One day my girls will tell the story about how their mom drug them to vote for every election – regardless of whether it was to fill the seat at the Oval Office or a city council seat. They’ll tell how their mom would give the same speech every time … “people died for the right to vote … women couldn’t always vote … if you don’t vote you can’t complain …”
Maybe, the story will be told with a little eye roll in their teenage years, but I hope as they get older, they’ll vote every time they can – even if at first it’s because they’ll get a solid guilt trip from their mother if they don’t.
This month at Women AdvaNCe we’re focusing on politics and the public policies at stake as we approach November. Who you vote for is a personal choice, but before stepping behind the curtain to cast your ballot, we want you to have a solid idea of who gets your vote and why. It seems like the last couple elections, the media (including myself) and pundits have talked about how much we have on the line, based on the outcome of the election. As I reflect back, I wonder if we’ve always felt that way – if the same thing was being said during Reagan’s election, or Jimmy Carter’s – but regardless, here and now, our votes matter.
We’ve had so many close calls in recent years. The outcome of elections, including presidential, have come down to a relative handful of votes. A handful of people who decided to go to the polls that day, or an equal amount who chose not to, or couldn’t get there because of work of a lack of transportation. I hear murmurs from people on social media about not voting this cycle because they don’t like the candidates. It’s not my place to debate the qualifications of any of the nominees with you. I will say, I know they’re not perfect. The system if far from perfect, but someone has to lead this country, this state and our hometowns.
This month we’ll be tackling key issues – education, health care, economic growth, women’s equality, the environment – and taking a look at how the outcome of the election might impact their progress. And we want to hear from you. What issues are hot button ones for you? How will you make your decision?
Statistics show that women are increasingly making a difference in election outcomes. According to the website Voterunlead.org, 53-percent of voters in the 2012 elections were women, which means that we determined the outcome of that election. Research also shows that when women run for election, women turn out to vote in even higher numbers.
So this month, let’s dial in and listen to what candidates are saying. Let’s energize those around us, and make sure that everyone has a way to get to the polls and make their voice count.