OP-ED: Celebrate rights by voting in upcoming election

Published 12:21 am Thursday, October 15, 2020

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Dawn Burleigh,
General Manager/Editor

We celebrated the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment in August of this year.

With the ratification to the Constitution giving women citizenship and the right to vote. The Suffragists encountered many roadblocks on their journey to become voters, yet they displayed incredible perseverance in the 72-year struggle.

It also reminds us that change does not happen overnight, even in today’s world where we all seek and expect instant gratification – like a participation trophy.

The 19th Amendment is the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. It was ratified on August 18, 1920.

Despite the passing of the amendment, Native American women and Asian American women were barred from voting due to other federal citizenship laws: Native women until 1924 and some Asian women until the 1950s, according to the Museum of the City of New York.

Women fought for 72 years for the right to vote and many today work as election judges.

An election official, election officer, election judge, election clerk, or poll worker is an official responsible for the proper and orderly voting at polling stations. Depending on the country or jurisdiction, election officials may be identified as members of a political party or non-partisan.

Election officials such as a poll worker, is a person appointed to:

  • Monitor the voting process at a polling place
  • Make sure voters follow state requirements
  • Certify an election was conducted legally
  • Give the official vote count

Continuously hearing how people want change and want the area to have more to offer families, youth and activities, yet, filing dates open and rarely are there new names on the ballots.

The Primaries did show us each and every vote does count, at least on the local level. This is something to remember when one is searching for an excuse to not vote.

Not all elections are federal levels. Soon we will vote to determine positions for City Council, School Boards and even Orange County Drainage District. These are entities which affect us at the local level and also the ones where the ones you elect into office are the ones you could see at the local grocery store, beauty salon, or tire repair shop.

These are the same individuals who work, live and play right alongside us.

Your vote could make the difference between your candidate of choice or their opponent winning in November.


Dawn Burleigh is general manager and editor of The Orange Leader. She can be reached at dawn.burleigh@orangeleader.com