1920, this year should ring a bell in everybody’s mind. Especially in the minds of over 50% of this class. 1920 is the year that women earned the right to vote. After 75 years of struggles, fighting, defeats pain & tears Susan B. Anthony and her followers accomplished their biggest goal by persuading the U.S. Government to give women the right to vote. Then 35 yrs ago in 1965 the federal government adopted the voting Rights act to ensure access for all citizens to the ballot. Now in today’s society, we take for granted the passion that many people gave to fight for our right to vote. I am here to tell you why you as an American should vote.
2 weeks ago, our nation participated in a ritual that only takes place once every 4 yrs. Some of us went to the polls and voted for the next leader of our country, the President and Vice President of the United States. Now, here we are 2 weeks, later and we still don’t know who our next president will be. There are many different ideas and opinions circulating around of why this country is in such turmoil over the election. In the Miami Herald on Tuesday November 14, George Meyers suggested that not enough people voted; therefore the #’s were too close for comfort. After listening to many people discuss the issues at hand I realized that nearly 50% of the people who were complaining about the drawn out voting process were non-voters These non voters, focusing on our age group give two primary reasons on why they don’t vote. One is that young people are just not interested in politics and the other is that our voted does not matter. However, both of these arguments re invalid. Sure there are many young people who
Have no idea of politics and &can be easily influenced and there are others who didn’t even know who the candidates were. It is hard to say whether or not these people are just lazy or if they really don’t care. On the other hand there are many young people who take an active role in politics & concern themselves w/issues and current events. At many universities there are clubs such as the Young Democrats and the Young Republicans. These clubs are available to anyone affiliated w/either political party who want to be more involved in current and future issues. Giving the excuse that “my vote does not matter” is just that. It is an excuse for people who don’t take the time to learn the issues that will change their lives. * Early Wednesday morning following the so-called bush victory, I spoke to Blake, a neighbor of mine about his view on the outcome he said with such enthusiam that if he would have know 2 things before the prior to that night he would have voted. The 1st was thaty Bush was Anti-abortion and the 2nd was that if he knew it was so close he would have voted and also gotten his friends to vote.But he didn’t think his vote would count.
When I heard this I wasn’t sure whether to be surprised of his ignorance or to be happy that he was giving it some thought. As the days passed I heard more and more people complaining that is was such a close a election & they should have and had their frinds vote. If enough people thought that way before the election, then maybe this country would not be in this mess. *In a government article written on March 12, 1999 and appearing in Unaffiliated, there were some remarkable facts about the power of one vote. *In 1850, California was admitted into the union by just one vote. On November 8th 1923 members of the then recently formed revolutionary political party met to elect a leader in a Munich, Germany beer hall. By a majority of one vote they choose an ex-soldier named Adolph Hitler to become the Nazi Party leader. Then in the 1960 presidential election, an additional one vote per percent in Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey & Texas may have altered the course of America’s modern history by denying John F. Kennedy the presidency & placing Nixon in the White house 8 yrs. Earlier.So as you can see, one vote can count.
By staying home on election day, these non-voters forfeited the opportunity to have a direct say in who runs the government & what kinds of policies will be in place *and beyond that, they turned over their decisions to those who did vote. Staying home makes sense only if thought your neighbors knew more than you did and were prepared to decide the issues in your place. * A key step in the voting process is Registration. You cannot vote unless you are registered. According to this nation’s laws, anyone 18 or older is given the right and privilege to vote. A week after my 18th birthday I went to the courthouse and registered to vote. The process took only 5 min. & then a few weeks later I was sent a voters registration card. According to the web page for Florida voters which was last updated in January ’98 there are a # of places where you can obtain a mail in application. These places are the driver’s license office, public assistance offices public libraries and armed forces recruitment offices. The fox news web page which is accessible by going to Foxnews.com lists addresses and phone #’s of places that can help you out. In this day and age just about everything is available on the internet and
For the web surfers you can register at Election.dos.state.fl.us/ * John Eddy a news editor for the Coyote Chronicle wrote in his Oct. 12th article some statistics about the registered voter turnout. It stated that according to the Federal Elections Committee the United States of America had a voting age population of 196,511,000 in 1996. Due to the lack of availability, personal grudges and un interest in the policies of the government, of those eligible to vote, only 146,211,960 took the time to register. And out of those registered only 96,456, 345 people made it to the polls to cast their vote and have a voice. 50% of the voting age population stayed home while fate and progress of the nation was decided by only 49.8% of those eligible. * After reading these results I conducted my own survey. On Thursday November 16th I asked 50 customers from my work whether or not they voted and their age. The range of ages was 18-60. In the18-25 bracket 8 voted and 5 did not, in 26-40 17 voted and 10 did not and in the 41-60 bracket 7 voted and 3 didn’t. In my survay 36% of people questioned did not vote. These #’s do not represent a Nation that looks out for it’s well being.
The majority of citizens in the united States of America have conceded any participation in an electoral Process that the forefathers of this Great Nation had to fight and sometimes die for. Perhaps the great silent majority is under an illusion that their singular vote does not matter or maybe they are disillusioned not caring which direction the government leads the masses. * When American’s held it’s first presidential election, only white males were allowed to vote. Women, Africans, and some poor farmers were not able to have any part in the decisions that were made even though they affected the lives of everyone. The struggle for the Universal right of suffrage came gradually and in stages to the American people. 130 yrs. Ago in 1870 African American men won the right to vote. 80yrs. Ago, in 1920, the 19th Amendment was passed and it granted women the right to vote. And only 35 yrs. Ago the voting Rights Act eliminated barriers to voting after a struggle led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Now here we are in the 21st century, as the future leaders of this nation, and it is our responsibility to ensure that our country is still for the people. So I urge all of you to register to vote and in four years go to the polls and show your voice. One vote can count, and that vote is yours.