Both presidential candidates are calling this year’s election “the most important election” of our lifetimes and history, and most of the media is agreeing with that. It can’t be denied that this year has been a wild ride on all fronts, with this election potentially being the icing on the cake. In such a time of chaos, it’s even more important that we’re raising our voices and putting our votes towards representatives that align with our beliefs.
The history of voting in our country hasn’t always been as inclusive as it is today. At the beginnings of our country, only white men who owned land were able to vote. It wasn’t until after the Civil War ended in 1865 that all white men were able to vote, regardless of their economic status. However, it was only a small step in the right direction. The 15th Amendment was ratified in 1870 and it was a major step forward, because it said that the “right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” In the 1920s, women finally got the right to vote. However, there were still many steps taken to keep any minorities from voting through poll taxes and literacy tests, along with more sinister methods. They weren’t offered any protection until the 1960s, when the federal government finally stepped in. More in depth information can be found at National Geographic.
With politics, it’s easy to feel like you aren’t being heard. Representatives are meant to bridge that gap between the average citizens and those who are in leadership positions in our country. In order for that to happen, though, it takes votes from citizens to promote a candidate whom they trust to represent and push for their ideals and concerns. This year, the votes will determine who will be the head of our country for the next four years. After everything that’s happened this year, the following years are bound to be formative ones for our country. Though not everyone will be happy with the results of the election, if everyone who is eligible votes, then it will be a true representation of the needs of the citizens as a whole.
Being an Educated Voter
With the storm of contradictory media surrounding this year’s controversial election, it’s become difficult for citizens to get accurate and unbiased information. That information, though, is crucial for making an educated vote. When voting, the voter must be familiar with the candidates and what they stand for. It’s up to the voter to decide what it is that they believe in and are concerned with, and then to vote based off which candidate best lines up with that. There are only a few websites out there to provide voters with unbiased information. A good one is A Starting Point, which is a relatively new website that is incredibly helpful in getting unbiased information efficiently. They have a variety of relevant topics and present multiple elected officials from both the Democratic and Republican parties to respond in concise, two-minute videos for each topic.
It’s up to all of us to fight to make this country great. There are a lot of voices out there, but voting guarantees that your voice is heard. Make sure that your voice is heard in this year’s election.