Okay, through the combined organization skills of Lee Wind, Gregory K. and myself, here are thoughts on voting from across the lit blogosphere. I posted my own reasons for voting (and the soldier students who taught me far more than I taught them) on Friday. Greg posted about his perspective as a voting father and Lee wrote about standing firm against the dangerous ethical lapses that we all can easily fall prey to in a heated election season.
Compiling this list has been amazing for the three of us, and we encourage everyone to read as many of the links as possible. This list will be continuously updated through Election Day.
Liz at Liz in Ink chimed in today by sharing what her daughter would see at a visit today to the Texas Capitol: "She'll learn about the red granite they used to build the dome, she'll have lunch on the rolling lawn, and she'll be told that the women and men at work in that building are there to speak for her, for all of us.
She'll be told that the people of Texas -- like people all across the United States -- come together in union to work toward a common good, to achieve liberty and justice for all."
Liz also posted on the subject last week when she early voted.
Jackie at Interactive Reader writes about bridging the gap between the two sides in this election: "One person. One voice. One vote. Your voice is never alone, and your vote will be amplified by the multitude. Millions will agree with you - millions will not, but they are not your enemy. It's your turn to speak and your turn to be listened to with respect and consideration with an absolutely even ratio for every voter."
Sheila Ruth of Wands and Worlds offered a guest post from her teenage son: "Those under eighteen are not allowed to vote because, according to many officials, they lack the proper judgement and intelligence to make a good decision. Now, as many parents, teachers, and almost anyone who has ever met someone below eighteen will tell you, this is not true in many cases. Especially in this election, if you talk to teens who aren't yet eighteen about the election, almost all of them will say that they wish they could vote. They've been watching, they've been listening to the issues, but they can't do anything about it."
Jone at Deo Writer chimed in with her second post on voting (her first was last week): "I read Ballots for Belva by Sudipta Bardan-Quallen (reviewed here) to fourth and fifth grade today in honor of Election Day. Reading this book aloud made me think about of the voting practices and election standards then and now. It was stirring to think that some of Belva's votes were given to Grover Cleveland who won the election. I know that some people will spend hours waiting in line to vote. Some will experience electronic glitches with the voting machines. I want everyone's vote to count."
Author Lynn Hazen gets right to the point: "Because our leaders and policies we choose today will affect children, families and many others here in the U.S. and around the world for years to come."
Author Ned Vizzini has a whole list of rather funny reasons to vote including this one: "Assuming that you're pretty young, if you DON'T vote, you will prove people right AGAIN that the youth vote is a big lie and young people are too busy getting stoned to vote"
At Teen Book Review, Jocelyn reminds us of the contemporary realities of "taxation without representation": "While every citizen over the age of 18 can now vote, there are a lot of people who still don't have a voice, and we have to remember them. When you step into the voting booth, you're not just deciding on the future of yourself and your fellow voters, but also of the millions of people all over the world who are affected by our government."
Bridget Zinn reminds us of those who came before: "Also, you should all read With Courage and Cloth: Winning the Fight for a Woman's Right to Vote by the lovely Ann Bausum. If you have any doubts on whether or not it's important to vote, they will quickly disappear. What those women went through to get the right to do something that half of Americans don't even bother to do â€” truly amazing. It's a great book and should be required reading for everyone. In the world."
At Finding Wonderland, TadMack recalls the Four Freedoms and quotes FDR: "I've often been dismissed as an idealist. I believe in supporting the rights of other people to annoy the heck out of me and to be as weird as they are. So, I believe in voting for the same reason. Even if we don't agree -- and we probably don't -- I'll vote for your right to utter strangeness, and hope that you vote for mine as well."
Sherry at Semicolon on praying for our nation: "We prayed for George W. Bush and for Barack Obama and for John McCain."
Author (and candidate) Carrie Jones let her dog do the heavy lifting today for a funny and insightful post: "We dogs do not get to vote about the economy or health care. We do not get to vote about the war. We do not get to vote about bank bail-outs. And all of these things affect us dogs, just like they affect you. I can't tell you how many dogs I know who have had to go from Iams to Shaw's generic brand dog food because of the economy or how many dogs have watched their owners suffer because they couldn't afford health care. Please, do not make me tell you about the dogs who have sadly wasted away on their porches because their owners have gone to war."
