By Dylan Deprey
On Sept. 3, 1783 the United States of America had successfully defeated Great Britain in the revolutionary war.
Four years and fourteen days later, 55 men sitting in Philadelphia had enacted The United States Constitution, a document so concrete that it has only been changed and added to 27 times.
It was a constitution that created checks and balances across a three branch system of government. It also stated that slavery was legal, black people were 3/5’s of a person, and women could not vote.
It was only until 100 years after the constitution, a Western Expansion and a bloody Civil War for the passing of the 15th Amendment in which, “the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”
Even with the momentous leap towards national suffrage, women were still not given the right to vote.
These were the same women who had worked as nurses, maintained the home and disguised themselves as men to fight during the Civil War.
It only took another 50 years after the 15th Amendment, and 150 years after the constitution was enacted for women to finally have a voice in their government.
Women white and black, from Susan B. Anthony to Sojourner Truth came together to stand for the one thing the land of the free and the home of the brave had been holding from women since the signing of the Constitution: their voice.
Flash to one of the biggest elections in U.S. history, people still fight for the same rights their ancestors fought for, minus the muskets and marches.
Whether it is voter identification laws, lack of resources at polling locations or lack in education on candidates, people may not get to fulfill their civic duty as an American citizen.
In 1920, The National American Woman Suffrage Association president asked for a league of women voters to finish the work of the suffrage movement. The League Of Women Voters was established six months prior to the ratification of the 19th Amendment.
This volunteer League is “a nonpartisan political organization encouraging informed and active participation in government. It influences public policy through education and advocacy. We never support or oppose any political party or candidate.”
Now as men and women of all races and ethnicities hit the polls for the upcoming Nov. 8 election, for those that are undecided or do not feel like voting there is an interesting example.
According to the League Of Women Voters of Milwaukee County webpage there is a an example if only 100 people were eligible to vote.
“100 people are eligible to vote. If ALL register AND vote, then 51 votes decide the election. If only 60 people register to vote (even though 100 people are eligible) AND ALL 60 vote, 31 votes win the election.”
“If 60 people register to vote, but only 30 of them (50 percent) vote… then it takes only 16 votes to win the election.”
Not voting almost seems like an injustice for all of the men and women who fought for their rights for democracy, and the right to vote no matter what a persons gender or color of their skin.