Deadline to Register to Vote in June Primary
Date(s) - 05/23/2016
This is as heated and competitive a primary season as we’ve ever seen. For you to weigh in and have your voice heard, you need to be registered to vote by TODAY, May 23rd.
You can also look up your ballot, polling place, and other important information here.
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Historical Restrictions to Voting – Why Your Vote MATTERS
Since our country was formed, people have fought and died for the right to vote.
When the U.S. Constitution was ratified, non-white men were counted as 3/5 of all other persons, women weren’t counted at all, and neither were allowed to vote. This ended for men when the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments were passed and abolished slavery, guaranteed equal protection under the law for all men, and said governments can’t deny the right to vote based on race, color, or having been a slave. [Women did not gain the right to vote until 1920.]
Southern states were livid at the passage of those three “Reconstruction Amendments,” and they passed “Jim Crow laws” to make it difficult for black citizens to register and vote. Literacy tests, poll taxes, and laws prohibiting people with a criminal conviction from voting were specifically designed to suppress black political power.
This voter suppression was aided by many religious and paramilitary groups until the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed, and the U.S. put teeth into prohibiting racial discrimination in voting. The VRA resulted in the mass enfranchisement of racial minorities, most notably in the South, and is considered the most effective piece of civil rights legislation ever enacted in the country.
Sadly, since 2008, states across the country have passed measures making it harder for Americans to vote—especially people of color, the elderly, students, the poor, and people with disabilities. These measures include voter ID laws, cuts to early voting, purges of voter rolls, and ongoing “felony disenfranchisement,” the stripping away of a person’s right to vote because of a criminal conviction.
Be part of the civil rights movement! Register to vote, and then exercise your right to vote on Tuesday, June 7th!