September 17 has been set aside by Congress for all education institutions to provide education programs and information about the U.S. Constitution, which was signed on September 17, 1787. This year Constitution Day is officially observed on Sunday, September 17, 2023.
The U.S. Constitution is the oldest written Constitution of any nation on Earth! It has withstood the test of time – over 230 years – and defines what we live by: the rule of law, limited government, and the ideals of liberty, equality, and justice. The Constitution was created by the people and for people. It is the foundation of our democracy and our rights as Americans.
Visit Davenport Libraries online:
- Check out the Constitution Day Library Guide for "Fast Facts," founding documents, research links, and more at http://davenport.libguides.com/constitutionday
Your Vote, Your Voice!
The "Right to Vote" is a fundamental part of our democracy and it is our voice in decisions that affect our lives every day. Your vote impacts education, health care, the environment, the economy, and much more! It impacts minority rights, veterans' rights, and immigration law. Be sure to vote - not only during Presidential election years, but also during midterm elections and in local elections!
Remember . . . Your Vote Matters!
Register to vote today! The most fundamental way to make a difference is through your vote! It’s your voice!
There are also many other Constitutional issues being addressed today. Take a look at these links for historical perspective and current issues:
Interactive Constitution: Search the Constitution by Key words; explore more that 300 Constitution related topics from business, education, civil rights, voting, etc.; view Supreme Court Case decisions in the text of the Constitution.
Podcasts: Watch podcasts that feature Constitutional issues that are being addressed today.
Learn how The U.S. Constitution still applies to the world we live in today at these websites:
AnnenbergClassroom.org "Annenberg Videos have won 45 national awards"
- Over 50 videos on major constitutional concepts and court cases
- Brochures, Books, and Interactive games
- Current News and "Today in History"
- America's Founding Documents
- Foreign Policy, Military Records, and Investigations
- Federal Government
- Maritime, Aviation, Science, and Technology
- Events, Centennials, and Holidays
- Arts and Culture
Check out the history of The Pledge of Allegiance at this website: http://www.ushistory.org/documents/pledge.htm
If you think that your vote does not matter, remember that your vote sends a message about your values to the elected representatives who enact policy.
If you think that your vote cannot effect change in an existing establishment, consider these quotes from prominent leaders:
- "Not voting is not a protest - it is a surrender." - Representative Keith Ellison
- "Voting is not only our right - it is our power." - American human rights activist Loung Ung
- "Every election is determined by the people who show up." - American political scientist Larry Sabato
If you are a registered Michigan voter, you can request an absentee ballot at michigan.gov/vote.
If you are not yet registered to vote, you can also check eligibility and register to vote at the michigan.gov/vote website.
If you are comfortable voting in person, that is still a valid option!
The "Right to Vote" is a fundamental part of our democracy, but it does not provide specific details in the original U.S. Constitution. Take a look at the history of our Right to Vote:
- U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 2 (1787): Addressed voting as it pertained to the House of Representatives, and deferred to States on voter eligibility rules.
- 14th Amendment (1868): Guaranteed "equal protection under the law," which has been applied to voting rights in several court cases.
- 15th Amendment (1870): Stated that the right to vote cannot be denied on the basis of race.
- 19th Amendment (1920): Stated that the right to vote cannot be denied on the basis of sex.
- 24th Amendment (1964): Stated that a poll tax cannot be required as a condition for voting.
- Voting Rights Act (1965): Strengthened the 15th Amendment by explicitly making it illegal for states to adopt voting requirements that result in denial of voting rights on the basis of race.
- 26th Amendment (1971): Lowered the voting age to 18.