Find out why voting is like eating

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Should I vote? Personally, I can think of two other questions that could be asked that are similar in nature: “Should I eat?” and “Should I breathe?” Voting is our civic duty and right, a tool used to elect officials to handle the government affairs which affect us at every level. Should I vote? Of Course! 

The Constitution of the United States guarantees each American this right. The words “…all men are created equal…” said one thing on the surface, but meant another to the writers and framers of the constitution – rich, white landowners. Even though our forefathers were men, they were considered property. After a bloody civil war that cost many lives (some of them Black), our forefathers were freed, and this freedom included the right to vote. However, they faced heavy opposition, especially in the southern states, when they tried to exercise their right to vote. Let’s take a brief historical tour of some of the issues surrounding voting:

  • Early in the 19th century, some of the states began allowing African-American men and poor white men to vote.
  • the 15thAmendment, passed after the Civil War, assured that race or financial status would no longer be a barrier for voting.
  • In opposition to this amendment, southern states in particular, used poll taxes and literacy tests to keep African-American men, as well as poor white men, from voting. Poll taxes would be used for 100 years after the Civil War to suppress votes.

Are you still questioning whether or not you should vote? Here’s more:

  • Women, regardless of their race, were prohibited from voting as well. It would not be until the early 1920’s, after many years of protesting, that women received the right to vote through the 19th Amendment. 
  • In 1962, the 24th Amendment targeted the use of poll taxes, but it wouldn’t be until 1964 that the states ratified it.
  • In 1965, after the civil rights marches in the south, the Voting Rights Act was passed, 328-74 in the House and 79-18 in the Senate, giving African-Americans the right to vote. This Act included a provision requiring states and local authorities to submit any planned changes to their election laws to the Department of Justice prior to implementation to assure the lack of voter suppression.
  • In 1971 the voting age was dropped from 21 to 18 years old. (I turned 18 that year and voted for the first time that November.)

I hope the brief history of this hot-button issue has convinced you of your constitutional right to vote. The fight still rages on, and you can read about it here. Many of our forefathers died in their fight to be counted as equals in the United States. Be advised that true justice will not take place until Christ rules this world unhindered by the work of the enemy of our souls (See Revelation 2:25-29. In light of that, will you let the cries of these martyrs fall on deaf ears? 


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