Human Enhancements and Voting: Towards a Declaration of Rights and Responsibilities of Beings
2. Discussion—Human Enhancements and Voting—Moderate and Extreme
2.1. Moderate Human Enhancements—“Still Human”
2.1.1. Physical Enhancements—“Ancestry”
“A free negro of the African race, whose ancestors were brought to this country and sold as slaves, is not a “citizen” within the meaning of the Constitution of the United States”
2.1.2. Physical Enhancements—“Gender”
“Women have the right to vote, for instance, because they are just as capable of making rational decisions as men are; dogs, on the other hand, are incapable of understanding the significance of voting, so they cannot have the right to vote.”12
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
2.2. Extreme Human Enhancements and Voting
“It is quite possible to culture networks of dissociated neurons grown in vitro in a chamber. The neurons are provided with suitable environmental conditions and nutrition. A flat microelectrode array is embedded in the base of the chamber, thereby providing a bi-directional electrical interface with the neuronal culture. The neurons in the culture rapidly reconnect, form a multitude of pathways and communicate with each other by both chemical and electrical means. Although for most research in the field thus far, the neurons are typically taken from rat embryos, it is quite possible to use human neurons instead once sufficient connections have been made between the neurons so that, in research, the cultured brain is given a robot body with the ability to sense the world and move around in it”
2.3. Disenfranchisement of the Non-Enhanced or Less-Enhanced
2.3.1. Accessibility Challenges
“A volunteer assisted by having microneurography. Essentially, two very thin needles were pushed into the nervous system in their left arm. With this in place, we set up in the lab with a group of people around the volunteer and another group around me—we had a variety of different observers to oversee what we were doing. The volunteer and I were not able to see each other. We set the experiment up purely based on hand closures. When the volunteer closed their hand, I received a stimulating pulse on my nervous system, and the same happened vice versa. For me, it meant that my brain recognised the pulse. I shouted out “Yes” every time I felt a pulse, but only when I felt a pulse. Only the group around the volunteer could witness when they had closed their hand and when not. We achieved this with 100% success—the same being true in reverse. What I found exciting was that as the groups were splitting up, I felt a couple of quick pulses one after the other. Subsequently, the volunteer confirmed that they had done this. It was a ‘secret’ message between the two of us, a new means of communication”.
2.3.2. Language and Communication Barriers
2.3.3. Cognitive Ability Requirements
3. Discussion—Human Enhancements and Voting—Responding to the Appeal of the Other
“The will of all beings, and responsibility toward all beings (whether voting or non-voting), shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will, and responsibility, shall be expressed through universal and equal suffrage (directly and/or through representatives) or through such other process and method as may be developed and ratified with the universal and equitable participation of such beings.”—Draft, proposed Declaration of Rights and Responsibilities of Beings
3.1. A Brief Introduction to an Extended Theory of Engagement
3.2. Universal and Equal Suffrage for Enhanced and Non-Enhanced Humans
(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.
“The will of all beings shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed through universal and equal suffrage.”
3.3. Casting a Broad Net for the Definition of “Human” in the Context of Voting
“Man is not the lord of beings.Man is the shepherd of being.Man is the neighbor of being”39
3.4. A Provisional Rejection of Ranking Systems/Hierarchies
3.4.1. Rejection of “Reason”/”Rationality” as a Voting Requirement
3.4.2. Rejection of “Dignity” as a Voting Requirement
3.5. Potential Backlash against Humans Who Are Currently Disenfranchised
3.6. Representative Voting Instead of—or in Addition to—Direct Voting
“The will of all beings shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed through universal and equal suffrage, directly and/or through representatives.”
3.7. Participation of the “Other” in the Structure, Process and Meaning of Voting and Governance
“it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”89
“The will of all beings, and responsibility toward all beings (whether voting or non-voting), shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will, and responsibility, shall be expressed through universal and equal suffrage (directly and/or through representatives) or through such other process and method as may be developed and ratified with the universal and equitable participation of such beings.”
