Early voting began this week in Indiana, and today Deb and I took our friend Nancy, 90 years young, to cast her ballot. She’s elated to have lived long enough to see a woman running for President on a major political party ticket.There was a sense of excitement in the polling place as a steady stream of citizens stepped into voting booths.
Lately, I’ve been feeling discouraged by the ugliness of this presidential election cycle. I combat it by turning off the television and filling my life with good books, music, performances, and exercise. When I walk around town, attend musical performances, exercise, or simply stand outside talking with my neighbors, I am reminded that there is so much goodness in the world. We cannot allow partisan politics to cast a shadow this goodness. We are better than that.
My mother was born the year American women received the right to vote. I remember hearing her mother, my grandmother, describe the sense of excitement and responsibility she experienced the first time she stepped into a voting booth. She took voting very seriously, and never missed an election from that day forward. I thought of her today as I carefully read through the names of candidates and marked my choices.
Eighty four years passed from the ratification of the Constitution until the first woman (Victoria Woodhull) ran for President on the Equal Rights Party ticket in 1872. At that time, women lacked the right to vote. It would take until the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920, before women could make their voices heard in the polling place. Another sixty-four years passed before a woman (Geraldine Ferraro) was nominated to run for vice president on a major political party ticket. Now, thirty-two years later, a woman (Hillary Clinton) is running for President representing a major political party. Whether you are a Democrat, Republican, or Independent, this is indeed a historic moment.