Jolie Stekly from Cuppa Jolie enters Blog the Vote with a post about the excitement, the anticipation, and the bated-breath-ness of it all. "As a writer of young adult novels, I can't help thinking about new voters, those who turned 18 just in time to register and go to the polls. Are they as excited as they were the day they turned sixteen and could get a driver's license? Will they be as excited as the day they turn twenty-one and can finally consume their first legal drink? I believe, more than ever before, they are."
Deborah Howard writes about the effect of negativity on voters: "This reminded me that the deep divisiveness that has been part of "politics as usual" in recent years has lead me and others to be more sensitive to insults from the other side."
Jackie Reeve at The Orange Room can't imagine not voting: "I vote because I don't want to be powerless. As an American woman I have the right to scream at the top of my lungs in protest when someone wants to decide what I can and can't do with my body. Women didn't always have that right, and I will vote until my dying day to make sure it doesn't happen again."
Publisher Bruce Rutledge at Chin Music Press shares his own political wakening (courtesy Frank Zappa of all people): "We should take back our democracy from the blowhards and the fearmongerers and turn it into a party. Everyone should vote. The census takers should register you. Election Day should be a national holiday. Debates should include Nader and Barr and El Vez. The Electoral College should be drowned in Grover Norquist's bath tub. One person, one vote."
Author Kim Kasch has a nice little video from Starbucks up at her site which makes a statement with few bells and whistles - and also offers a free cup of coffee to everyone who votes tomorrow.
At her lj site, RH Crayon writes: "Asking the masses to vote is like being married to countless, unknown, lazy husbands. Or it's like planning a dinner party you all have to attend--indefinitely. Maybe some of you don't want to be there. Maybe it's a nightmare. You're still going to be there, and you're going to wind up caring."
Author Margo Rabb salutes some trailblazers from the early 20th century: "In America, it's only been 88 years that women have had the right. (Women in the Soviet Union, Great Britain, Canada, Austria, Poland, Germany, Australia, Finland, Norway, and Czechoslovakia all won the right to vote before we did.)" She also mentions some great books on the subject.
Author Jama Rattigan focuses on Hawaii's long painful election history: "And now, a man who was born in Hawai'i is running for the highest office of the land. I cannot even wrap my brain around the enormity of that. I do not mean to minimize the significance of a possible Black President, only to acknowledge this: when I vote tomorrow, I will also be thinking about those in Hawai'i who were forcibly silenced, or detained, or those people, who like my parents, had to live as half-citizens for many years, partly because of racial prejudice."
Candace Ryan makes a serious point and shows you can still have pun with it: "It's thyme to vote again. For the Farmers of the Constitution, casting shallots was a means of making a more perfect onion. That's why we must turnip at the poles tomorrow."
Clare Bell will be hand-delivering her absentee ballot to make sure her vote is counted. "Not to vote, for whatever reason, is to say yes to those who would pillage our government and economy. Not to vote is to deny hope for change. Not to vote is to give in and say that representative democracy doesn't work and this great human experiment has failed....To vote is to lift a flaming torch in defiance of those who would deny liberty, equality, justice, and hope."
At Straw Castles, Pamela Lloyd lists several reasons to vote including this: "I vote, because my grandmother was a suffragette who fought for that right and I never want to lose it."
The Readergirlz chime in with a lot of different reasons why voting matters. From Dia Calhoun: "Why vote? So your voice can be heard. My novels are about teens finding their own voices and then using themËœto speak out, to speak up for what matters. Writing is one way I speak out, voting is another. When I vote I am expressing that my opinion matters, and more importantly, I am expressing my wish for the kind of world I want to live in and share. A vote is a vision."
Ed Champion writes about voting in his trademark direct style:"I may be a realist, but I'm also an optimist. Nevertheless, it remains your responsibility not only to consider the candidate who best serves your position, but to likewise question the candidate you're voting for. If you are voting for your candidate out of blind faith, almost exclusively out of "hope" or "country first," then take the time to really think about why you're really voting for an advertising slogan. Take the time to understand just what your candidate will do well, and what your candidate will not do well. The point here is not to find an ideal candidate, but to find the right candidate for the position. The best-suited candidate for the job. Warts and all. The guy who will fill the slot in best."
Cindy at the Mother Daughter Book Club writes about setting an example and also recommends several titles on voting: "Neither of my daughters is old enough to vote, but I'm glad they are engaged in a discussion on the issues so they'll know how important it is for them, as part of a democracy, to think about what they believe and to vote thoughtfully once they register. And I do believe my husband and I are setting an example when they see us reading the voters' pamphlet, talking about ballot measures and candidates, then carefully filling out our ballots and mailing them in."
