Amendment XXVIII, (proposed), Section 2: "The United States will guarantee to every State fairly contested and impartially conducted elections, monitored and audited. […] The United States and every State will enforce the right of a citizen eighteen years of age or older to vote, not to vote, or to abstain regarding any office or proposal, in United States or State elections."
Section 2 is about rights.
No voter should fall through the cracks of an inefficient system. Outdated regulations need to be changed. but amendment is seldom appropriate because the Constitution gives the states authority over the mechanics of elections unless our fundamental principles of governance are involved. How can you tell? If uniformity is important in itself, or when a problem occurs at the national level, principles of governance are in play.
• Limiting Length of Electoral Periods addresses a national problem: elections dragging out longer and longer.
• The Fair Elections Clause brings a needed principle of governance into the Constitution. No one would deny that fairness is an American value, or that uncontested elections violate the Guarantee clause.
• The Ballot Initiatives clause doesn’t require them, leaving it to the states. But they’re a growing and very democratic development - about half the states now use them – and where ballot initiatives are used, they must be protected like other electoral rights.
Section 2 brings together several common-sense clauses the American people have tried to place in the Constitution separately. Congress would never go through the Article V amendment process or put the states through the ratification process for them individually, but as a group their benefits are clearly worth it. Legislation should co-fund states' implementation projects for a while to end abridging practices with simplicity, convenience, and organization, and to improve fair contest.
The government has a greater responsibility than simply not restricting voting. The Guarantee clause requires that the United States makes sure all aspects of the process work, and that both state and United States governments guarantee voting will be made possible (see Balancing Electoral Powers).
The methods found to reduce abridgment the fastest are early voting, and changing to voting by all mail ballots. Mail ballots have to be checked for voter fraud but otherwise save money. HEVA, a recent statute, already assists with replacement of voting machines and electronic voting. We must use this clause to press Congress and our states for voter education, and applied civics in schools. Voter education increases voting and needs to be a priority in every state. But federal legislation shouldn't require any particular methods, leaving that to the states.
States may, for example, need to: