Today is National Voter Registration Day. Are you registered to vote?
Nationwide, only 59.8 percent of those eligible to vote are registered, according to a 2010 U.S. Census Bureau report. In Montana that percentage is 65.2.
Those figures are shameful. People fought hard for our right to vote, and more than half of us didn't even get the right to vote until the 20th Century.
White men without land holdings weren't able to vote until laws were changed from 1812-1860.
African-American men didn't get the right to vote until 1870, with the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment.
Women didn't get the right to vote until passage of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920.
Poll taxes, which disenfranchised the poor, were not made illegal under federal law until 1966.
So why do so many of us take this right for granted?
The National ACLU Voting Rights Project is working hard to make sure that attacks to our voting rights are challenged and defeated. The ACLU opposes voter ID laws and other attempts to disenfranchise people.
Elections and voting rights are the cornerstones of our democracy. Don't take your voting rights for granted. Need help registering? Go the Montana DMV's website to find out how to register to vote through mail or in person
Want to learn more about local candidates for this upcoming election? Come to our 2016 Candidate Forum from 6pm to 8pm on September 29th! This non-partisan forum is for all legislative candidates, hosted by the YWCA of Helena and sponsored by the Pride Foundation, Forward Montana, and the ACLU of Montana.