A quote that is often misattributed to Mark Twain that people love to repeat is, “If voting made any difference, they wouldn’t let us do it.” Did you know however at the time of the American Revolution that many of the future states required citizens to be landowners who were white, male, and Protestant to be eligible to vote? This effectively meant that over the course of almost 250 years some of the groups that were gradually incorporated into the voter rolls included Catholics, Jews, Blacks, poor Whites, Asians, Hispanics, Natives, and women of all colors and creeds to just name a few. If we still hold true to our original premise that voting must not matter much if they let you do it freely, the constant fight for the right to vote throughout history tells us clearly that there is an importance to voting after all. This is why Mark Twain actually said in a 1905 interview that one of the greatest aspects of American democracy is the ballot box. In his own words it is by the ballot that we have the power to throw off burdens when they become too much to bear which is not a privilege that many other citizens of other nations have elsewhere.
Informed Voting Matters!
- Ryan Hamlin