The Importance of Voting In the United States


Pascal Sieglaff, Reporter

Voting is one of the most remarkable liberties to grant to a society. The United States has exhibited being the earliest and most successful democracy in world history. The 1787 United States Constitutional Convention established an entirely new government fronted by a President, as well as fundamental rights, such as freedom of speech, religion, and the press. 

Though the most sadistic of human rights violations were done by a large number of the convention’s participants (slavery); The groundwork was laid and it’s undeniable that the significance of this assembly led to the U.S. Constitution/Bill of Rights and later the abolition of American slavery in 1865 with the signing of the 13th Amendment by President Abraham Lincoln.

The 14th Amendment then gave black men the right to vote and Reconstruction commenced. After the fallout of the Compromise of 1877 (which ended Reconstruction) and the build up of resentment within former Southern slave owners for the now free black population; Jim Crow laws were passed to suppress the black vote all over the country. By the time women were fully granted the right to vote in 1920, these Jim Crow laws were still in place and plausibly stronger. Lynchings were commonplace in many parts of the South, as well as the K.K.K. which was rampent with terrorist ideologies and pure hatred.

The Civil Rights movement blossomed from the seeds planted by black activists such as Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and Malcom X. The Supreme Court Case Brown v. The Board of Education desegregated schools, thanks in part to the Little Rock Nine and hundreds of others. This all led to President Lyndon B. Johnson’s signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964/65 which finally prohibited discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or origin which, among many things, greatly assisted the black vote. Earlier attempts at this same legislation such as the Civil Rights Act of 1957, didn’t go to the same extent as the latter bill(s).

Now this brings us to today, with political unrest from Portland to Boston thanks to the unearthing of systematic discrimination of minorities. The 2022 midterm elections have led to a divided House of Representatives which took 15 votes to elect now Speaker Kevin McCarthy of California (the highest number of votes needed since before the Civil War). The election of Congressman George Santos of New York shows that the cover may be more appealing than the actual contents of the book. The urgence of voting in the 21st Century cannot be overstated. With the terrific importance of elected officials, your voice needs to be heard.

If you are the age of 18 or above then you should register to vote. There are local elections taking place this year and a Presidential election next year. Former President Donald Trump has already announced his candidacy for the Presidency a third time and current President Joe Biden is expected to announce his bid soon as well. Democracy is an active force, it never truly wanes. If American democracy was to disappear tomorrow, you would then realize how much it truly mattered.