3.7.1. The Importance of Broad Engagement and Participation for Legitimacy
3.7.2. Selected Examples of Difficult Questions That Require Broad Engagement
Reconsidering Voting Proportionality
Reconsidering Political Geographical Borders as Determinants for Governance
Reconsidering Temporality/Cadence of Voting and Ratification of the Framework of Government
“We’re out to repair the future.We are here for the storm that’s storming because what’s taken matters”
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For purposes of this analysis, a descendant of a “human” (Homo sapiens) who was genetically or otherwise altered to such an extreme that they would no longer commonly be perceived to be “human” (or who no longer even had an organic embodiment) is still defined as an “enhanced human”. However, in Section 3, we will propose to eliminate the requirement of “humanity” in voting rather than using such a “Grandfather Clause” approach and instead broadly extend voting rights to all living beings and all conscious beings.
See  (quoting dancer, artist and poet Neil Marcus “Disability is not a ‘brave struggle’ or ‘courage in the face of adversity’, disability is an art. It’s an ingenious way to live.”). Consider also the esteemed composer Molly Joyce, who has to compose without using her left hand, and “has carved a unique sound as a composer by treating disability differently: not as an impediment but as a wellspring of creative potential .” An additional example of an “ideal” body relates to skin color. In many countries, due to a legacy of racism, a lighter skin color is viewed as an “improvement” and may objectively benefit the person having such skin color, including in employment opportunities and advancement. Consider the practice of skin bleaching in Jamaica. In his analysis of the practice, Professor Christopher Charles concluded that “self-hate” was not the primary driver for skin lightening in Jamaica and noted that reasons for skin lightening were more nuanced: “Some Black Jamaicans recognize the color and racial distinctions in society. This should not be viewed as self-contempt. It is borne out by their experience that the Blacker one is, the less status and privilege one has in the society. They recognize the reality of contemporary Jamaica. They do not necessarily accept it .” In the United States, caste-based discrimination allegedly is occurring in the technology industry  (“The lawsuit notes that the employee is Dalit Indian and that he has a darker complexion than non-Dalit Indians.”).
Non-human corporations and other legal entities that are “persons” under the law can still have influence one election results even though they cannot vote. See the United States Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United case against the Federal Election Commission , in which the Court held that limitations on spending for political campaigns by groups, including corporations and labor unions, violate the Constitutional First Amendment right to free speech.
“Taxation without representation is tyranny” is commonly attributed to attorney James Otis, who was one of the representatives from Massachusetts in the Stamp Act Congress (approx. 1761).
In 2018, the richest member of Congress had a Net Worth estimated at $500,000,000, and the median net worth of all members of Congress was approximately $500,000 .
Former Professor Rachel Dolezal, who pretended to be Black for decades and was president of the Spokane, Washington chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, is just one example of people who have attempted to “pass” as having a different ancestry or ethnicity (although at a time in U.S. history when Blacks were enfranchised, so she did not give up her right to vote in doing so) .
Ref.  (“for most of its history U.S. law treated newcomers differently according to race. Between 1790 and 1952, legislators restricted naturalization—the process by which immigrants become citizens—to particular racial and ethnic groups, with a consistent preference for whites from northwestern Europe. Laws restricted black immigration beginning in 1803, and a series of subsequent measures banned most Asians and limited access by immigrants from southern and eastern Europe.”).
Ref.  at 48–49.
For example, in U.S. elections in 2012 and 2014, Rosa Maria Ortega, an Hispanic immigrant who was a permanent resident of the United States and was brought to the country from Mexico as an infant, apparently voted without knowing it was illegal and was sentenced to eight years in prison. She then faced deportation . Mexican lawful immigrants are among those least likely to become U.S. citizens . (“desire is high, but about half cite language, cost barriers”).
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, “Civics (History and Government) Questions for the Naturalization Test,” (rev. 01/19)  (Q7: “How many amendments does the Constitution have? twenty-seven (27)”) (Q48: “There are four amendments to the Constitution about who can vote. Describe one of them. Citizens eighteen (18) and older (can vote). You don’t have to pay (a poll tax) to vote. Any citizen can vote. (Women and men can vote.) A male citizen of any race (can vote).”). For an example of a post-Civil War literacy test that was designed to be impossible to pass, see the Louisiana Literacy Test. “The literacy test – supposedly applicable to both white and black prospective voters who couldn’t prove a certain level of education but in actuality disproportionately administered to black voters – was a classic example of one of these barriers [to enfranchisement]. ” 
This harm extends across species. See also the work of pattrice jones exploring the intersection of “speciesism and sexism at the heart of not only domestic violence and other forms of husbandry but also landlordism, racism, and ‘ecophobia’”  (citations omitted).
