I’m not going to tell you who to vote for, try to convince you which party is right or wrong, which candidate will make better decisions, or begin to justify the billions of dollars spent on elections across the United States. But I am going to ask you to please, please get out and vote.
The presidential election in November 1920 was the first time women in all states were allowed to exercise their right to vote. Only one woman from the 1848 convention, where the right was first proposed, was still alive. Charlotte Woodward was eighty-one years old when she proudly cast her vote—72 years after the battle began.
The right wasn’t gained easily—women were incarcerated, beaten, tortured, and murdered. It was a long and bloody battle, one that is often overlooked or forgotten when Election Day rolls around.
I touch on this issue in Mail Order Husband, where readers are introduced to Victoria Claflin-Woodhull, the first woman to run for the Presidency. The Equal Rights Party nominated her in 1872. The book also mentions how Woodhull spent Election Day in jail.
The women who initiated and fought for decades for this right weren’t fighting for themselves. They fought for women kind, so future generations would have more say, more opportunities to live a life of equality.
So in 2008—88 years after the right was granted, I’m asking all women to please respect the women who changed our lives. Honor their trials, tribulations and deaths by voting.
A final voting tidbit—Mickey Mouse, via write in lines on ballots, has won elections across the United States. The cartoon character has won everything from school board elections to state Governor. The only election he hasn’t won is the Presidency of the United States. The fact that an 80-year-old mouse (no matter how loveable he is) wins any election should be an embarrassment to all political parties, and not what I believe our foremothers fought for.
Vote in 08! Put your mark on the ballet and proudly wear your little red stickers!