Need for people to vote is imperative

With the havoc in our country, the hatred being expressed so openly, the lack of leadership in D.C. and Charleston, W.Va., the need for people to vote in this election is extremely important for the survival of our country.

Those people who did not vote in 2016 need to reconsider their duties as an American citizen. We have states who are working to make it more difficult for people to vote. If you study the history of voting in our country, it has been a long and hard struggle.

In 1776, white men with property were able to vote. 3 states: New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut free black men could vote. After 1810 no black men were permitted to vote.

By 1789, only white men with property had the privilege to vote. That meant that poor people, women, Native Americans and slaves of African heritage could not vote. Is this the America some want when they chant, “Make America Great Again”?

It has been a long and difficult struggle for black men to be able to vote, for women to raise their voice at the ballot box. Blood has been shed to achieve this privilege. As a white woman, I was able to vote when I turned 21. Now the voting age is 18. Young people who turn 18 by Oct. 31, 2018, can vote in this upcoming election if they are registered by Oct. 9, 2018, in Ohio and Oct. 16, 2018, for West Virginians. Vote, Vote, Vote.

This past weekend I spent viewing the funerals of Aretha Franklin and John McCain. Both people would say use the power of the ballot.

In his last letter to the country, he stated, “We weaken our greatness, when we confuse our patriotism with tribal rivalries that have sown resentment, hatred, and violence in all corners of the globe.”

Orson Swindle III, a Vietnam veteran whose cell was next to Senator McCain’s during their captivity, wants all to commemorate the Senator by asking people “to exercise their right to vote.”

Margaret Meeker

Williamstown