New way of voting?

I was on the interweb, just browsing with my google-machine, and just for kicks, I looked up, “right to vote.” And it seems to me that there is a big misconception that people are given a “right” to vote.
Now, I got curious, and started to re-read the Constitution.
Nowhere in the Bill of Rights does it write anything about a supposed right to vote.
The only restriction that is placed is in amendment 26, where it writes one has to over 18 in order to vote.
My question is, where does this idea of a “right to vote” come from?
And second, since it is not explicitly written how one can elect an official, can the process be arbitrary?
For example: The office goes to the person that can hop a 100 meter dash the fastest.
I’d be open anymore suggestions!

What about these bits:

The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof
ETA: Thought to tack on a bit for completeness~

Amendment 5:
[N] or be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law…

Amendment 14:
[N]or shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws…

The Constitution was not written to describe all of our rights. Its purpose is, among other things, to limit what the government can do to us. You have a right to spend your life sitting at your computer, watching (adult) porn . . . but that’s hardly mentioned in the Constitution.

PLEASE, PLEASE, READ THE CONSTITUTION. It does, in fact, mention quite clearly the right of U.S. Citizens to vote. It also does, in fact, spend quite a lot of time spelling out how we vote for certain “officials” (prez, vice-prez, senators, congressmen (art. I, Art. II, Amends, XII, XX, XXIII, XXIV, and XXVI, to name a few portions)—hence, a general statement that it makes no such prescription is just plain wrong.

Amend. XV.

Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Now it is true that XV has been interpreted in various ways, but it is still a very clear mention of the right to vote in the U.S. Constitution. (For those interested in the history, soon after its passing, the Court viewed XV as purely a negative right–protecting against denial of the right to vote (if given)-more or less like an equal protection rule; these days, it is read broadly, so as to give an affirmative right to vote to those who were denied the franchise by an unconstitutional restriction.)

Suffrage has always been within the gift of the states, and there is not now and never has been a generalized federal “right to vote”. If there had been, we wouldn’t have had three generations of “literacy tests” in the South.

You’re incorrect that the 26th Amendment is “the only restriction”. There are three others:

  1. The Nineteenth Amendment, which forbids states from discriminating on the basis of sex in setting suffrage requirements.

  2. The Fifteenth Amendment, which forbids states from discriminating on the basis of “race, color, or previous condition of servitude”.

  3. The Twenty-Fourth Amendment, which forbids states from discriminating on the basis of failure to pay a poll tax or any other tax.

Subject to these four restrictions, states still determine suffrage. To the extent that you have a “right to vote” above and beyond these restrictions, it comes from your state government. Since there is general agreement on nearly universal adult citizen suffrage these days, about the only remaining bone of contention is when or whether convicted felons should vote. Some states allow it, some don’t.

Thank you! I didn’t go through and find everything, but the 26th is what stands out the most to me.
For example, here in Missouri, the privilege of voting is not extended to felons and such. My other contention was the Constitution did not explicitly express how a state, et. al elect an official. For all one cares, it can be something arbitrary.
I just don’t see the reason why it shouldn’t be arbitrary. Maybe the next Senatorial race can be decided on who wins a pie eating contest. Might stir up a lot more attention for the races. Besides, it will be a lot cleaner to sling pies than mud. Maybe

Wait, seriously? You don’t see the value of elections instead of stupid-ass physical contests?

One interesting fact–some states do have an arbitrary tie-break procedure for some elections. For example,

What that means is that at the margin, some state elections ARE decided in an arbitrary fashion.

You wouldn’t expect the constitution to tell a state how to run its own elections for state-level officials----that’s not what the constitution sets out to do (it’s establishing how to run the federal government, not state governments). the constitution does set out various rules states must abide by (applied through the XIVth amendment), due process, equal protection–but you can create many voting systems that satisfy their demands.

Jesse Jackson, Jr., has proposed a Voting Rights Amendment.

Not necessarily. The Constitution requires that members of both houses of Congress be elected. In addition, federal law (enacted under the “times, places, and manner” clause) requires that House members be elected from single-member districts, and that all House and Senate elections (except special elections) take place on the same day in November.

States have a freer hand in determining how to choose their own officials, but a really inane system might run afoul of the “republican form of government” requirement. In addition, an inane system of choosing judges (or of choosing governors who appoint judges) would raise due process problems.

I’m surprised no crazy person has read “republican” as “Republican”. Perhaps it’s just a matter of time. (Quick, somebody tell Bachmann about it! :D)

It does not say that at all:

And that is exactly my contention, since it is not spelled out, only the senate and the like must be selected by The People, nothing is said about how one goes about doing that. Nothing is mentioned about the electoral college, not a thing. So theoretically, maybe elections can be decided on a arbitrary, “updated system.” We cast our votes just like on American Idol :smiley:

Where in Article II is there any mention of the right of citizens to vote for President and Vice-President?

Article II, Clause 2 leaves it to the Legislature of each state to appoint the presidential electors - no mention at all that the states must hold elections for the electors.

Should a state choose to elect the presidential electors, it cannot abridge that right by race, previous condition of servitude, sex, poll tax, or age of 18, as per the various amendments you cite - but where is there a statement that the state Legislatures must hold elections for the presidential electors?