Make your voice heard: Voting a hard-fought right

Posted on Jun 26, 2020 in Capitol Connection, Featured

This month Hawai‘i’s citizens will participate in elections by mail (not just absentee ballots) for the first time in state history. Starting July 21, ballots will arrive in people’s mailboxes for the primary election Aug. 8. U.S. Supreme Court associate justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg said, “Voting is the most basic right of a citizen —to participate in choosing the people who will make the laws of our country.”

But it wasn’t always that way. Before the 15thand 19th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, only white men who owned property had the right to vote. The U.S. women’s suffrage movement grew out of the anti-slavery movement of the 1840s. Pioneers such as Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth and Elizabeth Cady Stanton led the fight, which sometimes ended in violence as demonstrators were beaten and imprisoned. This year marks the centennial of the 19th Amendment that gave women the right to vote.

Among the amendments of the U.S. Constitution are those that protect citizens’ voting rights.

Among the amendments of the U.S. Constitution are those that protect citizens’ voting rights.

As protesters nationwide have shown, discrimination persists in many forms and can affect the core of democracy. “Voting is one way to take a stand for what you believe in,” said First Lady Dawn Amano-Ige. “Now, more than ever, we need to emphasize that citizenship means taking an active part in making our government work.” For more information on voting in this year’s elections, go to https:// elections.hawaii.gov/. General election ballots will be delivered Oct. 16 for the Nov. 3 election. Keep checking https://www.facebook.com/FirstLadyofHawaii/ for ideas for parents, books for children, timely information and short interviews with people in the community.

Read more in the July Capitol Connection newsletter

Subscribe to the Capitol Connection newsletter