Ref.  at 148–162. To be more accurate, this statement could be re-worded as “women are just as capable of making rational and irrational decisions as men are.” In addition, we should not accept without challenge the assumption that “rationality” has a well-defined neutral meaning, nor that it is the sine qua non of voting. As will be suggested in Section 3, sympathy, empathy and emotional intelligence may all be equally valuable qualities, particularly for voters who have responsibilities toward non-voters who may be impacted by their vote.
“The strictest voter ID laws require voters to present government-issued photo ID at the polls, and provide no alternative for voters who do not have one .” In addition, “each state handles gender and name changes differently. In Georgia, a judge has to approve a name change. To change a gender marker on your driver’s license, you need a doctor’s letter saying you’ve had gender reassignment surgery. The problem is that there are different kinds of transgender surgeries, and some trans people don’t get any surgery at all .”
In the United States, for example, the 116th Congress from the 2018 Midterms had more women than ever. And yet women still were only 25% of the Senate and 23% of the House, when they represented approximately 51% of the United States population as a whole .
Such a scenario is described very powerfully in Ann Leckie’s Imperial Radch science fiction trilogy, starting with Ancillary Justice .
One specific form of BCI development, Brain-to-Brain Interface (BBI), may lead to particularly novel social and ethical concerns. BBI technology combines BCI with Computer-to-Brain Interfaces (CBI) and, in newer work, multi-brain-to-brain interfaces—… in which”real-time transfer of information between two subjects to each other has been demonstrated .”
Consider Professor Minoru Asada’s hypothesis that a nervous system for pain sensation is necessary to shape the conscious minds of artificial (inorganic) systems .
Ref.  (citing Nayar, P.K. Posthumanism; Polity: Oxford, UK, 2014).
This is a subjective judgment of course. Humans from several hundred years ago might think enhanced humans of today are “beyond humanity”.
“According to a 2017 report by the U.S. Government Accountability, “Voters with Disabilities: Observations on Polling Place Accessibility and Related Federal Guidance,” roughly two-thirds of the examined polling places had at least one potential barrier such as lack of accessible parking, poor paths to the building, steep ramps, or lack of a clear path to the voting area. Although most polling places had at least one accessible voting system, roughly one-third had a voting station that did not afford an opportunity for a private and independent vote. The report also noted that Department of Justice guidance does not clearly state the extent to which federal accessibility requirements apply to early in-person voting. People with disabilities also continue to report barriers including a lack of accessible election and registration materials prior to elections, lack of transportation to polling places, and problems securing specific forms of identification required by some states .”
Ref.  Perhaps this “extended mind” is already becoming the norm in practice, even if not technically a “human enhancement” for purposes of this Special Issue, when one considers the expanded computational power and informational access available at any time 24/7 to any human with a smartphone with internet access. Consider also Professor Fiorella Battaglia’s proposal that an “extended mind” offers the potential of a new way to view the “mind-body” problem as an opportunity rather than a problem, emphasizing the epistemic difference between being a mind and being an extended mind in her forthcoming article in this Special Issue—“Agency, Responsibility, Selves, and the Mechanical Mind” .
“Among the obstacles for poor Philadelphians: Lack of stable housing makes it difficult to depend on the mail and know which address to provide when applying for a ballot to be mailed weeks or months later. Those with limited English proficiency have difficulty navigating the vote-by-mail process, and governmental voter outreach can miss them. Lack of internet service or home computers can complicate requesting ballots or finding key information about them .” In addition, a “2020 report by Native American Rights Fund determined that some members of the Navajo Nation must travel 140 miles roundtrip for postal services. Many do not have access to personal vehicles or public transportation to get them there .”
Google Translate purports to support over 100 languages, out of approximately 7000 languages spoken globally. “Odia, the official language of the Odisha state in India, with 38 million speakers, … has no presence in Google Translate .”
An example from the Canadian period of enfranchisement and disenfranchisement illustrates that the challenges of different languages is not unique to any particular country or region. In the 1800s, one chief grew so frustrated by the use of English at a particular Council of tribes that he “led a break away council with other northern bands” and was “only lured back with the promise of an interpreter .”
For a determination of which minority languages would be covered – see the Federal Register . One goal of the amendments was to clarify coverage of certain racial and ethnic minorities, including members of the “Hispanic” or “Latino” population “who had suffered discrimination in the political process, but whose group status under the law remained uncertain” and “by self-designation or by ascription, often eluded clear racial categorization and transcended strict racial labels such as ‘black’ and ‘white .’”
