Speed Reads

history in the making

Kamala Harris acknowledges 100th anniversary of women's suffrage — and how it wouldn't have granted her the right to vote

The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution granted women the right to vote. Well, at least white women.

That's a fact Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), the Democratic vice presidential nominee, made clear on Wednesday, the 100th anniversary of the amendment's ratification. And while it showed "extraordinary progress" toward ensuring all people are "equal participants in our democracy," "it is also a reminder that there has never truly been universal suffrage in America," Harris wrote in an op-ed for The Washington Post.

"Courageous American women had been organizing and protesting for seven decades to be treated as equal participants in our democracy" before the 19th amendment was ratified, Harris wrote. But "it would be another 45 years until the Voting Rights Act protected the voting rights of millions more voters of color — and an additional 10 years until Latinas and Indigenous women were no longer subject to literacy tests," Harris continued. "In fact, if I had been alive in 1920, I might not have been allowed to cast a ballot alongside white women," Harris went on.

Even today, barriers remain that stop many people, mainly people of color, from voting. That's why "we need to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, support automatic and same-day voter registration and help fund secure state voting systems," Harris continued. She went on to spell out how "Republicans are also spending millions on every scare tactic and trick in the book" to stop that from happening and to slow voter turnout in this presidential election. Read more from Harris at The Washington Post.