Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Today is the day.

Source: bakerella.com via Kelly on Pinterest
When the polls open on Election Day, every citizen over the age of 18 will be able to cast a vote. It is a right we take for granted, one that defines our nation as a democracy. But universal suffrage — letting everyone vote — did not appear overnight with the ratification of our Constitution (in fact, our Constitution does not mention the right to vote). 

Two hundred years ago, you had to be white, male, and wealthy in order to vote. Many people dedicated their lives to changing that fact. Without them, suffrage might still be the privilege of a chosen few.

Here's a brief suffrage timeline of our voting rights: 

1790 Only white male adult property-owners have the right to vote.

1810 The last religious prerequisite for voting was eliminated.

1850 Property ownership and tax requirements eliminated by 1850. Almost all adult white males could vote.

1870 The 15th Amendment is passed. It gives former slaves the right to vote and protects the voting rights of adult male citizens of any race. But still no right for women!

1920 The 19th Amendment guarantees women's suffrage. About time!

1961 The 23rd Amendment allows voters of the District of Columbia to participate in presidential elections.

1964 The 24th Amendment bans the poll tax as a requirement for voting in federal elections.

1971 The 26th amendment sets the minimum voting age at 18.

Do not take this right for granted.  Make sure to get out and VOTE!


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