The Value of Voting and Voting Rights
One of the essential elements to a democratic and free country is voting. Voting rights have long become one of the essential elements of American liberty as well as other countries from around the world.
In the year 1776, the people who were only allowed to vote were those who owned lands. As time went by, different constitutional amendments and laws have been passed to provide voting rights to all Americans. In the present, you can thus assume that all Americans have the right to vote. In reality, however, millions of Americans are still left without the ability to exercise their right to vote because of disenfranchisement laws, ID requirement issues, and gerrymandering.
Now, are the voting rights of people under threat? The answer to this question depends on the person who you ask and what beliefs you have when it comes to your voting rights.
For the year 2016 in the Presidential election, there were millions of eligible voters who were not able to exercise their voting rights just because their identification did not meet state law requirements on voter ID. For instance, Native Americans in North Dakota who lived in reservations only have a PO box included on their ID. Unfortunately, you need to have a government ID with your residential address if you want to be a voter as per state voting laws.
Residents in US territories like Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, and Guam are not being given the right to vote during federal elections. It does not matter if these residents have served in the US military or have paid their federal taxes.
Being the voter that you are, you should avoid voting for a person that you do not know a thing about. It is one of your responsibilities as a voter to learn as much as you can about the candidates who are running and knowing where you can learn about them. In choosing the most fitting candidate for the position, you should do some research and fact-checking. Speaking directly with the candidate and attending town hall meetings are two of the best ways to get to know candidates more. But then, for a lot of people, having to do these two things is just not possible for them already.
It is a good thing that there are now organizations that will take charge in collecting and publishing factual and unbiased information about elected officials and political candidates voluntarily. Their efforts help to increase transparency during elections. They also want to provide a reliable source of information for voters as made by voters. Being the voter that you are, you have to consider this information coming from organization with no political or corporate affiliations.
Protecting your voting rights is made possible with just a simple thing to do. As a protection to your voting rights, make sure to vote. Always remember that before you can cast your vote, you have to check if you are indeed registered as a voter and if you meet the voter ID requirements applied in your area.