a compromise designed to ratify slavery and later modified in ways that helped support the political dominance of White supremacy such as through the Electoral College. Its phrasing includes provisions courts have used to permit voter suppression tactics, penal disenfranchisement and gerrymandering.

What should our Constitution say instead? We can imagine a very different 14th Amendment, one that provides a stronger foundation for racial equity and an inclusive democracy. We need a new Right to Vote Amendment, one that codifies a comprehensive vision for ensuring voting rights. As Demos has outlined in a recent report, a new Right to Vote Amendment should cover five key areas.