One of my favorite synonyms of the word VOTE, is GRANT.
Whether we vote or not, we are GRANTING permission for whatever is going on to either continue, or to stop.
As our subject this month is WOMEN, I wanted to bring to light a bit of the journey for the right of women to vote.
In particular, the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution states:
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. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
The amendment was proposed to Congress on May 19, 1919 and ratified on August 20, 1920. The powers that be wanted it enacted before the 1920 elections. Following due process, the law was passed in the House and Senate, but it had to be ratified by 36 states. Right before the legislation was set to expire, Tennessee brought in the last vote. Interestingly, in my research I found that there were a few states that lagged behind in ratification of the law; namely,
- Maryland (March 29, 1941 after being rejected on February 24, 1920; not certified until February 25, 1958)
- Virginia (February 21, 1952, after being rejected on February 12, 1920)
- Alabama (September 8, 1953, after being rejected on September 22, 1919)
- Florida (May 13, 1969)
- South Carolina (July 1, 1969, after being rejected on January 28, 1920; not certified until August 22, 1973)
- Georgia (February 20, 1970, after being rejected on July 24, 1919)
- Louisiana (June 11, 1970, after being rejected on July 1, 1920)
- North Carolina (May 6, 1971)
- Mississippi (March 22, 1984, after being rejected on March 29, 1920)
Earlier this month, I wrote a little bit about the history of the Women's Suffrage Movement.
I've always been intrigued by the term 'suffrage' and it's use for the right to vote. It also means a series of petitions or intercessory prayers. It is interesting to me that our vote can also be defined as our 'prayers' or 'petitions' for our governance. I Timothy 2:1-4 states:
I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.
The election process, our elected officials, the elemental right to vote, and prayer - all linked together as a way for our lives to be ruled in peace.
I have to admit, I haven't always taken privilege to vote. I've let laziness, or work, or lack of understanding the issues keep me away from the polls. So, when things haven't been the way I wanted them to be, I figured it was my own fault for not participating in the process.
If my mother knew this, she would be horrified. I grew up with her 'working the elections' at my elementary school. Every election, she and other politically active women would sit at the borrowed cafeteria tables, checking in the voters, verifying their information, and handing them the ballots. Rain or shine, if it was election day, she and the others were there.
It seems that the older I get, the more important it becomes for me to make sure my vote is counted; my petition heard. Do I care more? I don't think so. I always cared. Unfortunately, it seems to be like so many other things that we take for granted in the U.S. Voting seems to be a take- it-or-leave-it issue, and becomes a matter of 'oh, well' and on to another day. However, I have a good feeling (no statistics) that people who immigrate to the U.S. do take advantage of the election process, especially if they come from a country that does not allow them to participate in the election process. They make sure their voice is heard. Much in the same way as they take more advantage of the education and financial bounty at our disposal.
We say, "these are turbulent times and everyone should be involved." Yet, I contend that we've always lived in turbulent times. Those who took the time to participate in the process, to become informed, and to vote, are the ones who have shaped the nation we live in today.
If we don't like it, maybe it's time for us to get involved. Are you registered to vote?
What do you think? I'd love your opinion. Please comment and I'll get back to you.
Live Inspired! Live At Your Best!