I’m not a big fan of politics, but I do love to vote.
Too often the former descends into an irritating crossfire of impotent adjectives that distracts from all those necessary verbs like listen, learn and improve. I know the latter makes a difference.
I’ve written before about how much I enjoy casting my ballot and how I once had the honor of witnessing an election recount. I still think about how carefully those officials examined and tallied each ballot in that county race and how clear it became that every single vote matters.
Once, back in 1984, I left a long line before voting at my collegiate precinct because I was really hungry and I had a bunch of encroaching deadlines and it seemed like it was going to be a landslide election anyway. It was, but I still feel bad about missing that opportunity to cast my vote and I am pretty sure I have voted in every election since.
When they were little, I used to take my kids with me. The industrious church ladies at our polling place held a bake sale every year and I always let my kids pick out a treat on the way out. I’m not sure if it’s the recollection of those homemade goodies, or a well-developed civic duty, but they are all active voters as well.
Yesterday, the United States celebrated the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. My mom marked the occasion by marching down to City Hall (gloved and masked up) to update her address and request an absentee ballot so she can be sure to vote in November.
In some ways, the 19th Amendment’s 100th Anniversary has been one of its most interesting, as so many people of all sexes and political persuasions are working hard to make sure their vote counts in these crazy, pandemic-challenging times. Their efforts are the perfect tribute to all those suffragettes who fought so hard to extend voting rights.
I’d like to think I’d have joined those ladies in their fight, had I been around back then, but who knows? I can thank them now, though, and I plan to salute them again in November by casting my vote.
Well done, sister suffragette!