Katy at Library Mama proved how much voting meant to her in 2004: " Four years ago November 2 was Election Day. My OB was talking about inducing me for high blood pressure the next day. His due date wasn't for three weeks and I hadn't gotten an absentee ballot. I had a heart-to-heart talk with my son and told him that we really didn't want to be induced, but that it was really, really important for Daddy and me to vote.
So my love and I got up early to go to the polls. I was having contractions and, as we found out later, appendicitis. It was cold and rainy and the lines were out the door. One of the poll workers â€“ bless her heart â€“ asked if anyone minded if the woman in labor cut to the front of the line. No one did. The atmosphere, from all those people who were now going to have to wait longer in line because of me, was incredibly supportive. Somebody in less pain than I was at the time would probably have heard the emotional, triumphant music swelling in the background as we were all united in helping everyone participate in our political system."
Author Christopher Barzak gives us a few moments to laugh in the midst of all this: "I myself have already voted, and at my voting place I got BOTH a sticker and candy. Also a pen and a notepad. I mean, come on, how can you not vote with all the free stuff that comes with it?"
Author Kate Messner writes about voting bringing us together: "We all do on Election Day. I've voted in different places over the years -- in a big community center in Syracuse right after I graduated from SU, in an elementary school in Burlington, Vermont when I worked there as a tv reporter, and now, in the one-room community center between the swing set and the soccer field. In all those times and places, whether or not the election workers knew my name, they greeted me warmly, and I headed back out into the November day feeling important and connected and...well...American."
Bill Drew at Baby Boomer Librarian takes voting very seriously: "In my mind, voting is not a right it is an obligation I have to my self, my children, and my country. In order for a democratic republic to function, its citizens must exercise their right to vote at every opportunity. My voting gives the me the right to be heard. It gives legitimacy to my opinions. If you don't bother to vote, you do have the right to speak your mind but your opinions carry no weight with me. If you do not vote, your opinion does not matter to me."
Author Lisa Shroeder compares novel writing and voting: "About halfway through Nanowrimo, there will be a whole bunch of people who walk away from their WIPs. They no longer can quiet the voice that is screaming, "Why do you bother? It's a worthless piece of crap!" And so, they stop. On Election Day, I know there are people who will think to themselves, "Why should I bother? It's a done deal. My vote won't matter."
Author/illustrator Elizabeth Dulemba gets artistic in her post: "I want to have a say in my life, my community and my world. Even if the result isn't what I would hope for - how awful would I feel if I hadn't even tried to make a difference?"
At Charlotte's Library it gets personal: "We walk past the people holding signs for their various candidates (who aren't afraid of being dragged away by evil government agents), we walk to the nice folks handing out ballots (our friends and neighbors, who are doing their best to run a good and careful election), and I have to sniff again before being able to say my name.
"Voting always makes me cry," I explain, with my best attempt at an insouciant shrug. Because, darn it, it does."
Author Jo Knowles excerpts a 1946 sermon about being an American and adds: "Even if you don't vote the way I am voting, I want you to vote. We are a democracy. We must ALL have a voice. All of us. That's how it works."
Author/illustrator Matt Holm votes for the most obvious reason possible: "I don't trust that many people. I don't trust that they'll do a better job than I would. I work very hard, and think carefully before I act. I don't often see others doing the same. So there's no way that I'm going to leave major decisionsâ€”about my money, about where I can and can't live, about who I can and can't live with, about how I run my business, about the food I eat, about the safety of my neighborhood, about the safety of my country and the way it behaves toward the rest of the worldâ€”to somebody else."
Lisa Nowak writes not only about the importance of voting but also about those who complain yet still don't vote. "While it can be hard at times to believe that our input matters, I don't think that excuses you from your civic obligation to vote. And I do believe that, along with being a right and a privilege, it is an obligation. It's the least we can do for our country and community. And by exercising this right, we're paying tribute to it, honoring the fact that we have this freedom, this small ability to influence our government, while many people around the world do not."
Annette Gulatti at The Writing Wild Life considers voting from the immigrant perspective: "Then, living here, first on a student visa, and then as a permanent resident alien, I wasn't allowed to vote. For over 10 years, I didn't have a choice about the future of the country in which I lived. I had no voice."
Author and Readergirl Holly Cupala writes about how serious voting is: "We have a responsibility to research and form our convictions. Vote our consciences. Not let government happen while we look the other way."
