Doing My Part, Being of Service–in a Voting Booth!

A Year of Being Kind blog – Tuesday, November 4, 2014

vote button

Doing My Part, Being of Service–in a Voting Booth!

Today was Election Day, across the United States. I went to the polling place, across the street. I was pleased to see that so many women—so many people actually care about elections. They actually believe in democracy. Representative government, on the local level, as well as on the national level.

But it hasn’t been that way for too long. I had two aunts—both recently died, each one an older sister in the families of each of my parents. Each of them was born before women received the right to vote through constitutional amendment in 1919. So, it was within each of their lifetimes that their mothers, aunts and grandmothers received suffrage.

I have heard stories of the extreme difficulties women had, in getting suffrage. Marches. Women thrown in prison. Talks, gatherings, rallies in a visible—public—place. Women thrown in prison. Entering polling places of that period, where women were not allowed—women thrown in prison.

I am grateful to those brave, persistent women who campaigned for suffrage. Voting rights for women.

As my mother repeatedly told me (and anyone else who was within hearing), exercise your right to vote. She advocated for everyone becoming an informed, educated voter. My mother was a political science major in college (she attended the University of Chicago in the late 1930’s and early 1940’s, as did my father). She was thoroughly convinced that an informed, knowledgeable electorate was the foundation of a healthy representative democracy.

I’ve become more and more cynical as the decades have gone by, but I still hope. I still have faith in some of the elected officials. (I did say “some,” not “most” or “all.” See my cynicism?) My mom died in 2002, but I am still voting. And I am still advocating for informed, educated voters. God willing, I may be able to urge some people to continue to vote, and not give up, roll over and play dead.

I voted today. I tried to do my part. Here’s hoping.

@chaplaineliza

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