Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Right To Vote

On my campaign, I have spent a lot of time urging people to get registered to vote.  I have emphasized the importance of voting.  I have drawn attention to historically close races in the history of voting.  Yet, I still meet people who think their vote doesn't count or they simply don't care about voting. 

Let's quickly (and in no way comprehensively) take a look at some historical facts on the history of voting in the United States. 

"When our country was founded, in most states, only white men with real property (land) or sufficient wealth for taxation were permitted to vote. Freed African Americans could vote in four states. Unpropertied white men, almost all women, and all other people of color were denied the franchise. At the time of the American Civil War, most white men were allowed to vote, whether or not they owned property. Literacy tests, poll taxes, and even religious tests were used in various places, and most white women, people of color, and Native Americans still could not vote." --- Wikipedia

It's hard to imagine our country denying voting rights to people based on their race, religious affiliation, or the fact that they were poor or a woman.  Women have only been granted the right to vote since 1920!  Many historically significant women, such as Susan B. Anthony, fought for a woman's right to vote. 

There are many other pieces to the historical puzzle of voting in our country.  But one point resonates:  voting has been a hard fought right for many people in our country.  Do not take the ability and opportunity to vote lightly.

So, as I urge you to go the polls and vote, I, of course, ask for your vote.  But I also ask you to take your time and make conscientious decisions on all the candidates and measures put before you.  Pause to reflect on the historical significance of the act of your vote.

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