Gavin Grant at Small Beer Press still believes: "Democracy is an experiment that changes with the times. If the people choose not to vote, it opens the door to a different system of governmentâ€”something I'd rather not see."
Pam at Mother Reader blogs about one old issue in particular: "I've accepted into my family and into my heart my biracial niece. Before she blessed our lives, I thought that I was living in a diverse nation. Since she broke into my soul, I realized how little I really saw. Children's books and Disney princesses don't represent her color. The American story isn't necessarily her heritage. Racism still exists. But not if I can have anything to so with it. Even if the steps are small, I can speak out, I can write, and I can vote. Hiding isn't an option."
Author Nicola Griffith quotes the great American Frederick Douglass and writes: "You, the voters, are the only ones who can build banks or dig channels and direct the course of this river. Only you."
Author Kelley Eskridge invites us to participate in "the great conversation: "We cannot build bridges through silence. And refusing to vote is the first step to the ringing silence that breaks even the best of ideas and the best of nations."
Liz Burns at A Chair, a Fireplace and a Tea Cozy writes: "But think about it -- a vote, a single vote, is so powerful that someone would want to stop you from voting? Someone doesn't want you to vote? Someone is that afraid of one person voting?
Wow. That is telling you just how powerful your one vote is. And why you should take the time to vote."
Author Laurel Snyder makes election day a family affair: "This year, people are out in the streets, gathering in bars to watch debates, talking and thinking about issues. This year people are passionate. And THIS YEAR I have my own children. So for me, right now (I already voted) the election is about kids, most especially my own."
Editor Ellen Datlow recalls a friend who never voted: "And for anyone who does not vote I say don't you EVER complain about where our country is heading or that so and so got in."
Betsy at Fuse Number 8 has some truly killer graphics to help make her point: "I mean when was the last time you had a conversation with your neighbors, really? And then we could do this thing where they take your name and you go into this little booth. Really private, trust me. And if we're feeling up to it, maybe we'd (y'know) feel like voting?"
Jon from Write4Kids makes his case to authors in particular: "I assume that, as children's writers, every one of you is concerned about young people, the challenges they face and the future they will confront. And yet, some of you will not bother making it to a polling place on Tuesday.
This is beyond senseless. It's tragic."
From Jenny's Wonderland of Books we have a very in depth post on presidential biographies: "In any case, presidential biographies taught me to love reading and many other children have also experienced similar fascination with history and biography. We have generally gone on to believe firmly in the importance of voting. There are many articles right now about how children are participating in mock elections and watching the current election with fascination. For the sake of all our children, do go vote, no matter who you vote for."
Wendy Betts over at Blog From The Windowsill asks readers who love children's books to: "...go out and vote, and vote as if you lived in a children's book. Vote, as much as you can, with your mind and heart reaching for honor, integrity, kindness, responsibility, fairness, equality. Vote, as much as you can, against ugliness, hatred and corruption."
Sarah Laurenson shares her personal take on her status as a full citizen with full rights: "Can you imagine being a slave who is freed, than six months later being relegated back to being a slave once more? Can you imagine being that free man and watching others around you spread lies about what your being free means to them? Can you imagine watching those people tell the world that your being free is harmful to children? That being free should only be reserved for a certain class of people and not given to all, not even hard working, tax paying citizens? It's an extreme example, but sometimes extremes are better for proving a point."
Poet Bryan Borland contributes with a "Why Vote?" poem - here's an excerpt:
"...Because the parent
who doesn't believe
her boy needs to know
the same boy who is dating your daughter,
Because the group
who meets wearing white sheets
to backdrops of burning crosses
and they vote...."
Farida Dowler at Saints and Spinners flashes back to elementary school: "When I was in third grade, my teacher gave us two questions to prepare for debate: The first one was, "Should children have homework?" The second one was, "Should children be able to vote?" I thought that children shouldn't have homework but that they should be allowed to vote."
Author Anastasia Suen includes a writing prompt as well as her thoughts on voting: "Talk about voting was always a source of contention when I was growing up. My mother believed in it and my father did not. Despite that, or perhaps because of it, I have always voted. I didn't have to argue with anyone in order to vote. No consensus was needed. When I voted, it was MY voice that mattered."
Jill at the Well Read Child reminds us about voting in other parts of the world: "At the beginning of this decade, I taught ESL for a few years to high school and middle school students. I heard stories from these kids that were horrifying....personal stories of murder, death, and atrocities that NO person, let alone a child should have to bear first in real life and then in his/her memory. These stories still sometimes keep me awake at night, and more than ever, I realize that voting is a privilege that I will not take for granted."
