©2020 Kebba Buckley Button, MS, OM. World Rights Reserved.
Election Day in the US will be 4 days from now, Tuesday, November 3. Ours is a fairly young country of only 244 years. Although the country was founded on principles of freedom, of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” our election history has evolved in steps. Yesterday, I dropped off my ballot at a box at the Scottsdale City Hall before meeting a friend for lunch. I took photos in the garden-like landscaping along the Scottsdale Mall. Today, we vote with relative ease and flexibility, but this wasn’t always so.
Much has changed in the World in the last few centuries. We have so much to be grateful for. There are countries that have no open elections, or the ballot has only one candidate. Or the non-elected candidate refuses to accept the election results (search “Venezuelan presidential crisis”).
In the US, we have indigenous and immigrant populations. Some people were here already, some were dumped here before 1776 as British prisoners, some sailed here, and unfortunately some were brought as cargo. African Americans were emancipated by the 13th amendment in 1863. But, in a lot of different steps, they finally got the national right to vote unimpeded, with the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Yes, this was a big issue until 1965 (search “Martin Luther King”). And, thanks to voter suppression (search “voter suppression”), not all Blacks who want to vote are yet getting to vote. Currently, Blacks are 13.4% of the US population, and in 2008, the Black vote increased to a proportionate 13% of the total vote.
Women in the US got the right to vote with the ratifying of the 19th Amendment in 1920 (search “women’s suffrage”). This was hard-won, beginning with the efforts of Susan B. Anthony and others in the 1800’s.
Decades ago, voting was done on Election Day, at polling locations only. You needed a written excuse to get an absentee ballot you could mail in or provide to the Recorder’s office. Only several excuses, like “employed in another country”, were acceptable.
Today, in Phoenix, we can get a mail-in ballot just by requesting it, which we can do conveniently online. We are then able to consider our votes in the quiet of our own homes, studying at least 3 election information booklets that have arrived in the mail. After marking our ballots, we can then mail them in by a clearly given deadline, or drop them off at clearly available locations. Partially due to long lines in recent elections, the hours and locations for voting have been greatly expanded in many areas.
Now people can find drop-off locations by checking links on their cel phone. And that’s how I ended up at the Scottsdale City Hall and followed the signs. And found an unattended box, with no line. And saw a steady trickle of people also dropping off green envelopes. Monday, I’ll take advantage of ballot-tracking online, and see that my ballot has been counted.
As the commercial used to say, “you’ve come a long way, baby!” And there is so much to be grateful for. We are blessed to live in this country in this time. And I am really feeling the sweet joy of Healthy Happy Loving Lifesm! Are you in?
Kebba Buckley Button is a stress management expert and award-winning author who celebrates life. She also has a longtime natural healing practice and is an ordained minister. Among her books are: Discover The Secret Energized You (http://tinyurl.com/b44v3br), Inspirations for Peace Within: Quotes and Images to Uplift and Inspire, and Sacred Meditation: Embracing the Divine. The books are available on Amazon and through Kebba’s office. To email us, firstname.lastname@example.org .