Tuesday, November 8, 2011

30 Days of Thanks - Day 6

Happy Election Day! Have you voted yet? I'm usually at the polls first thing in the morning, but Charlie decided to throw a temper tantrum (catalyst still undetermined) so I figured I'd just go after work, instead. Polling Locations are no place for a screaming 3-year-old. (but truthfully, where is?)

So today I'm thankful that I live in a country where I have the freedom to voice my desires through voting. Sure, our system isn't perfect, but whose is? I do my fair share of bitching and moaning about things, and then on election day I make my voice heard.

Did you exercise yours today?

On a separate but related note, I did learn an interesting random fact this week - did you know that voting isn't actually a Constitutional right? True story.

"The Constitution contains many phrases, clauses, and amendments detailing ways people cannot be denied the right to vote. You cannot deny the right to vote because of race or gender. Citizens of Washington DC can vote for President; 18-year-olds can vote; you can vote even if you fail to pay a poll tax. The Constitution also requires that anyone who can vote for the "most numerous branch" of their state legislature can vote for House members and Senate members.

Note that in all of this, though, the Constitution never explicitly ensures the right to vote, as it does the right to speech, for example. It does require that Representatives be chosen and Senators be elected by "the People," and who comprises "the People" has been expanded by the aforementioned amendments several times. Aside from these requirements, though, the qualifications for voters are left to the states. And as long as the qualifications do not conflict with anything in the Constitution, that right can be withheld. For example, in Texas, persons declared mentally incompetent and felons currently in prison or on probation are denied the right to vote. It is interesting to note that though the 26th Amendment requires that 18-year-olds must be able to vote, states can allow persons younger than 18 to vote, if they chose to." (source)

1 comment:

  1. No elections happening in IL today.  Voting is very important and so is jury duty which people typically try to get out of.  The states control of elections really makes the presidential race interesting but not better.



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