Diane Chen has a very personal and ultimately hopeful post at SLJ: "We are under attack, not from terrorists, but from our apathy and indifference to getting involved. When we allow atrocities to happen and do nothing to change the leaders of the atrocity, we give them approval. To show how strongly you feel about the issues, you must respond. You must take action. You must vote. "
Sarah Rettger at Archimedes Forgets honors those from the past: "People with political power have, for hundreds of years, tried to avoid sharing that power. Now that we have it - something other people have fought to bring about - let's make it count for something."
Author Hayden Thorne explains why she cares so much about California's Proposition 8. She quotes backers of the proposition as saying Prop 8 is "More important than the presidential election" and then writes: "More important than the presidential election? So, basically, the country's economy, global issues, and the environment can go to hell as long as we keep gays and lesbians from - oh, horrors! - marrying legally?" Hayden also includes a youtube video where a pro-Prop 8 (anti-same-gender marriage) commercial had the words "same-sex marriage" replaced by "interracial marriage" to make the point about the referendum being discriminatory.
Jennie at Biblio File remembers what it was like to wait out the 2000 election while teaching in China: "We get to vote. We have candidates to choose from. A party chair doesn't get to appoint anyone. While we complain that our candidates are too similar, they do have differences. They can't just share the job.
And that's why voting is important. It was my first presidential election and it was staring me in the face. These were my friends who might never get to vote, and if they did, it would be one Communist versus another Communist, and they wouldn't vote for the leaders of the party. If they ever get to vote for the leaders, if they ever get a choice in parties, it will be after a serious revolution."
Maureen at Confessions of a Bibliovore explains her new found respect for voting: "This country isn't perfect, but it's mine. In this country, I have rights, like the right to work in a library full of books that don't agree with each other, and to make them all available to everybody. The right to practice my own religion, no matter who thinks it's stupid and brainwashy."
Dave Elzey at Fomograms with a look at his own voting history: "I hadn't found the time to make the effort and suddenly realized that I had no right whatsoever to complain about the results. I had surrendered my rights, and I felt it as acutely as if they had been taken from me by force. I vowed never to let that happen again."
Susan at Chicken Spaghetti posts an excerpt from the wonderful new book The White House: "The White House is the most important, the most famous, the most historic, the most beloved house in all the land, and it is filled withâ€”no, overflowing withâ€”stories...stories reflecting and embodying the drama of mighty historic events without, and of altogether human stories within...Indeed, little there is in the infinite range of human experience that has not happened there. But then, that is what history isâ€”humanâ€”and that is why we can never know enough about it."
Over at writerjenn, there is a long list of reasons to vote plus this bit of wisdom: "I want people to vote, but I also want them to think about what they're doing. And we need to talk to kids about the issues, so that when they walk into their first voting booth, they have some idea what statement they want to make when they're in there."
Author Joe Cottonwood recalls a unique freedom from his family's immigrant history: "When I vote, I am expressing the will of my grandparents, the will of my entire family history. I'm celebrating freedoms we seem to take for granted: freedom to choose your job, your social circle, your education, your religion or even your lack of religion. And one more freedom: The freedom to move on. When your country is going down the wrong path, you can vote to change it. You shouldn't have to uproot yourself and move across an ocean when you can fix what's wrong with enough votes, enough common sense from enough people. You can mend this country right where you are. You can vote."
Tricia at Miss Rumphius explains where she will be Tuesday morning and why she doesn't discuss voting with her students: "On Tuesday I will head to the polls. I expect I'll wait in long lines. While I'm there I will think about all those who fought so hard to secure MY right to exercise this most basic of freedoms. Remember that female citizens in the United States did not have the legal right to vote until the passage of the 19th amendment in 1920. After its passage, the Presidential election of 1920 marked the first occasion where women across the United States were allowed to exercise their right to vote."
Libby at Lessons from the Tortoise discusses the history of voter suppression: "It's hard for me to be non-partisan about voting. Frankly, at some level, if you don't agree with me I don't want you to vote. I've been heard to joke about telling people who don't agree with me that Election Day is the 5th.
Then I found out it wasn't a joke. In Virginia--and perhaps in other parts of the country as well--folks have been getting an official-looking email that tells them that people registered in one party will vote on the 4th, and the others on the 5th."
At Under the Covers YA author Mary Douthitt quotes some stats from the past and concludes: "Every voter who stays home gives up a little of his power, a little of his voice, to someone else."
