We Are the People

A tale of voting rights throughout history


We the People, are the first three words of the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution. In all, a fifty-two-word sentence with some mighty power.

We are the people; black, brown, white, native-born, or immigrant. We are the people, not based on our sex, gender, or who you love. And as such, we form our government.

In our current social climate, with our country experiencing deep divides surrounding racial and ethnic equality, voting rights, and economic disparities, one could argue we are 180 degrees from the original vision and intent of our founding fathers.

But have we been here before?

Is it a crime for a citizen of the U.S. to vote?

This year is the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, giving women the right to vote.

Throughout the late 1800s up until after WWI, women fought for their voices to be heard and to be recognized as a ‘person’ mentioned in the Preamble. Susan B. Anthony, a suffragette for women’s rights, was arrested and charged in 1872 for voting in a federal election, well before the ratification to the 19th Amendment.

If women had not gained the right to vote, were they considered ‘people’ under the words of the Preamble?