The weather Tuesday was pleasant. A strong breeze kept you cool, there were not too many clouds in the sky, just enough to keep the heat off of you. Early voting began February 18th and continued for the following 2 weeks until Feb 28th. Election day had a great turn out, but I want to take a moment and talk about those that decided to stay home.
Voting is a right. Fought for and earned by the American People in 1868 as the 14th amendment and exclusively clarified in the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
The 14th amendment was one of three amendments that made up the reconstruction of the southern states that committed treason and left the United States lost the American Civil War in 1865.
After the Civil War, the American Citizenship of the southerners who committed treason was revoked (because they chose to leave the nation and surrender their citizenship in order to fight) so the 14th amendment defined voting rights as a CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT to the citizens of this great nation.(just like the 1st freedom of speech/right to assemble and 2nd right to bear arms)
After the civil war, Americans who were Black, Latin, indigenous, newly freed, or any combination of the 4, largely outnumbered the wealthy white confederates of the south.
Under this reestablishment of human and constitutional rights, we were able to see the first black senators elected into offices such as Senator Hiram Revels of Mississippi, Senator Robert Smalls of South Carolina, and Senator Blanche K. Bruce of Mississippi.
Martin Luther King Jr has said about voting,
"Give us the ballot and we will no longer have to worry the federal government about our basic rights ...
"Give us the ballot and we will no longer plead to the federal government for passage of an anti-lynching law ...
"Give us the ballot and we will fill our legislative halls with men of goodwill ...
"Give us the ballot and we will place judges on the benches of the South who will do justly and love mercy ...
"Give us the ballot and we will quietly and nonviolently, without rancor or bitterness, implement the Supreme Court's decision of May 17, 1954"
You have your ballot.
Maybe you forgot to vote. Maybe you thought about showing up but could not find a reason. Maybe you feel like your vote doesn't matter, the concepts are too large, and your voice will never be heard.
I ask you to look at the past of our nation and the great struggles we have had to brave, organize, and obstacles we have had to overcome.
I ask you to look in your own community and think of those around you who might not be able to vote. Minors caught in the broken criminal justice system. Those who have immigrated here looking for work to help their families. I ask you to look at yourself and the struggles you have had to go through, and the sacrifices you have had to make to be the person you want and know yourself too be.
You deserve a government that works for you, not a government that works you over.
Make a plan to cast your ballot in November.
If you live in any city limits, make your plan to cast your ballot on May 2nd for Mayor, City Council, School board, and MUD.