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Letter to the editor: Progressive idea: Vote

In a June 15 letter, I proposed a friendly contest between columnist Mr. Abler and myself. Mr. Abler seems to like to deride progressives in his column. I think, however, that more progressive ideas have benefitted society than conservative ones.

In a June 15 letter, I proposed a friendly contest between columnist Mr. Abler and myself. Mr. Abler seems to like to deride progressives in his column. I think, however, that more progressive ideas have benefitted society than conservative ones.

In the contest, each of us would put forth ideas from our political perspective. I took on the role of the progressive, and my first progressive idea was setting aside land for public enjoyment. This idea eventually led to the establishment of national parks. The idea has also served as the foundation for state parks, county parks and city parks.

This week I am proposing a progressive idea that goes back to before the Civil War. Progressives worked to enact the idea into law for well over 50 years. They finally succeeded in August 1920. The requisite number of states had finally ratified the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution. This amendment effectively doubled the number of potential voters and completed the enfranchisement of all citizens in our country.

Since then, progressives have worked to make it easier for citizens to exercise their civic duty to vote. Progressives think that government ought to work to encourage people to vote rather than the opposite. If our government is really to be for the people, then the only way to ensure that is for the people to vote.

Giving women the right to vote apparently didn't sit well for some states, as it took them a long time before they ratified the amendment. These states are are follows with the ratification year in parentheses: Virginia (1952), Alabama (1953), Florida and South Carolina (1969), Georgia and Louisiana (1970), North Carolina (1971), Mississippi (1984).

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Interestingly, these are also the same states that attempted to break apart the union.

Robert Eliason,
Lake Shore

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