Monday, October 20, 2008
You’re Invited to a Voting Social
Need something to do on Tuesday, November 4th? Well, you are all invited to a voting social! Now, don’t stop reading just because you have voter apathy.
Yes, you read right. Voter apathy. It’s a common problem. Lots of us feel like our vote doesn’t count, but I want to jog your memory a bit.
Do you remember how close the election was in 2000? Do you remember the “hanging chads” in Florida and the recounting of the votes?
I remember and I was so proud I had voted and was part of that memorable and important election. My vote did count and yours will too.
My vote counted in the presidential race of 2004 as well, even if the margins weren’t as close. My husband and I stood in line with our baby for an hour and a half to exercise our right to vote.
Election 2008 promises to be a memorable one with every single vote counting. I want to encourage you to exercise the right that many people fought for and died for. Most white men have always had the right to vote as long as there was an election, but women and African Americans had to work harder to get their rights.
Amendment XV to the U.S. Constitution was passed by Congress February 26, 1869 and ratified February 3, 1870, this allowed black men to vote.
Did you know that in the late 1880s when all men despite color were supposed to be able to vote because of that amendment, many blacks were harassed, beaten, and threatened out of voting?
Did you know that in some cities so-called “literacy tests” were made up to discourage black voters? They had to pass this literacy test to vote, one of which included memorizing and reciting the entire constitution!! And there were many who passed this test, memorizing the full U.S. Constitution, in order to vote. I am so impressed by this because I can’t even quote the first two paragraphs and I doubt many voters today could either.
Many African Americans would continue to fight for their right to vote for decades. It wasn’t until President Johnson's Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed that all men really could vote.
In 1920, women received the right to vote in the United States with the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This did not come easily. It took many generations of supporters for women's suffrage lecturing, lobbying, and practicing civil disobedience to achieve what many Americans, at the time, considered a radical change to the Constitution.
Some women were jailed, harassed, and assaulted for rallying for their right to vote.
Now many of us don’t even exercise our right to vote.
And here we are today with no one standing in our way to get to the polls. It wasn’t that long ago, not ancient history by any means, when you certainly were exercising your right to vote to participate in an election. Our predecessors worked and gave up so much to gain their right to vote. I’m sure if they could talk to us, they would be full of sorrow that so many of us don’t even take the opportunity to vote. I’m sure they would encourage you to think about why they fought so hard to participate in an election.
Please invite your friends and neighbors to go with you to vote on Tuesday, November 4th. Go vote and then go out to lunch together to celebrate your patriotism. You don’t have to be a political guru to get involved and vote. I am far from “guru” status when it comes to politics, but there is so much information readily available about the candidates, it should be relatively easy to learn enough to decide who to vote for. Every vote counts and in a few short days, your vote can count in the Presidential election of 2008.
On November 4th you can vote in the presidential election. Here are the candidates.
Democratic ticket: Barrack Obama and Joseph Biden
Republican ticket: John McCain and Sarah Palin
One vote can make a difference!
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