Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Vote November 8, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
Tags: , , , , ,

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 helped African Americans exercise their right to vote under the 15th Amendment to the Constitution. Stephen Somerstein photographed Bobby Simmons, a member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committe. Simmons was wearing zinc oxide to prevent sunburn and wrote VOTE onto his forehead. This photo shows a section of Somerstein’s portrait of Simmons showcased in an April 2015 exhibit, “Selma to Montgomery: Marching Along the Voting Rights Trail,” at St. Olaf College in Northfield. I photographed the photo with permission. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo 2015.

DO YOU REMEMBER a time when elections were focused primarily on the issues? Minimal or no name-calling? When candidates acted like anyone mattered outside of themselves. When candidates treated each other with decency.

Yeah, I know. It’s difficult to remember that in a year dominated by such campaign negativity. On all levels, not just national.

I’ve read signs and bumper stickers and words I can’t repeat. Likewise with TV ads I’ve heard.

No matter where you stand, what you think, how frustrated you are, remember this. You have a voice. Use your voice today. Vote.

There was a time when not everyone in this country could vote. On Election Day 1920 women voted for the first time after the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was passed, giving them that right. And now a woman is on the ballot for President of the United States.

No matter which candidates you support today, remember, you are free to vote. And that is something for which you can be especially thankful. You have that democratic right. Use it. Vote.

© Copyright 2016 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


18 Responses to “Vote”

  1. Beth Ann Says:

    Agreed. It is a great thing to be able to exercise our right to vote. God is still in control.

  2. Littlesundog Says:

    We did early voting on Friday evening. I had been in Lawton, OK to do some shopping on Friday and saw early voting there had a huge line all around the court house square and along the street in front, all the way down the next two blocks! I wonder how many folks will be standing in line for long periods today?

  3. cheryl Says:

    VOTE, VOTE, VOTE. This election is probably the most important and its effects longer lasting that any we have had in recent, maybe ever, history.

  4. Today’s election protests seem to be a lot more violent and senseless than that of Mr. Simmons..

  5. Agreed! This week is important on two fronts; Election Day today and Veterans Day on Friday. I am a little muted today with my red, white and blue, however; come Friday I will be wearing the stars and strips (breaking out the shirt I bought for 4th of July). My work touches on the political arena so it continues for me over the next 6 months with the State Legislative Session coming up. Busy, busy time – cannot wait for June to relax again. Happy Day – Enjoy 🙂

    • Thanks for the reminder of Veterans Day.

      My eldest daughter previously worked for a Minnesota state department office that handled elections. I remember how busy she was this time of year and during the legislative session.

  6. Harry Williams Says:

    Thanks for this post and historic photo.

  7. Our VOICE)))) matters!
    Thank you for the reminder.
    I hope everybody gets out there to make a difference! xx

  8. why aren’t my comments going thru?

  9. Sue Ready Says:

    I voted but the day after was soooooooooo depressing knowing we are now in the clutches of Trump’s World. We need to all stay strong and pray for America. .

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