Yesterday I took the time to complete my ballot, and while I have no desire to talk politics or tell you who or what I voted for, I want to talk about why I vote and why I think it is so important. I think this year may have been the worst election year that I can remember because it feels like it has taken perfectly reasonable people and made them crazy; I am one of those people. Elections are always hard, but this one takes the cake.
I love voting! I can remember going with my mom and dad to the poll in 1988 and learning about voting. In 1992 I watched the debates and chose a candidate. In 1996 I was less invested because I was 12 and everything else was sooooo important, but I was still interested. 200o was when I really started to understand everything. It was the last election before it was my turn.
My first official voting came in 2002, not a Presidental year, but it was important to me nonetheless to learn about the issues and cast my vote. I wish I could say I remember any part of that ballot, but I don’t. In 2004 I voted for President and did it to the fullest: I watched the conventions, the debates, and made my decision. My favorite part about 2004 was watching a young Barack Obama speaking and thinking he was brilliant, but not a likely candidate for President because of the barriers that were still in the way for him. I am thankful that those barriers were only in my head come 2008 and 2012.
Every vote I cast is in honor of the women who fought so I could. Those women were jailed, tortured, looked down upon, cast aside, beaten, all for the simple act of equality. They were the start of something, a war that is still waging today as we fight for equal pay and body autonomy. Regardless of the politics, it’s nice to see that less than 100 years later and we are the closest we have ever been to electing the first female President. I would like to think our suffragette sisters would be proud.
Last night I took my blue book and my ballot, I thought of those brave and wonderful women and I made some tough decisions over candidates and questionable ballot measures. Most importantly, I voted.