Is it true that men are only given the right to vote if they agree to give to government the right to conscription? Of course, women only need to be 18 and have no further obligations put on them? How is this discrimination according to a gender still accepted in 2020? Has the fact that the genders are not treated the same ever been brought up in the constitutional court?


This question is in relation to this article I read, which says the following.

  1. Women have the right to vote without agreeing to die In the US, citizens are free to exercise their constitutionally guaranteed right to democratically choose their own leaders through the process of casting a ballot in an election once they reach the age of 18. Women achieve this right by the simple act of surviving 18 years. Men may not actualize their basic rights as a citizen without first signing a Selective Service card, in which they agree that at the discretion of the democratically elected government, they will take up arms and die to defend their liberty and way of life. The draft. Men may vote if, and only if, they agree they will face death if required. Women have no such obligation, but they do get to vote for the governments that can potentially send men to meet death. Again, regardless of how you feel about the draft, women have the right to vote without agreeing to be drafted. Men don’t.
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    Why would you think it is true?
    – James K
    Feb 15, 2020 at 20:48
  • This seems like two main, distinct questions. Is it true that it is contingent? Has it been dealt with in courts? The ERA (Equal Rights Amendment) remains unratified. It would have recognized that women have all the same rights as men, and would simultaneously extend the draft to women. The ERA was given ten years to be ratified, during which time 35 of the required 38 states (75%) ratified. But during that same period, some states rescinded their ratification. three more states have ratified in these past four years raising the total to 38 if you don't negate those rescinding states. Feb 15, 2020 at 22:58
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    i have made an edit in an attempt to improve this question.
    – Neil Meyer
    Feb 16, 2020 at 9:38

1 Answer 1


It is not true.

Men between 18 and 26 are required to register with the selective service system. Failure to register is a felony, and so if someone failed to register, and the SSS chose to prosecute, and the courts convicted the person, and they were imprisoned, then they would be disenfranchised. However there have been no prosecutions since 1986, and the bar for proving intentional failure to register is quite high.

There are no checks at voter registration, nor at the polling station, of the registry with the SSS.

There are other ways the government tries to encourage men to register: certain government grants, loans, and benefits are not available to men who are not registered with the SSS.

While the draft was judged constitutional (in 1968), the male-only draft was declared unconstitutional by a district court in Feb. 2019. However, this was appealed and the case is due to be heard in March 2020 in the court of Appeal of the fifth circuit. The CAFC reversed the district court's decision. It was appealed to SCOTUS, but they declined to review it because Congress is actively working on removing the male-only requirement, so it's expected to become moot

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    Good answer assuming selective service registration equates to acceptance of the draft. Also, non-citizen male residents of the U.S. are required to register (if in specific age range), but as non-citizens, they don't get to vote. Finally, male U.S. citizens born in 1957, 1958, and 1959 were never required to register, and are eligible to vote. Feb 15, 2020 at 21:50
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    Many states tie selective service registration to the provisioning of driver's licenses and state IDs (sss.gov/Registration/State-Commonwealth-Legislation). If the state requires ID to vote, the lack of selective service registration would tend to be a difficult bar to clear. You'd need to go state-by-state to figure out whether a person that wasn't registered with selective service would likely be able to cast a ballot. Feb 15, 2020 at 22:46
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    Not all states bar felons from voting. Feb 16, 2020 at 19:53
  • The CAFC reversed the district court's decision. It was appealed to SCOTUS, but they declined to review it because Congress is atively working on removing the male-only requirement, so it's expected to become moot.
    – Barmar
    Aug 22, 2021 at 6:33
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    @JamesK I thought that [sic] was for quoting mistakes verbatim, and wouldn't be used if you fixed the mistake. Aug 22, 2021 at 16:05

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