Voting Throughout History

Read more to learn why La Costa Canyon students should vote in the upcoming election!

Photo credits Wikipedia

The privilege of voting in the United States was not always possible for many Americans. Over the years, the ability to vote has come as a result of courageous individuals fighting for the right to have a say in democracy. This is one of the reasons eighteen year olds at La Costa Canyon High School are strongly encouraged to exercise their right to vote in the upcoming election.


AP Government teacher, Jobi Denyes, explains the importance of voting in the context of the fight to vote throughout history.


It's extremely important to vote considering what people endured in the past in order to obtain that right. African-Americans in the South were prevented from voting for much of the late 19th and 20th centuries. They faced literacy tests, terrorism by the KKK, poll taxes, and even death in the struggle to exercise this constitutional right, “ said Denyes.


Women also had to fight in order to be granted the right to vote.


“Women picketed the White House during the second decade of the 20th century and faced violence from people who didn't think women should have the right to vote. They were arrested on the pretext of "obstructing traffic" and imprisoned, where many went on hunger strikes and subsequently were force fed by tubes down their throats. All of this happened because people wanted to exercise the right to vote, so it's of utmost importance that people do so today,” said Denyes.


Thanks to the tireless efforts of those individuals throughout history, millions of Americans are able to voice their opinions and help create a government that is representative of the people. Even now that voting is possible for more people, many Americans choose to not exercise their right. Denyes explains the impact of deciding not to vote in an election.


“Elections can be ridiculously close ---in fact, there have been some state elections where the vote was tied and they literally flipped a coin to decide the winner! We live in a republic where power is vested in the people, and if you choose not to vote, you are essentially choosing not to participate in our democracy. And if everybody did this, we'd no longer live in a democratic society,” said Denyes.

If eligible, exercise your right to vote by visiting the website registertovote.ca.gov to get more information about the voting process.