Voter Registration

The freedom we enjoy here in the United States of America is reliant on the rights of the people. The right to vote is one that is cherished by those who understand the magnitude of such a right. Today is National Voter Registration Day and all of us at Hancock International College are ready to make sure we can vote in the upcoming election to be a good example of what America is all about, especially for our international students. I found great information on the history of voter registration on ivn.us

Voting sounds quite simple when spoken about, but many policies, restrictions, exceptions and methods were in place over the past couple hundred years were the stuff of many an equal rights battle. For instance, “in 1776, only white, male property owners were permitted to vote.” The ivn.us article goes on to say that after we adopted the US Constitution the states were left to decide who could vote and when the first president was elected only 6% of the population in the US could even vote. Fast forward to the Civil war and, “… sporadic voter registration and intelligence testing were among the methods used to prevent freed slaves from voting in local elections.” So the people in power were trying to keep that power and that lasted until 1870 when finally African American males were given the right to vote.

Even then women, regardless of color, weren’t allowed to vote until 1920. So as it stands, “The history of voting in America is not pretty and much has changed since the birth of American democracy. Voting rights, even today, is a hotly contested issue.

Today, many states require citizens to register a certain number of days prior to the election. In other states, the need for proper identification is another hot button issue along with how and where a person may register.

It is clear that voter registration and voting rights will continue to be an issue that is fought over.

Idiom of the Day

Cast (One’s) Vote

Meaning 1: To vote in an election.

Example: You seem happy about the results of the election. I guess I know which candidate you cast your vote for!

Meaning 2: To share one’s opinion on something (which could involve informal “voting”).

Example: If I get a say in the matter, I cast my vote in favor of a new microwave for the break room! Raise your hand to cast your vote for lower monthly dues!