This past week, many of us celebrated the Fourth of July. These celebrations signify the nationhood of the United States and commemorate the passage of the Declaration of the Independence. As a nation, we made a decision on July 2nd of 1776 to separate from Great Britain because we didn't have a voice in the Parliaments decisions. The first opposition was related to the Stamp Act in 1765, followed by the tea act in 1776 which resulted in the infamous Boston Team Party. Parliament immediately closed Boston to merchant shipping, established formal British military rule in Massachusetts, made British officials immune to criminal prosecution in America, and required colonists to quarter British troops. The colonists subsequently called the first Continental Congress to consider a United American resistance to the British. Initially, both the Americans and the British saw the conflict as a kind of civil war within the British Empire; to King George III it was a colonial rebellion, and to the Americans it was a struggle for their rights as British citizens. In the spring of 1776, support for independence swept the colonies, the Continental Congress called for states to form their own governments, and a five-man committee was assigned to draft a Declaration of Independence (History.com Editors).
In my opinion, the right to vote is one of the most important protections resulting from the revolution. Our vote ensures we have influence with our governing leaders. The right to vote is a cornerstone of our democracy. Voting, a historically controversial topic, has followed an interesting pattern of evolution throughout the history of The United States, with each state yielding the power to establish unique voter eligibilities and privilege in their region. At the start in 1789, the right to vote was extended to white, property owning men with the signing of the constitution. New Hampshire became the first state in 1792 to eliminate the property requirement for men to vote. In 1828 Maryland became the last state to remove the religious restrictions from the voter eligibility. It wasn’t until 1869 that the 15th amendment was ratified, extending the right to vote to male citizen of all races. In 1848, at the Women’s Suffrage Conference in NY, the Declaration of Sentiment and Resolution was signed calling for voting rights for women but did not get traction until 1920 when the 19th amendment was enacted extending the right to vote to all citizens regardless of gender. The voting rights act of 1965 continues to protect your right to vote. Voting rights continue to be controversial and continue to evolve.
Voting is a fundamental right which all of our civil liberties rest on. Voting enables people with the community to send a message about those currently in office and to elect officials that will represent their best interest. Voting is an avenue to have your voice heard. It’s the freedom to choose your leaders and the right to speak up regarding your beliefs. Thank you to those of you that vote regularly. If you are not an active voter, take some time to register and participate at the polls. Click here to register.
Our state and county make it easy for voters to find and learn about the candidates for different offices. They also make it easy to vote. If you would like to learn more about the Bountiful City Council candidates, click here for the Utah State site and click here for Davis County Election Info.
I encourage you to help protect our fundamental rights to be heard and to select our leaders. I hope you'll take some time to become familiar with the candidates. In additional to the resources included above, I will be hosting a meet the candidate night later this month. Watch the event page for more information. Get out there and vote. By voting for Natalie B. Hayes for Bountiful City Council, you will be electing an experienced leader that can inspire our future.
1. History.com Editors, "American Colonies Declare Independence." 19 June 2019, https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/american-colonies-declare-independence, accessed on: 6 July 2019.
2. Rice, Mark, "Voting Rights Timeline." 3 July 2019, https://www.ivotecef.org/timeline, accessed on: 6 July 2019.