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Excercising Our Rights

By Staff | May 12, 2010

Our newspapers have been full of political ads and letters to the editor endorsing candidates; our televisions have featured commercials bashing one candidate after another; and the roadsides have been cluttered with signs. You may have even received a visit from a candidate or a last minute phone call for support.

Yes, unless you’ve been living under a rock, you have been all too aware that political season has come to Tyler County. Still, a large number of people failed to do their civic duty by casting a vote.

An an American, you have been given one of the greatest freedoms available: the right to choose your representation.

It seems so easy that it might appear as if it doesn’t matter. But the right to vote wasn’t just handed to us – we had to fight for it!

When the polls open on Election Day, every citizen over the age of 18 will be able to cast a vote. It is a right we take for granted, one that defines our nation as a democracy. But universal suffrage – letting everyone vote – did not appear overnight with the ratification of our Constitution.

Two hundred years ago, you had to be white, male, and wealthy in order to vote. The three people profiled on these pages dedicated their lives to changing that fact. Without them, suffrage might still be the privilege of a chosen few.

So next time the polls open, make sure you exercise your right to vote.