Men have always had the right and privilege of voting. However, women have not. Wikipedia states that: “The Nineteenth Amendment (Amendment XIX) to the United States Constitution prohibits the states and the federal government from denying the right to vote to citizens of the United States on the basis of sex. It was adopted August 18, 1920.” There were only thirty-six states at the time who had to ratify it. California ratified it on November 1, 1919. Below is a copy of the Nineteenth Amendment in the National Archives.
Being raised in a very patriotic family of four women and one man, women’s rights, responsibilities, and privileges were discussed with full support from my Father. One of the most important rights and privileges was that of voting. It was impressed on me the importance of voting as my personal way to express my desires at the local, state, and national levels. There were no protests or other public outcries where I lived; there was respect for the privilege and for the right to vote and for individual opinions.
Efforts for women’s suffrage (Suffrage meanings quoted in part from Wiktionary are: The right or chance to vote, express an opinion, or participate in a decision. A vote in deciding a particular question. The right to vote for elected officials in a representative democracy. The right of women to vote. A prayer, for example a prayer offered for the faithful dead. A short petition, as those after the creed in matins and evensong. Intercession. Testimony; attestation; witness; approval.) began in 1789 with all states denying voting rights to women (with the exception of New Jersey, which initially carried women’s suffrage but revoked it in 1807). Numerous movements and organizations dedicated to women’s rights existed and fought for women’s rights from that time until the Nineteenth Amendment was passed. It took 131 years to do so. What incredible dedication and perseverance on my behalf and that of all women. Spirit urging and supporting those women of strength and courage to continue until the rights were legally made available to all. What an enormous gift!
My gratitude and respect knows no bounds for all of the women, and men, who fought for my right to vote, to express an opinion, participate in a decision, and more. From the time I was eligible to first vote in an election, I have voted every time. The opportunity to choose to exercise that privilege and right is sacred to me as it honors the teachings of my family and all those who made it possible before my time.
When I traveled, I had a mail-in ballot and I voted no matter where I was. There are places in the world where women are not held in high esteem and have few rights. As my awareness expanded, Spirit impressed upon me the importance of honoring the privileges and rights I have been given by living in this country. They are precious beyond my knowing.
My voter information guide and mail-in ballot came a few days back. I read each carefully, marked my votes as instructed, and mailed it in. I said a pray of thanks for this great privilege, for the ease with which I can vote, for all those involved in the voting process, and for the freedom voting represents. Spirit keeping me aware of how very blessed I am in all ways. I pray I never lose the awareness of how precious and fragile these privileges and rights are.
Reggie likes to vote about when he gets to eat breakfast and dinner, and when he gets treats. He gets his breakfast around 5:30 am and his lunch around 2:00 pm. If I don’t get his lunch ready when he wants it, he barks his vote to have it now by jumping up on me or walking around my chair in the office until I get up and get it for him. When he wants his treats at night he goes in front of the cupboard where his treats are stored and stands there until I come to get some for him. He is grateful I listen to his vote and give him what he wants when he wants it. Rights and privileges to vote, express an opinion, be heard, and participate are held in a sacred place, honored, respected, and cherished by each of us. Nancy and Reggie♥