Have you voted yet?

This is your opportunity to choose who will represent your values in your community, St. Paul, and Washington DC for the next two to four years. The choices you make affect everything from health care and education to homeland security and the environment. It is the most direct way to make your voice heard.

Those of us who grew up with the right to vote may not realize how precious that right really is. Here are some highlights to put things in perspective:

  • 1789 - Only 6% of the population could vote - white, male protestant landowners over the age of 21.

  • 1856 - The vote was expanded to all white men.

  • 1870 - The 15th Amendment was enacted to allow black men to vote. Tactics to suppress the vote became common, such as voting taxes, literacy tests, violence, intimidation and restrictions to make registering to vote difficult.

  • 1920 - The 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote.

  • 1947 - American Indians were granted the right to vote.

  • 1965 - The Voting Rights Act ended discriminatory restrictions on the right to vote as a result of grassroots-level protests and marches.

  • 1966 - Martin Luther King, Jr. and other civil rights leaders marched from Tennessee to Mississippi, resulting in 4,000 African Americans registering to vote for the first time.

  • 1971 - The 26th Amendment lowered the voting age to 18.

  • 1975 - Voting materials were translated into other languages.

  • 1993 - The National Voter Registration Act was passed to make voter registration easier.

  • 2002 - Help America Vote Act (HAVA) was passed, requiring states to comply with a federal mandate for provisional ballots, disability access, centralized, computerized voting lists, electronic voting and a requirement that first-time voters present identification before voting.

Don’t miss this opportunity to exercise your right to vote. The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. across the state today. If you haven’t registered yet, you still can: Minnesota offers same-day registration at your polling place. Visit mnvotes.org for details on registering, polling places, voting requirements and candidates.

Now go! Vote! And bring a friend!

Planning for the MNxMN 2019 Conference is underway. If you have suggestions for presenters, workshops or sessions or if you are interested in participating as a presenter or workshop leader, visit our Annual Conference page to submit your information. Watch this space for additional details as they become available.

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