For example, ranked-choice voting has been challenging for many voters to understand. “Although no federal constitutional arguments have prevailed in Maine or in any of the other litigation around the country, opponents have argued primarily that it violates equal protection (one person, one vote) and due process (too confusing). Opponents generally attack [ranked-choice voting] on the grounds that it is too confusing and too costly. It requires voters to understand how the votes will be cast and counted, and then to vote accordingly .” Future possible voting methods, particularly those developed with the input of a diverse group of enhanced and non-enhanced humans as outlined in Section 3, could, at least in theory, be more complicated by one or more orders of magnitude.
An extremely lengthy and complex detailed “summary” of Ballot Question #1 was offered for voters in Massachusetts in 2018 .
Much as humans of the 21st century questioned whether Neanderthals were a separate species despite interbreeding with Homo sapiens .
Other possible ethical frameworks would be interesting to explore and likely would be fruitful for the analysis of voting rights and human enhancements, such as Professor Christine Korsgaard’s Kantian ethical analysis of duties of humans to animals [71,72]. The work of Professor Simone Goyard-Fabre in combining an approach from Husserl’s phenomenology with a Kantian analysis would also be relevant due to the deeply “legal” nature of the analysis of voting rights. Professor Maria Golebiewska provides a thought-provoking analysis in this area . Another interesting framework to consider for voting rights could be Ernst Knapp’s philosophy of technology, as proposed by Battaglia as a possible way to look at the “mind-body problem” in the context of a human-machine hybrid “extended mind” by using the “mechanical mind” as an explanatory device .
Ref.  at 3.
Ref.  at 7.
 at 8–9.
According to the testimony of Dr. Wilhelm Hoettl in the Nuremberg Trials in 1945 regarding a statement made to him by Adolf Eichmann, Chief of the Jewish Section of the Gestapo: "Approximately 4 million Jews had been killed in the various concentration camps, while an additional 2 million met death in other ways, the major part of which were shot by operational squads of the Security Police during the campaign against Russia" .
Sadly, genocides continue to occur around the world. Over “the last 70 years, genocides and mass killing events have continued to occur and they are not diminishing in frequency. Bosnia, Rwanda, Darfur, Burundi, Syria, and Myanmar have all experienced large-scale murder operations in the last 25 years, some of which may have been preventable” . However, that is not a valid reason (under the current ethical framework applied herein) to abandon any effort to apply a framework of engagement to voting. There may not be any voting framework or system of governance that can prevent humans (enhanced or non-enhanced) from committing atrocities.
Ref.  at 12 (referencing the work of Emmanuel Levinas, 1978).
“Social robots should not be regarded as proper objects of moral concern unless and until they become capable of having conscious experience. While that does not entail that they should be excluded from our moral reasoning and decision-making altogether, it does suggest that humans do not owe direct moral duties to them.”  Under an extended ethical theory of engagement and the new Declaration of Rights and Responsibilities of Beings toward which this Article on voting rights is intended to provide a stepping stone, the goal is to be as inclusive as possible. Ideally, all living beings, whether “conscious” or not (e.g., plant-based life or a human who is in a coma), and all “conscious” entities should be included in the definition of “Beings”. Full articulation of the meaning, scope and boundaries for such an inclusive definition, as well as the philosophical basis (or bases) will obviously require significant work. A Kantian perspective of “personhood” and “identity” would be useful to consider, such as that presented by Professor Béatrice Longuenesse: “Kant’s criticism of the paralogism of personhood opens the way to to substituting for the rationalist concept a rich and complex concept of a person as a spatiotemporal, living entity endowed with unity of apperception and with the capacity for automomous self-determination.” .
Ref.  at 13.
Ref.  In applying any phenomenological approach that may have been influenced by the works of Heidegger, it is important to explicitly acknowledge the deep-rooted antisemitism in Heidegger’s philosophical views. For a powerful rebuttal of the idea that Heidegger’s antisemitism can be easily separated from his philosophical viewpoints, see Professor Donatella Di Cesare’s work .
“Although at one time exploring the proximity between the human and the animal, Heidegger later claimed that an abyss separates the human from the animal.”  at 110 (citations omitted).
Ref.  at 18.
