The right to vote is one of the most precious constitutional rights. The Supreme Court has described it as preservative of all rights, a fundamental matter in a free and democratic society, and a bedrock of our political system. Justice Black once stated, "No right is more precious in a free country than that of having a voice in the election of those who make the laws under which, as good citizens, we must live." It supports not only the individual's personal interest in self-government, but also the collective societal interest in broadly based consensual representation. The magnitude of these interests suggests a strong policy favoring extension of the franchise with as few limitations as possible.
Michigan Law Review,
Wilkins v. Bentley: Getting Out the Student Vote in Michigan,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol70/iss5/5