Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The Gift of the Vote

Women's right to vote - tribunedigital-chicagotribune

Today is election day. And I can't let the day go by without at least mentioning this election. Don't worry, I'm not going to talk about politics, or try and convince you to vote for a certain party over the other. Instead I wanted to just encourage you to vote. Period. No matter for which candidate you pick.

I am constantly amazed when I hear people say they don't want to vote, or that they don't even bother to register. I have always viewed voting as a great pride and accomplishment. Probably because my entire family has always been very politically focused. But most of all its because I have always been aware of how hard other women had to fight for me to have the right to vote.

The reason I have always been acutely aware of how hard women had to fight for the right to vote is because of my great grandmother. I am one of those lucky few that not only got to meet my great grandparents, but I really got to know them. Both of my grandfather's parents died at 97 years old (not at the same time). My great grandmother was a feisty woman. She had a great sense of humor, and would never let anyone treat her as less than because she was a woman or for any other reason. She told me the story of the first time she voted many times. How honored she was to finally be able to pick her representatives.

The first time she voted she was twenty two years old, already a mother of two. Living in a small area of upstate New York she hadn't been able to rally or protest in the suffrage movement. But when the amendment was official ratified she'd been one of the first in town to register to vote that year (though ironically, by the time she told me the story she couldn't remember who she voted for that year, besides to say he was a very nice man). I'm sure she would be thrilled to see this election. I doubt the possibility of a female president would have ever crossed her mind.

So when I cast my vote today, it will be doing so in honor of all those women, that fought for us, that demand women deserved equal rights. For all the work and struggle they did so that I could have this awesome privilege. Thank you ladies. It is truly an honor.


Tina Donahue said...

Great post, Willa. Everyone should vote. And not just in presidential elections, but mid terms. We need to keep democracy alive always. You have to fight for it or it will be taken away.

Fiona McGier said...

Amen! Or should that be "A-women!" I know that many of the teens I register to vote, may not bother. Others will vote to cancel out my vote. But I don't care. They all have the right to vote, and I hope everyone in the country turns out and just does it!