Final Exam Paper: Right to Vote

Final Exam Paper:
Right to Vote

Dear Maria,
I’m excited about you moving to town, I hope you and your family are all doing well and enjoying the weather in Texas. Considering you just turned eighteen, you are now eligible to vote. Even though many years ago not any one could vote, our great American Leaders who faced political challenges and fought against the adversary, believed that all humans were created equal and we all have right to be heard in this country by embracing in political activity.

Voting hasn’t always been as easy as it is today, It’s ironic how so many people where left behind when voting rules were once designed to aim at one particular type of people, white males who were also property owners. Today thanks to the improvement of participating American’s women and minorities now have a considerable impact on policy making.” By 1845 only white males, where allowed to vote in Texas”(Tannahill 560). In order to vote you must be a U.S citizen or resident and be eighteen years old, however there are some things that may disqualify you if you are mentally incapacitated or have been convicted for a major crime, it automatically displaces you from voting according to the Fourteenth Amendment.
The first step you can make towards voting is to Register!, If you wish to be active by a certain election date make sure you register on time and don’t wait till the last minute to apply, each application can take up to a month to go through. You can download an application online at www.sos.tx.us, after you have filled it out you must mail it out to a local county voter register, the only thing you need to provide in your application is your driver’s license or a personal identification issued by the department of public safety, you will then be issued a voter registration certificate that you must present at the time of voting. When you move or change your address it is your responsibility to notify them, in order to keep registered. All you have to do now is find a precinct district near you; it will most likely be a public building where all the voting takes place. If you’re wondering how you do really cast a vote? , well in Texas there’s different systems to cast your vote, one is by the typical paper ballots you fill it out in private and mark your choice of candidate and then drop it off in a ballot box, As technology has advanced this method tends to be more complex when counting the results. Another type of system used is by Optical Scan, this consist of a printed card with the candidates’ names the selection is done when by filling out a circle, it is then taken to a computer who identifies your vote and at the same time calculates the votes. One of the latest technology for voting in America is Direct Recording Electronic which displays all data in a computer screen, you make your selection on a touch screen by doing so you them submit your results.
Since you’re a student and have a busy schedule or if you’re going out of town on Election Day, you have the option to vote early as well this can be done by mail or in the area where you go to school. However “early voting begins 17 days before an election and ends 4 days before” (Tannahill 566). Early voting is ideal for handicapped adults who, are enabled or have difficulty getting to a both to vote, therefore it accommodates to their needs so they can also take part in elections. This means candidates now have the responsibility to inform the public and broadcast their long term goals, at an earlier stage.
Everyone has the right and courage to risk and make notice of what they believe is fair, and women were no exception during the nineteenth century. Women wanted to be a part of the election process even thought they were caught up in a society where men dominated politics, then why were women denied the right to vote if they were also citizens and tax payers of the united states?, But luckily they had a right that no one could take away from them, the freedom of speech. Which led them to create the Texas Woman Suffrage in December of 1903, who was started by Annette Finningan, women had to overcome tradition of men ruling in American Politics, some believed “women had no need for the ballot because men would protect them” (Taylor).
Those who opposed the suffrage created the Texas Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage; they feared that women would no longer take care of their homes and families if they got involved in policymaking. The association was aiming towards the “large majority of thinking women” (Mauldin Cottrell). Anti-suffragists were concerned about the women’s right to vote making a positive impact on black voters also, there for the south would be dominated by blacks, The Texas Association biggest challenge came in 1918 when the association decide to lobby the state legislature against primary voting rights for women but failed in the attempt, The Association “found the efforts of the Texas Equal Suffrage Association, impossible to defeat” (Mauldin Cottrell). June 1919 was an important date for the Texas Women Suffrage Association because, congress proposed the woman suffrage amendment making Texas “the ninth state in the Union to ratify the nineteenth amendment” (Taylor). This ratification was not well accepted in the south as it would jeopardize the state control of elections. Sooner or later women were going to stand up, and would no longer be oppressed by the majority.
Minorities shared a similar role with women, to accomplish the dream and become a part of the policy process. President Johnson’s reconstruction plan which lead the way to build up “strong voting rights law” ( “Justice.gov”), was not well accepted in congress by 1867 congress passed a legislation , benefitting the south African American population as they gained the right to vote. During the civil rights movement another huge accomplishment African Americas fought for was the Voting rights Act of 1965, increasing the number of black voters however the “act had not included a provision prohibiting poll taxes”( “Justice.gov”). The Populist Party had hopes to try and gain the support of most low income citizens; this meant that people would be divided by race once again. By creating the poll tax it was like giving a price to voting because, in order to be registered there was an annual fee to be paid, unfortunately this situation was not suitable for the working poor and the homeless leaving them to pick between a vote or making ends meet by the end of the month. No individual should be charged or left behind for voting something so simple, yet so important that count’s in our everyday lives. The future of our land relies in our hands but, sometimes we let our opportunities overpass us, leaving our decisions up to others.
Voter turnout is one of the lowest here in Texas; various aspects contribute to this factor the high amount of immigration in Texas is a huge aspect of the situation because many of them are not legal citizens of the United States, so that they are not allowed to contribute by voting. Others are still trying to settle and adapt to the new society and atmosphere. Texas has obtained low academic achievement combined with a young population, who are the least likely to vote in some cases. In addition lower income levels and little involvement leaves individuals with minimum or no time to try and join a union.
In many cases these should be some of the reasons we should feel motivated to vote in our state. Those who can participate should recognize all the power that’s in our hand’s that others wish they had. Voting is a way to make notice of all the changes the United States has made throughout the years, determination for a goal is tied in with participation and effective leadership in our community, thanks to our brave American leaders and optimistic followers; America has become what it is today, and gained rights we thought would never be possible.

Works Cited
"Introduction To Federal Voting Rights Laws." justice.gov. Web.
11 Dec 2009.

Mauldin Cottrell, Debbie. "TEXAS ASSOCIATION OPPOSED TO
WOMAN SUFFRAGE." Tshaonline.org. Web. 09 Dec 2009.

Tannahill, Neal. American and Texas Government : Policy and
Politics. 10th. United States: Longman, 2009. 560-566. Print.

Taylor, A. Elizabeth. "WOMAN SUFFRAGE." Tshaonline.org.
Web. 13 Dec 2009.

"Voting In Texas." Vote411.org. Web. 11 Dec 2009.