Recognize historical significance of your vote

Published 12:00 pm Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Today there are people out driving around who have no idea it is Election Day.

There are people who just don’t want to make the time to drive out to the polling place, or there are people they don’t want to see there.

There are people so busy with the daily grind that they will have every intention to vote but forget.

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There are young adults who know what “OTP,” “sus” and being called “extra” means, but they are driving a car from mom and dad, who still pay the car insurance, and have no idea where to go to register to vote.

Meanwhile, there are senior citizens without a license or a ride to the polls who are depressed because they can’t cast a vote.

The polls are open until 7 p.m. today and almost every United States citizen over the age of 18 has the right to vote.

That universal suffrage did not happen overnight and that battle for equality was one of the nastiest battles in America’s history.

The right to vote began with the Civil Rights Act of 1866.

In 1869 Congress passed the 15th Amendment giving black men the right to vote, but Jim Crow laws, literacy tests and poll taxes were put in place.

It took nearly 100 years to outlaw poll taxes, which happened in 1964 with the adoption of the 24th Amendment. One year later, in 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law, barring barriers to keep residents from voting based on race. Extensions of that act were signed in 1970, 1975, 1982 and 2006.

We look back at these events and dates and realize the impact our government has on our lives and the history that is made.

The thing is, we are so busy in our daily grind we fail to realize that today we will continue to make history. The vote you cast for Lafayette County supervisor could be the vote that helps bring in a progressive leader who over the course of his term brings in a massive industry, or sparks a program that helps solve a homeless problem locally. People also will read about Initiative 42 in the history books for time to come in Mississippi.

You can make history today and be a part of something special. Don’t lose sight of what voting means, and find a way to get yourself, and anyone who needs a ride, to the poll today.