Vote Yes women vote

Voting Day is Tuesday, November 6, 2012. Are you registered, Maui Mama? Well then, it’s time to get out that vote!

As you all likely know (but may be a little fuzzy on the details due to sleep deprivation), women were denied the vote in the United States for many years. In 1787, when the U.S. Constitutional Convention left voting qualifications to the states, women in every state except New Jersey lost the right to vote. In 1807, even New Jersey women lost the right to vote.

Suffragists banded together to write, march, and protest. They challenged the laws through the Court system. In 1872, Susan B. Anthony, along with 11 other women, were arrested for voting. The 11 women each were held on $500 bail, and Anthony was held on $1000 bail. The suffragists argued that the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, which provided equal protection under the law for men of all races, should apply to women and grant them the right to vote. Anthony was denied a trial by jury and lost her case.

Having lost all of their court challenges, the suffragists decided to take their fight to Congress.

In 1878, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton wrote a proposed amendment to the United State Constitution providing “The right of citizens to vote shall not be abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”

Forty-one years later, after being introduced in every single session of Congress, it passed. Congress passed the amendment on June 4, 1919. On August 18, 1920, the state of Tennessee voted to approve the Nineteenth Amendment, allowing for its enactment.

I know you don’t have any time, but if you enjoy living in a democracy, exercise your right to vote (and serve your jury duty, but that is the subject of a different article). Take a moment to learn about the candidates at the federal, state and county levels, so you can make an informed decision.

Hawaii had the lowest voter turnout rate in the country in the 2008 election. Under the law in Hawaii, each voter is entitled to two hours of leave from work during polling hours on voting day (7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.) to exercise her right to vote.

If you are looking for a way to honor the struggle of these brave women, vote!
And take your daughter.

Image Credit: Deb Mader

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Meg Obenauf is an attorney and the founder of Obenauf Law Group. She strives to help families pass on their wealth simply, without conflict, drama, or taxes and works with families to protect their money and property from the ravages of nursing home and long-term care expenses. Meg helps parents of minor children create plans so that your keiki are never out of the hands of your loved ones, even for a moment, if the unthinkable should occur. She works with clients to create customized plans designed to ensure that your wishes are recognized and followed. Meg is a graduate of Harvard Law School. She resides in upcountry Maui with her husband, Mark, and her two young children. You can contact her at 244-3905 or go to www.obenauflawgroup.com for more information.