I was 18 when the voting age changed from 21 to 18; I vividly remember conversing with my mother about how excited I was at my first opportunity to vote. I asked her for advice on how to get involved and stay informed; I also remember conversations with my grandmother, and her educating me on Susan B Anthony.
Susan B. Anthony has become a well-known figure in our history, as one of many American women who advocated for women’s right to vote. When she died in 1906…women still hadn’t achieved the right to vote. Very few people know that Anthony hailed from a family that was passionate about civil rights, and dedicated their lives to abolishing slavery. While women would wait 14 more years after Anthony’s death to exercise their vote, Black men gained the right to do so in 1870.
Although men of color legally obtained this right, the majority couldn’t use it. Several states implemented laws —including impassable literacy tests, that prevented them from registering. In one state, the test included the following question: how many bubbles are there in a bar of soap?
Our country was founded on the principles of liberty, and we must keep them in our minds at all times. We have work to do, and each of us has a responsibility to ensure that work progresses forward. Every day we witness obstacles that deter and hinder all citizens from helping to shape our nation; and the actions and solutions we need are simple.
Tuesday, September 25th is National Voter Registration Day, and I encourage each of you to check your registration status, and register to vote in celebration of this important day. Although this year’s election is not a Presidential race, it is nonetheless still an important election. Federally, all members of the U.S. House of Representatives are up for reelection, and one Senator in each state is as well. State-wide, state representatives and state senators are also gearing up for reelection.
For those of you who are not citizens and aspire to become Americans—now is the perfect time to delve deeper into our history, our rights, and the public policies that are both impactful and meaningful to you. For those of you who are registered— stay informed, rock your rights, and get to the polls in November. VOTE! We need your voice.
To the many staff that directly support our adults with disabilities— ask the right questions, and ask them frequently. Does the individual you support need your help to register, to get informed, and to get to the polls? Everyone, despite their ability, background, or socioeconomic status has the opportunity and the rights to make their voice heard, and register their opinion.
Throughout our history and around the world people have made it their mission to gain the right to vote; and many have sacrificed their lives to ensure and protect that right for us. Let’s not waste it, rock your right to register through the links below!
- For Pennsylvania residents: https://www.pavoterservices.pa.gov/pages/VoterRegistrationApplication.aspx
- For Delaware residents: https://ivote.de.gov/default.aspx
- For Connecticut residents: https://voterregistration.ct.gov/OLVR/prefix.do
You can find this blog and previous ones at https://www.kencrest.org/blog/.