Your Vote is Your Voice
On the 100th anniversary of women's right to vote, act now to make sure your voice is heard in November.
August isn’t known for holidays, so you might not even realize that next week brings a milestone worthy of celebration: The 100-year anniversary of women’s right to vote in America. On August 18, 1920 Congress ratified the 19th Amendment to the constitution, after decades of activism by suffragettes.
While the 19th amendment grants voting rights to women regardless of race, it’s important to recognize that in reality many faced barriers to voting (and some still do). Here’s a mini history lesson on the ongoing struggle to extend the democracy to all women:
- The Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 granted citizenship to Native Americans which included voting rights, although many states barred Native American from voting until 1957
- Chinese immigrant women (and men) were granted the right to become citizens and vote with the Magnuson Act in 1943.
- The 24th Amendment in 1964 abolished poll taxes, enabling many lower-income people the opportunity to vote for the first time.
- The following year the Voting Rights Act in 1965 prohibited literacy tests and other discriminatory voting practices, protecting minority voters at the polls.
- Seven years ago the Supreme Court gutted many of the protections in the Voting Rights Act, and voter suppression remains a problem in many states.
Raise Your Voice with Your Vote
So after those reminders of how hard generations of activists fought for our right to vote — we can’t waste it by staying home on November 3rd. Get ready to vote and make sure your friends do too:
- Confirm you’re registered. Check your voter registration at Vote.gov (and register if you haven’t already).
- Make a plan to vote. Because of COVID, your state may have changed procedures around in-person voting, vote-by-mail, and early voting. Check out Vote.org’s state-by-state directory of voting procedures and deadlines to understand your best voting option.
- Recruit your friends. Make sure everyone in your circle is registered and ready to use their voices at the ballot box, and spread the word in your community with help from When We All Vote, the nonpartisan nonprofit founded by Michelle Obama, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Janelle Monae, Chris Paul, Tom Hanks, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw.
A century of women voting certainly hasn’t solved everything, but we can all agree that we’re better off from a century of people with vaginas having a say on what happens to our bodies and our society.
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