By Kathryn Magura
It’s election day here in the United States! And while most of us will be relieved to have the daily deluge of political ads come to an end, how many of us take the time to reflect on the power of our vote? As a woman, I have not really thought much about what it means to even be able to vote. But not that long ago, women were literally giving their lives for the ability to vote.
Over time, my thoughts about voting have ebbed and flowed. I remember the first time I thought I was going to be able to vote, I was actually a day shy of being 18 in time for the election. I was annoyed because I wanted to vote and express my opinion (I’m guaranteed to always have an opinion about something). In my 20s, I became frustrated with politics, and started to think that all politicians were the same and didn’t really have my interests at heart. I was so disheartened, I considered not bothering to vote on more than one occasion. It didn’t help that George W. Bush was reelected one year on my birthday. Oh the joys of early November birthdays.
As I have gotten older, I think I have developed a stronger appreciation for the ability to vote. As a woman, I am very aware that we haven’t always had the ability to express our opinions through voting. While I have been tempted not to add my vote at times, I feel like I owe it to the women who have come before me and fought so hard for this right. I am also a firm believer that I have no real right to complain about politics (specifically politicians) if I don’t vote. What does complaining without action really get me? If I don’t like someone, I’m going to express my opinion through my vote for the other candidate.
This year marks 100 years since women have had the right to vote in Oregon: http://centuryofaction.org/. When I found this out, I knew that I owed it to the women’s suffrage movement over a century ago to ensure that my vote gets cast. It is a privilege to have this right, and one that should not be taken for granted.
So ladies, make sure you get out there and vote. I don’t care who you vote for (ok, I do. Please don’t vote for Mitt Romney), just vote! Share your voice!! And who is with me in hoping there is a Hillary Clinton/Michelle Obama ticket in 2016? 😉