The Influence Of Voting

Decent Essays

Voting is the most sacred right in our democracy. It is the most protected right in the Constitution, and has been fought for for centuries. Blood has been shed, lives have been lost, and again, that right is slipping through the fingers of Americans. Civil Rights leader and Congressman John Lewis said, “the right to vote is the most powerful nonviolent tool we have in a democracy.” Constant rhetoric that the election will be “stolen” or “rigged” has plagued this year’s election cycle. People are made to believe that voter fraud is occurring in the millions, when, in reality, there is a negligible amount of voter fraud in this country. The lack of legitimate voter fraud, and the disproportionate effect that Voter Identification laws have on …show more content…

Through the expanding electorate, and fight for equality in race, gender and socioeconomic class, the right to vote continues to this day. Americans have fought too long and too hard to return to an era where only white men have the privilege and right to vote. In 1870, the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was passed, five years after the Emancipation. The Fifteenth Amendment, in theory, gave African American men the right to vote, stating “the rights of citizens… to vote shall not be denied or abridged… on account of race, color or previous condition of servitude” (US Constitution. Amendment XV, section 1). However, there were multiple obstacles in place to any African American man who wanted to exercise his democratic right to vote. First, there was the Grandfather Clause. However, before 1867, practically no Black men could vote, therefore making the Grandfather Clause only applicable for White men. Another deterrent to voting for Black men were the Jim Crow Laws, implemented in the South. These were state and local laws that enforced racial segregation. These laws allowed White people to, beat, kill and threaten Black men. Whites could legally intimidate Black people to prevent them from thinking about voting. For example, a Black man had been lynched and left in public to warn other people not to vote, with a sign that said, “this n***** voted” (Voting Rights for Blacks and Poor Whites in the Jim Crow South). This deterred the Black vote, as these forms of violence were legal, and often went

Get Access