The political season has been another circus as usual. Instead of candidates focusing on how to make our country better, it has been a back and forth, name-calling battle, focusing on the faults of the other party to thwart voters on who has the better personality to become President. These people have mastered how to toy with the emotions of a nation divided more and more each day. It may be very discouraging to some and many have chosen not to vote because of the choices we have, but it is our civic duty as citizens. Here is a little history of why it is so important, as throughout the years, we have come a long way to have the privilege of doing so.
- In 1776, even though America became an independent nation, voting was only extended to “white, property-owning, Protestant men.
- In 1807, women lost the right to vote in every state for the next 113 years.
- In 1848, Mexicans are declared US citizens during the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, but are denied the right to vote.
- In 1857, black men are deprived of citizenship and the right to vote.
- In 1869-70, the Fifteenth Amendment is passed and right to vote is now legally guaranteed to all male citizens regardless of “race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”
- In 1919-20, the Nineteenth Amendment is adopted by Congress and the right to vote is now guaranteed to all citizens regardless of gender.
- In 1948, the last state laws denying Native Americans the right to vote are overturned.
- In 1965, the Voting Rights Act is signed into law, prohibiting any election practice that denies the right to vote to citizens on the basis of race and forces jurisdictions with histories of voter discrimination to submit any changes to its election laws to the government for federal approval prior to taking effect.
- In 1986, voting rights for people of color are strengthened.
- In 1990, the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act ensures that election workers and polling sites provide a variety of services designed to ensure the possibility of persons with disabilities to vote.
- In 2009, the Military and Overseas Empowerment Act establishes more efficient means for troops stationed overseas and expatriates to request and receive absentee ballots through the mail or electronically.
We were once a nation lacking in rights for many races and we should honor those who fought to overturn those rights by voting regardless of who the candidates are. Before you make a decision on who to vote for, do your own research and history on each party and candidate. Look at their platforms, and determine who you think would build a strong foundation for our future. Be a proud citizen – go out and VOTE this week!
For more details on the history of voting visit: http://massvote.org/voterinfo/history-of-voting-rights/
Written by: Donna J. Sanders
Donna is a freelance writer and blogger in West Palm Beach, FL. She is the author of Ataraxia, Cardboard Signs, Devour Me and Charcoal Kisses.
Find out more about her here:
Sign up for our emails at:
Photo Credit: © pixabay.com
Categories: Creative Talents Unleashed