8/20/2005

Daily Kos: The right to vote

The right to vote
by Plutonium Page
Fri Aug 19th, 2005 at 12:51:23 CDT

Way back in 1776, Abigail Adams sent a letter to her husband:

I long to hear that you have declared an independency -- and by the way in the new Code of Laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make, I desire you would Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favourable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the Husbands.

Regarding the "Code of Laws", John Adams replied with humor, thus foreshadowing the next 144 years, during which women were denied the right to vote, regardless of the fact that the Fourteenth Amendment ensured recognition of women as U.S. citizens. That was one of the catalysts for the women's suffrage movement.

85 years ago, on August 18, 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified. The text is simple, with profound implications:

Section 1: 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 sex.

Section 2: Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Of all the women registered to vote in the U.S., only 60% actually voted in the 2004 election (source). Think about it. From the declaration of U.S. independence from Britain, it took 144 years before women could legally vote. It's really an extraordinary privilege a basic right, and it's too easy to take it for granted.

Daily Kos: The right to vote

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