For example, in 2017, the median net worth of Black residents in Boston was $8 versus $247,500 for whites . Also, “Black female restaurant workers in Massachusetts make on average $7.79 less per hour―including tips―than white men in the same positions, which amounts to 60 percent less” . As just one example that discrimination and violence based on skin color is not limited to the United States, see an example from France .
Also, in certain religions. For example, Genesis 1:26 “Then God said, ‘Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.’” For an alternative interpretation, see the work of Professor Ryan Patrick Mclaughlin, who proposes that, under one credible reading of Genesis, “human dominion” should be “peaceful and other-affirming” .
Although the present ranking discussion focuses on animals, a typical reason given for excluding computers (even ones that can communicate in a manner that is difficult to distinguish from an actual human) is that they lack sentience. In other words, they are neither conscious nor self-aware.
“If an ape who stands upright (even with the help of a mobility device) can be seen as more human, what happens to humans who do not or cannot stand upright? Monkey-like posture was one of many simian characteristics used to dehumanize people of color, particularly people of African descent, from the seventeenth century on.”  at 86-87 (discussing illustration from 1699 of an ape standing erect with a walking stick).
“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”—UDHR Art. 1 .
And as many people with pet cats and dogs can attest, animals also can train their humans to behave in a manner desired by the animal at a particular time, in response to a particular prompt from the animal.
See Singer’s work in  at 148–162 (describing an initial possible response to Thomas Taylor’s satire of Mary Wollstonecraft’s “Vindication of the Rights of Women” in 1972—“A Vindication of the Rights of Brutes”).
Ref. . An alternative model of representation is offered by the Japanese Constitution, where Members of Congress are given the role of “representatives of the whole citizenry”, which is understood to mean (1) “a congressman/woman is not a representative of each electoral zone, but a representative of all Japanese nationals” and (2) “he/she is not bound by voters in each electoral zone or by his/her supporters’ organization.” Ref.  at 35 (discussing Article 43(1)).
One of the obvious enhancements that is currently sought out via plastic surgery and cosmetics is to change one’s age.
Should voters be required to pass a test for drug or alcohol impairment on the day they cast their vote? Screening for mental illness? If so, which types of mental illnesses? Depression? Who would decide and how would adminstration be executed in practice in a non-arbitrary and non-discriminatory manner?
Ref.  at 13.
As discussed in Section 3 below, representative voting is an available option, such as for a human that is mentally incapacitated to such a severe degree that they are incapable of expressing their wishes, or is unconscious (for example in a coma).
This can be especially challenging when humans already have substantial overlap with animals, as outlined by Professor Jacques Derrida .
For example, Professor Francis Fukuyama expresses concern that one of the potential effects of biomedical advances is that humans may be altered beyond recognition and this could have negative effects on the belief that human beings are equal by nature .
“Nonhuman animals are amazing beings. Daily we’re learning more and more about their fascinating cognitive abilities, emotional capacities and moral lives” .
For an additional approach, see the work of Professor Lori Gruen .
As Professor Alice Crary proposes, “the plain fact of being human is morally significant but the plain fact of being an animal is so as well.” Ref.  at 122.
“To man, woman is the dearest creature on earth, and there is no extreme to which he would not go for his mother or sister. By keeping woman in her exalted position man can be induced to do more for her than he could by having her mix up in affairs that will cause him to lose respect and regard for her .”
Ref. . But it is unlikely that the cause of the Nazi mistreatment of other humans was that they respected animals. Similarly, the cause of the English colonial mistreatment of the African population was not that they respected apes. There were more complex factors at play, including greed. Among other things, the Nazis wanted what they saw as the wealth of the Jews and they took it. The English wanted the wealth of Africa―and they took it.
Ref.  at 32.
Ref.  at 34.
Ref.  at 35.
John Stuart Mill offered a classic argument in favor of representative government .
Maine and Nebraska are exceptions and allocate one elector per district.
In the elections of 1824, 1876, 1888, 2000 and 2016 the Electoral College winners lost the popular vote. In 1824, no candidate received the majority of the electoral votes and the election was decided by the United States House of Representatives.
The Chiafalo v. Washington U.S. Supreme Court decision related to the so-called “faithless electors” who were fined by the State of Washington for not voting according to their party affiliation in the 2016 Election, as required by state law. The Court upheld the fine . However, even the Electoral College does not attempt to represent the will of all United States residents. For example, residents of permanently inhabited United States territories such as American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands cannot vote (either directly or indirectly) for the President and Vice President of the United States.
