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Constitution Day

mission: 
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 Thursday, September 17, 2020. Learn about the U.S. Constitution at Davenport University's Constitution Day website!

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.

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!  

Be an Informed Voter

Learn about the presidential candidates' views on current issues!  A candidate needs 270 electoral votes to win the U.S. Presidential election. Candidates on state ballots totalling at least 270 electoral votes in the 2020 Presidential election are (in alphabetical order):

There are also a number of candidates running for President even though they are not on enough state ballots to win 270 electoral votes. Candidates on ballots in at least three states representing fewer than 270 electoral votes are: Gloria La Riva, Party for Socialism and Liberation (191 electoral votes); Rocky De La Fuente, Alliance Party (186); Don Blankenship, Constitution Party (166); Brock Pierce, Independent (115); Kanye West, Birthday Party (84); Brian T. Carroll, American Solidarity Party (62); Alyson Kennedy, Socialist Workers Party (53); Bill Hammons, Unity Party (31); Phil Collins, Prohibition Party (24).

For more information about voting and major candidates, check out the Davenport Library voting guide.  You might also like to check out Ballotpedia's election coverage for information on all of the candidates.

Voting in the Time of COVID-19

If you are a registered Michigan voter, you should have received in the mail an application for an absentee ballot.  If you did not receive an application, you can request one at michigan.gov/vote or at this link: https://mvic.sos.state.mi.us/.

If you are comfortable voting in person, that is still a valid option!

Visit Davenport Libraries in person or online:

  • Look for Constitution Day displays at Lansing, Midland, Warren, and W.A. Lettinga campus libraries.  
  • Pick up your complimentary pocket size copy of the U.S. Constitution at Lansing, Midland, Warren, and W.A. Lettinga campus libraries.
  • Check out the Constitution Day Library Guide for "Fast Facts," founding documents, research links, and more at http://davenport.libguides.com/constitutionday
  • Find details and links on how to register and how to vote and DU's "Your Vote 2020" Library Guide here: https://davenport.libguides.com/vote2020

Your Vote Matters!

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

History of the Right to Vote in the U.S.

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.

In addition to voting rights, there are many other Constitutional issues being addressed today.  Take a look at these links for historical perspective and current issues:

Explore the U.S. Constitution through interactive websites:

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 Consitutional 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"

National Archives: Research and Learn

    • America's Founding Documents
    • Foreign Policy, Military Records, and Investigations
    • People
    • Places
    • 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

Remember . . . Your Vote Matters!  

Register to vote today! The most fundamental way to make a difference is through your vote! It’s your voice!