The Right of Voting
Voting or electoral right is a key tool to express an opinion or making a decision in the democratic countries.
In the history of mankind, earning voting right has proved to be a constant struggle across the world as earlier this right was given to people belonging to specific class, gender, race or authorities. Due to this, there had been many conflicts, which led to creating or amending constitution to abolish all kinds of discrimination.
If we talk about the United States, the “Voting Rights Act” signed by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965 is considered as a landmark Act. This Act was introduced to remove the legal barriers that prevented African-Americans from voting.
Currently, in most democratic countries, people are eligible to vote if they are native citizens, fulfill their state’s residency requirements and 18 years old.
Facts About Voting:
1. In July of 1776, the New Jersey state constitution declared that “all inhabitants . . . who are worth fifty pounds” were eligible to vote, including women and black Americans. However, in 1807 the Act was rewritten to specify only white men.
2. February of 1789, George Washington was elected the first president of the United States through the Electoral College by using all 69 electoral votes.
3. In 1869, Congress passed the Fifteenth Amendment allowing African American men the voting right.
4. In February of 1870, the Fifteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution declared that no citizens cannot be denied their voting right based on race, color or previous history of slavery.
5. In November of 1872, Susan Anthony and 11 other women had been arrested in Rochester, New York on the grounds of voting in the presidential election.
6. In 1888, Massachusetts was the first state in the U.S. that adopted a secret ballot system.
7. In July of 1890, Wyoming became the first state in the U.S. to grant women full voting rights.
8. In April of 1892, the first mechanical-lever voting machine was introduced during elections at Lockport, New York. It was called “The Meyers Voting Machine”.
9. In September of 1893, New Zealand became the first democratic country in the world that allowed the right to vote to all women in the country.
10. In October of 1915, almost 25,000 women marched in the New York City for their voting right.
11. In August of 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was amended and provided suffrage for women.
12. Countries such as Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador and Cyprus have enforced “Compulsory Voting” for their citizens. Such mandatory voting exists in more than 20 countries.
13. Still there are countries where women can’t vote or have restrictions. Those countries are Bhutan, Brunei, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Vatican City.
14. According to the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, during the 1990s, the U.S. ranked 140th among 163 democracies in terms of percent of the population that voted. Only 44.9 percent eligible U.S. citizens voted in the 1990s.
15. In the 2012 Presidential election, 19 percent of all votes cast came from young voters.
16. Why voting usually takes place in November? It’s because November usually has nice weather that fits perfectly between harvest time and freezing winter.
17. In 1943, Georgia became the first state in the U.S. to lower the voting age from 21 to 18 years.
18. Maine and Vermont are the only the states in the U.S. that allow convicted inmates to vote from prison.
19. As much as 80 percent of all votes cast in the U.S. are counted by two companies — Diebold and ES&S.
20. ES&S is the largest manufacturer of voting machines in the U.S.
21. In 2004 Presidential election, all the voting machine errors detected in Florida went in favor of George W. Bush or other Republican candidates.