Connecticut General Statutes Section 46b–54(f) includes numerous factors, many of which are specific to a custody dispute or an abuse or neglect proceeding, but the general structure of the provision may be helpful to see an example framework that could be applied in voting: “[Sec. 46b–54](f). When recommending the entry of any order as provided in subsections (a) and (b) of § 46b–56, counsel or a guardian ad litem for the minor child shall consider the best interests of the child, and in doing so shall consider, but not be limited to, one or more of the following factors: (1) The temperament and developmental needs of the child; (2) the capacity and the disposition of the parents to understand and meet the needs of the child; (3) any relevant and material information obtained from the child, including the informed preferences of the child; (4) the wishes of the child’s parents as to custody; … (13) the child’s cultural background; Counsel or a guardian ad litem for the minor child shall not be required to assign any weight to any of the factors considered.” (emphasis added) 
Ultimately, the court determines what is in the best interests of the child, in both the guardian ad litem model and in the attorney for the child model. And, in the approach taken in the Connecticut statute, the attorney for the child should also consider the best interests of the child so the role is actually more nuanced than presented in the text above.
The guardian ad litem model and the advocate for the child model are still embedded in an “authorities framework” that “focuses too narrowly on state and parental control over children, reducing children’s interests to those of dependency and the attainment of autonomy” . “In place of this limited focus, we envision a “new law of the child” that promotes a broader range of children’s present and future interests, including children’s interests in parental relationships and nonparental relationships with children and other adults; exposure to new ideas; expressions of identity; personal integrity and privacy; and participation in civic life. Once articulated, these broader interests lay the foundation for a radical reconceptualization of the field of children and law. We propose a new tripartite framework of relationships, responsibilities, and rights that aims to transform how law treats children and their interactions with others” . Based on the discussion in Section 3.7 below, a fresh look and potentially a new ratification of the governance framework itself would be appropriate where newly enfranchised voting beings such as children were not able to participate in the design of the original governance structure and what voting means.
“The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) articulates children’s rights to be heard and to participate in decisions that affect them. In spite of widespread ratification of the CRC, and the recognition of youth as a major stakeholder group with the right to participate in conversations related to climate change, children have not been adequately included in climate change decision-making at a global level, and attempts to facilitate their participation have rarely been more than tokenistic.” Ref.  at 104–114.
Ref.  at 35 (discussing Article 43(1) of the Japanese Constitution).
“As articulated in international human rights instruments, the right to effective participation can be exercised by both individuals and collectives. While collective bargaining usually increases the strength of indigenous voices in negotiations and provides for more effective participation, it is also necessary to take into account the claims of each individual belonging to an indigenous group, as dissenting views cannot always be adequately represented in collective claims.” Ref.  at 15.
Ref.  at 111.
Ref.  at 111.
Ref.  at 138.
Ref.  at 141.
Ref.  at 142.
Ref.  at 142—citing the writings of B.R. Ambedkar to advocate for the lower caste groups, such as the Dalits.
Ref.  at 145 (quoting Ambedkar).
Ref.  at 146–147.
Ref.  at 35.
For example, “one new and emerging approach is the use of legal personality to protect water systems in law through the granting of legal rights to rivers” . By contrast, Professor Sandra Seubert contends that the “animal-as-citizen approach overestimates the potentials of human-animal communication and underestimates the abuse of power asymmetries. Humans can (and should) take (what they interpret as) animals’ interests into account but they cannot deliberate about interest with animals on an equitable basis.” Ref.  at 63–69.
Ref.  at 165.
Ref.  at 22-23.
Legal or practical disenfranchisement due to geographical location can occur because of lack of a permanent residence address due to poverty (such as in Japan, where homeless people are legally disenfranchised if they are not on the “resident register”  or due to membership in a nomadic tribe (such as for the Kuchis in Afghanistan . There are also millions of “stateless” people who are not only disenfranchised but struggle in many other areas as well, including travel restrictions. “There are at least 4.2 million stateless people in the 79 countries that report them, but the U.N. agency believes that to be a severe undercount and that the problem affects many millions more” . “Statelessness arises from a variety of situations, including redrawn borders, discriminatory laws that prevent women from passing on their nationality to a child, births that go unregistered, or the mass expulsion of an ethnic group” .
