When the polls opened today, the Election Day free for all comes to an end. Praise the Lord! Today, every citizen over the age of 18 will be able to cast a vote. It is a right we take for granted, one that defines our nation as a democracy. But universal suffrage — letting everyone vote — did not appear overnight with the ratification of our Constitution. Two hundred years ago, you had to be white, male, and wealthy in order to vote. I have always voted. My father instilled in me the concept that it is a right, a priviledge and it can be taken from you if you don't use it. I took that seriously and since I turned 18 have never missed voting in an election. Today is election day in Alabama....I am a school teacher in a state where we have been in pro-ration for the past four years. My insurance has increased.....my paycheck has not....so I have actually seen my paycheck dimish. I have a vested interest in this particular election. If we keep going down this path there won't be a school before too long. This is the year to elect a governor for us and all the Representatives and Senators (state and federal).....and I am disgusted. There have been so much mudslinging going on that I don't want to vote for any of them. The incumbants have done ok jobs....but when your senators and representatives on the state level take a 64% pay raise in a proration year I have to question their timing. I mean come on....these people have jobs and get major perks....64%????? Get a life! I would like 3%. This governor elect is slamming that one...and it goes on and on. I would rather watch Phineas and Ferb instead of the political slams. I am tired of seeing politicians kissing babies, with their sweet families, on farms, hunting....tired I tell you! TIRED! For the first time in 38 years I can't wait for this day to be over. Why can't these people run on their platforms and keep their mouths closed about their competition? Why don't they apply the age old rule...."If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all?" When I began this post I was going to just soap box....but as it has developed I decided I needed to research the right to vote a bit. In my research I was amazed at all the information I found and I just thought I would save you the time and let you know what I found. Did you know....... "The right to vote means the ability to choose elected officials among a range of candidates with competing views. Voting in periodic elections in which opposing candidates vie for public office is the foundation upon which democracies are built. In the United States, the struggle for the right to vote demonstrates an ever‐widening net of individuals who are entitled to franchise. Nowhere in the United States Constitution is there an explicit declaration of the right to vote. Initially the Constitution appears to have left that right up to the states, which generally limited the franchise to white male property owners, who were citizens of a certain age, occasionally of a specific religious faith. For example, in Minor v. Happersett (1875), the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a claim by a Missouri woman that as a citizen the Constitution gave her a right to vote. The Court rejected her claim, indicating that citizenship did not necessarily include the right to vote; states could decide who had that right. Commencing after the Civil War, a series of constitutional amendments were adopted that addressed the right to vote. The Fifteenth Amendment (1870) prohibited states from denying the right to vote on account of “race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” The Seventeenth Amendment (1913) permitted the direct election of U.S. senators. The Nineteenth Amendment (1920) enfranchised women (see Gender). The Twenty‐fourth (1964) banned poll taxes. The Twenty‐sixth (1971) directed states to allow qualified citizens who were age eighteen or older to vote. Finally, the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment (1868) came to be read as preventing states from enacting suffrage laws that conflict with fundamental principles of fairness, liberty, and self‐government. Yet none of these amendments affirmatively granted the right to vote. I find it amazing that it was not until the 1960s that the Supreme Court affirmatively addressed the constitutional right to vote. In Baker v. Carr (1962), the Court reversed its earlier decision of Colegrove v. Green (1946), holding that the courts could hear disputes involving reapportionment and redistricting (see Reapportionment Cases). Then in Reynolds v. Sims (1964), it embraced the principle of equal representation for equal numbers of people—one person, one vote. More important, in Reynolds the Supreme Court ruled that the right to vote in federal elections was located in the Article I, section 2 of the Constitution description of the House of Representatives as “chosen. … by the People of the several States,” and in the references to the election of senators found in the Seventeenth Amendment.2" So....if your state is holding elections today.....get out and vote. If you don't vote you take away your voice for making a difference. I may not vote for the right candidate....but at least I use my voice. I never have been one much for being silent. Happy Voting Day!
I am a woman who wears many hats and loves them all. I am a singer - I sing with the group Still Magnolias. I was part of the original First United Methodist Church Arbor Praise Team until we moved. After 24+ years of teaching English 11 and Spanish I - II at Benjamin Russell High School I decided to take a job closer to home. I now teach Spanish I & 2 at Randolph Co. High School and Wadley. I thought I was getting close to retirement and looking forward to it, but decided to move my cheese and try something different. I am a preacher's wife and a preacher myself. My husband Frank is the pastor at Rock Mills United Methodist Church and I am the pastor at Midway (Wedowee). It has made our conversations interesting, to say the least.