As I received my ballot and filled it out this week to vote, it brought to my mind the great privilege we all have of having the right to vote. It has not always been so.
Less than a hundred years ago, if you were a woman, you could not vote. Forty five years ago, if you were 20 years old you could not vote. Fifty four years ago, if you did not pay any federal tax, you could not vote. And one hundred and forty eight years ago, if you were a person of color or of a different race you could not vote.
The 26th Amendment of 1971 (voting age changed to 18 years of age from 21 years of age), the 24th Amendment of 1964 (voting can not be denied due to being on tax rolls), the 19th Amendment of 1920 (women allowed to vote), and the 15th Amendment of 1870 (voting rights can not be denied due to race or color) to the US Constitution changed all of those restrictions.
To me it is hard to believe that women have only had the right to vote for 97 years.
The right to vote is not only a right but a duty to maintain our freedom in this great land. We the people, need to be informed, to take our voting privileges seriously, and to exercise our opportunity to choose individuals to represent us in our government both local and national and to be able to choose to support or not support various laws in our land.
To me one of the great things about America is that the average person has such an opportunity to participate in the election and law making process.
Many people in this land and other lands have given their lives to secure this right and the freedom to choose government officials and laws by their own vote.
I have seen several municipal elections change by as few as three votes for one person over another. Your vote counts. It is important.
So please exercise your option to mark your ballots and be thankful for this wonderful opportunity to choose. This is a right and a privilege not to be taken lightly.