Ref.  at 574.
Ref.  at 3.
Ref.  at 7.
Ref. . The importance of participation by the less powerful is emphasized by Kawashima in the context of indigenous peoples. Drawing from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Organization of American States, Proposed American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (1997), (OAE/Ser/L/V/11.95), she notes a key point that “indigenous peoples have a right to participate not only in the implementation and evaluation of policies, plans and programmes for national or regional development, but also in their formulation.” Ref.  at 31. In addition, “indigenous peoples have a right to maintain and develop their own indigenous decision-making institutions and to select their representatives according to their own rules and customs.” Id.
Ref.  at 4.
Ref.  at 4. Also, “[f]ocusing on and placing weight on a fair negotiation forum (and the right to effective participation which guarantees it), which requires the mutual cooperation and support of participants, could be understood as an Asian way of thinking, as opposed to a Western way of thinking, stressing unilateral assertions of an individual’s right or interest.” Ref.  at 22, footnote 7.
Ref.  at 2.
For additional background on Dr. Ambedkar, see .
Ref.  at 150-151.
Ref.  at 26.
“It is especially regrettable that the Experts Meeting [Concerning Ainu Affairs – established in 1995 in response to the request of the first and then sole Ainu member of the Japanese Congress] did not include any Ainu members. This was pointed out by a member of the Experts Meeting, who suggested that a new Meeting be established, including Ainu persons, to contribute to the drafting process after the issuance of the report by the Experts Meeting. Nevertheless, this proposal was never realized.” Ref.  at 38–40.
Ref.  at 32–33.
Kawashima contends that the Japanese Constitution would, in fact, allow for special representation for the Ainu. Ref.  at 34–36.
The concept of “ancestry” itself, while frequently used as a proxy for race in discriminatory denial of enfranchisement as discussed above, may be legitimate when used by the group itself as a key cultural, social and/or religious requirement for membership in an indigenous group. See, for example, the struggle of the Hawaiian people or Kānaka Maoli to assert their sovereignty and right to self-determination, including the very right to define group membership at least in part based on ancestral terms. Ref.  at 2605 (the “OHA [Office of Hawaiian Affairs] constituted an attempt by the State of Hawaii to enable Kānaka Maoli self-determination. By rejecting this model, the [United States Supreme] Court in Rice demonstrated a troubling inability to understand indigenous self-governance as possible outside of federally recognized tribal governments—an oversight that continues to stifle indigenous self-governance in the U.S. territories to this day. Ultimately, as Hawaiian scholar Noelani Goodyear-Ka‘ōpua writes, by invalidating Hawaiian-only voting for OHA trustees, Rice eliminated “the small measure of electoral control over resources Kānaka Maoli could collectively exercise within the settler state system.”) (citations omitted).
Ref.  at 35.
An additional concern about using geographic borders to determine voting rights is that such borders too often reflect a legacy of violent appropriation of lands and divisions in which the dispossessed lacked a meaningful voice. Ref.  “’They make magic lines only they can see’ noted a member of the Hupacasath First Nation of British Columbia, as colonial surveyors sliced up his ancestral lands into tidy parcels, a fraction of which would become the Hupacasath’s reservation.”
The two-party system in the United States has led to absurd extremes of partisan gerrymandering, such as the examples shown in Rucho v. Common Cause, in which the Supreme Court held involved “political questions” beyond the reach of the federal courts absent an equal protection (one person, one vote) violation or racial discrimination .
Dr. Ambedkar “thought of the [India] Constitution as a work in progress. Like Thomas Jefferson, he believed that unless every generation had the right to create a new constitution for itself, the earth would belong to ‘the dead and not the living.’” Ref.  at 46 (citation omitted).
Ref.  at 18.
Ref.  at 19.
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Blodgett-Ford, S.J. Human Enhancements and Voting: Towards a Declaration of Rights and Responsibilities of Beings. Philosophies 2021, 6, 5. https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies6010005
Blodgett-Ford SJ. Human Enhancements and Voting: Towards a Declaration of Rights and Responsibilities of Beings. Philosophies. 2021; 6(1):5. https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies6010005Chicago/Turabian Style
Blodgett-Ford, S. J. 2021. "Human Enhancements and Voting: Towards a Declaration of Rights and Responsibilities of Beings" Philosophies 6, no. 1: 5. https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies6010005