More than 92 million Americans have already voted in this election, a massive number that by the time you read this may already be out of date. Early voting numbers indicate the turnout in 2020 could be the highest in a century, at around 65 percent of the eligible voter population, or about 150 million voters. These proudly impressive numbers have further brought to light that our election system and particularly our voting procedures are somewhat archaic compared to other established democracies, in as far as Americans having to stand in lines for 12 hours to cast a vote in person. Remember, Your VOTE is Your Voice!
As a Democracy, a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, the sad truth is that America has very low rates of participation in our democracy. Only 55.7% of Americans voted in the last presidential election. This is not normal or healthy for advanced democracies. The fact that our Senators, Representatives, and even Presidents are selected by a small portion of the population goes against our democratic ideals.
In the early days of the United States voting was usually limited to free white men who owned property and met certain religious qualifications. Eventually the right to vote became more widespread. By 1860 almost every state allowed all white men over 21 to vote. After the Civil War the 15th Amendment to the Constitution gave the vote to men of all races. In practice, however, most black people in the South did not gain the right to vote until the civil rights movement of the 1960s and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Women, after a long political struggle, won the right to vote in 1920 with the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. The right to vote has been further extended in recent decades. In 1971 the 26th Amendment to the Constitution gave 18-year-olds the right to vote. More recently, federal law has guaranteed the vote to people with disabilities and to those whose first language is not English.
Today some say that our election system and voting procedures are somewhat archaic compared to other established democracies, in as far as Americans having to stand in lines for 12 hours to simply cast a vote in person. Many Americans believe we can do a lot better in our election management. We are a young democracy and still learning. So for today…
GET OUT THERE AND VOTE!