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