Don’t Take the Right to Vote for Granted

Photo credit: https://twitter.com/weird_hist
Photo credit: @weird_hist on Twitter.

Today has been a quiet and contemplative day.

There have been times when I skipped the polls because I didn’t think that my vote mattered. I know that’s an easy thought pattern to fall into, especially in political races where one candidate seems sure to win.

Your vote does matter, though. There was a time not too long ago when people would have done anything to have the opportunity you have to change the way things are run.

I’ve been thinking about the Suffragette movement on this quiet, contemplative day. On August 18, 1920, the Nineteenth amendment to the Constitution was ratified in the United States.

Women have had the right to vote in the States for less than a century. Several of my great-grandparents were children when this law passed (although not all of them were living in the U.S. at the time). One of them lived long enough for me to have many, clear memories of her.

Some of my extended family members are African-American. Disenfranchisement of their votes was extremely common until the 1960s in certain areas. It’s still happening today.

None of this is ancient history. There are still many people who remember when voting was a privilege that only certain folks got to have.

People who wanted to vote were threatened, arrested, and thrown into jail. Some of them died.

Think of them the next time you decide whether or not to vote this election cycle.

 

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