Since the ratification of the Constitution, the document has been amended several times to protect the voting rights of African Americans and women, and to extend the right to vote to those 18- to 20-years-old. Each of those amendments took decades of strife and protest to adopt and then implement. Yet even now, the language of the Constitution does not provide an affirmative, unassailable guarantee that all US citizens of legal voting age will be able to vote. Whatever affirmative guarantees we do have are usually in state constitutions or their subsequent amendments.
With a constitutional amendment, it wouldn’t be only the incarcerated who benefit. A constitutional amendment could supersede civically bankrupt voter ID laws. As a constitutional amendment, voting — both protecting it and encouraging it — becomes a congressional matter, and would be standardized across states. With such an amendment, allowing same-day voter registration and automatic voter registration won’t be pipe dreams but best next steps.