Jone at Deo Writer frames the question of which way to go in a personal historical way: "My ancestor, Benjamin Rush, his strong conservative views and his deep faith makes me wonder if he would have voted Republican. He also was a strong abolitionist and advocated for the education of women, so what would he think about this year's political offerings?"
Author Terry Pierce pays homage to the those who fought for the right to vote in the 20th century: "We cannot let the efforts of those who have come before us go unnoticed. People suffered and died for the right to step into that booth and cast their voteâ€”to let their voice be heard."
Author Sara Lewis Holmes blogs from the perspective of a military family: "As a member of a military family, I love it when communities support us with their kind words and generous actions, but I hate it when we have to tear up roots and move on. One thing always sustains me, and it's something that is confirmed with each new assignment: there is no "real" America. There is only the America that we all serve, each in his or her own way. And that America is the one that we vote for, we work for, and we risk it all for."
Little Willow writes about using books in political ads: "We are given so many freedoms in America, freedoms that other countries and people do not have, freedoms that so many people have died for, freedoms which are remarkable and wonderful. We ought to celebrate and appreciate these freedoms."
Nancy at Bees Knees Reads shows some love for Nicki McClure's voting art and a link to NPR: "More than wealth, more than nutrition, literacy is predictive of a healthy, happy life."
At the Reading Tub Terry reminds us about how voting even can affect children: "My first memories of elections and voting came in 1972, when who our parents were voting for determined who would pick us for their dodge ball team. It was the summer I turned nine. Did I understand the issues? Not really. Did I pay more attention to discussions at the dinner table? Oh, yeah. I needed to know if I would have any friends to play with!"
Author/illustrator Tina Nichols Coury gives her reasons for voting in a short video and says in part: "I vote for the freedom to draw what I want... to blog what I want..."
Author Michele Thornton gives us some historical perspective: "One thing Richard Nixon taught me was that each person in this country is held accountable for his or her actions, even those who hold the highest office.
And so, if you are going to live in a place that holds you accountable, then be accountable."
Author Barbara Shoup recalls a book from her childhood that changed her mind about voting: "This book made a huge impression on me! I read it again and again, my kid-brain sucking in the certainty that if I don't do what I'm supposed to do the equivalent of that complete and utter silence will be the result."
Cloudscome explains why she will be waiting in line early Tuesday morning: "Whether you agree with either of them or not, it's clear that they both are serious in their intentions. Now more than ever it is important to get out there and let your choice, your vote, your voice have an impact on the direction we take. There is no standing on the sidelines. We are all in this one."
[Post pics: Voting at Martin Luther King Jr Library in Washington DC, Nov 4, 2008, by Brendan Smialowski/Getty; Nelson Mandela casting his vote in 1994; James Chaney, Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman murdered in 1964 during Mississippi's "Freedom Summer" where they had registered African Americans to vote; Members of the "Bonus Army" arrive in DC to protest for the award of money promised them for WWI service. Refusing to disperse they were forcibly removed by the US Army in one of the uglier moments in America's troubled history of taking care of its veterans; Iraqis show proof that they voted in 2005; Waiting to register to vote in Atlanta, GA, circa 1944; A Tibetan monk beaten by police during a peace rally, March 17, 2008; A participant during the Cesar Chavez led 1965 Delano Grape strike in Sacramento, CA, which helped bring civil rights to migrant workers; 1991 Nobel Prize winner and democratically elected leader of Burma, Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been under house arrest by the country's ruling military junta for almost twenty years; In 1912 a parade of children strikers at Lawrence, Massachusetts led by the IWW; Lech WaÅ‚Ä™sa addressing striking workers in GdaÅ„sk, Pol., May 1, 1988 - on December 9, 1990, Mr Walesa became the first freely elected president of Poland in 50 years; Princess Watawaso of the Penobscot Indian Tribe at Old Town casts the first vote of an Indian on a reservation in Maine in 1955. The only Indians who voted previously were those who moved to cities and started paying taxes.; The hand of a Zimbabewean allegedly beaten for voting for the Opposition MDC Party in the 2008 election; A Japanese American unfurled this banner the day after the Pearl Harbor attack. This Dorothea Lange photograph was taken in March 1942, just prior to the man's internment; Waiting to vote in Sierra Leone; HIgh school students protesting in Birmingham, AL in 1963 are battered by waterhoses; Lucy Burns in jail for marching for women's right to vote in November 1917; Waiting to vote in Kabul, 2004.]