How Voting Rights Protects the Individual and Democracy
History of Voting Rights in the United States
Voting rights were not a given in the United States for the longest time. Women, African Americans, and Native Americans were often prohibited from voting until the 20th century.
Women got their voting rights in 1920 when they won the battle for suffrage. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 made it possible for African Americans to vote, and Native Americans got theirs when they were granted citizenship in 1924.
Voting rights are too important to be taken away from anyone else who may not have them yet.
The Voting Rights Act and the Fight to Protect Our Democracy
The History of Voting Rights (1607-2018)
In 1607, the British Parliament made it illegal for people to vote in Britain unless they owned land. This meant that only rich men, who were mostly white, could vote.
The Voting Rights Act was the first time in history where African Americans gained the right to vote. President Lyndon Johnson signed this law on August 6th, 1965.
In a 5-4 decision in Shelby County v. Holder (2013), the Supreme Court struck down Section 4 populations and histories of discrimination no longer needed to get approval from federal authorities before changing their voting laws.
Voter Suppression in America: The Facts and Effects on the Future of Our Democracy
Voter suppression has been around for a long time, but it's been gaining momentum in recent years. It's said that more than 32 million voters were denied the right to vote in 2016. That number might go up if we continue to look at the way voter suppression is trending.
Studies show that since 2000, restrictive voting laws have increased from 10% to 25% of the population. Republicans are overwhelmingly responsible for this increase in voter suppression and it's showing in many ways, including the Senate map and House of Representatives map.
The idea behind voter suppression is to make voting difficult for certain populations; typically, low-income people, minority groups, or immigrants. It is a means of controlling elections by discouraging and prohibiting certain populations from being able to cast their votes.
Voting Rights Act of 1965 & Supreme Court Cases That Ruled Against It
Voting Rights Act of 1965 is one of the most significant pieces of legislation in the history of America. The act made it possible for all American citizens to have voting rights which they were entitled to under the constitution.
The Voting Rights Act was first passed in 1965 and then amended in 1975, 1982, and 2006. It was created as a response to the state's discriminatory voting practices that were created to keep African Americans from voting.
The landmark Supreme Court Cases that ruled against it are Shelby County v Holder (2013) and Cooper v Harris (2016). These two cases are some of the most controversial decisions in recent years because they eliminated important sections of the Voting Rights Act which allowed people from rural areas without transportation or money, like black minorities, to vote with ease.
The New Hurdles to Voting Rights Today and How to Combat Them
There are currently several hurdles that make it difficult for people to vote today. The first is the new voter ID laws. These laws require voters to show identification before they can cast their ballot. Even if you have the appropriate ID, there are many polling stations in states like Texas where these IDs will not be accepted as proof of voting eligibility.
The second hurdle is language. Voters need to read and understand what they are reading on the voting machine and fill out the appropriate boxes for their votes to count on Election Day. However, polling officials aren't always trained on how to communicate with all voters about what each voting option means and may not aid when needed.
The third hurdle is accessibility for disabled voters who may need assistance to vote privately and independently or help with filling.
The Role Every Citizen Must Play in Protecting Our Democracy
The conclusion draws on the themes of democracy and voting from the introduction. The concluding paragraph discusses how we are all responsible for protecting democracy.
This concludes our discussion of how democracies can be protected by every citizen.
We have seen that people with power, such as politicians, journalists, and voters, are responsible for protecting democracy in the face of dangers that threaten it. We also learned that we all have a part to play in this process by speaking out against these risks and holding others accountable when they overstep their bounds.
Thank you for your time. Everyone here at Vote Voiced knows your time is precious. Vote Voiced thanks our supporters for being here and thank you for being a voter.
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