The Right to Vote

Today (as I write this) is the beginning of early voting for our city. County elections and state elections are scheduled later in the month. I never realized the differences in voting laws, practices, and information there was between states. I’ve lived and voted in many states, but never have I had such a challenge as living in Texas.

Thankfully, for you, I’m going to spare you my trials and tribulations around voting. Suffice it to say, that if I didn’t believe so strongly in exercising my right to vote, I would have given up awhile ago! I have a whole new appreciation for the Justice Department having Texas on their voter’s rights watch list.

I’m certain that President Lyndon B. Johnson, a Texan himself, is spinning in his grave. One of the lasting legacies of Johnson’s administration was the Voting Rights Act of 1965. It was enacted to guarantee the equal right to vote for every American. While African American men gained the right to vote with the 15th Amendment, some states continued to erect barriers to black voters that continued well into the 1960s. Legislation for civil rights and voting were two key pieces of legislation that began to right the many wrongs against people of color and women.

So here we are again. It’s the 21st century and voting rights and women’s rights are being challenged … again. We can never take for granted the strides gained toward equality. There will always be factions who want to garner power for themselves and agendas that serve their interests. That’s why education and the right to vote are so important. Education and the right to vote threaten to undermine the power these factions seek to keep. Exactly why oppressive regimes prohibit education, of girls in particular, and open elections.

I’m about ready to tackle Dante’s Inferno.┬áIt’s Dante’s epic work depicting hell, guided by the Roman poet Virgil. I’m beginning to think that we might be experiencing the Eighth and Ninth Circles of Hell, fraud and treachery, in current American politics. I’ll let you know (smile).

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