On January 6, 2020, I was sitting at home watching the certification of the Presidential election. To be more accurate, I was reading Animal Farm by George Orwell. My New Years' goal was to read a book a week, and I started with books most people read in school, but I had not. The TV was on, and I was reading the part where Napoleon turned on Snowball and ran him off the farm, becoming a dictator over all the farm animals. I looked up to see chaos on the screen. It was surreal. It felt dystopian. The warnings written by Orwell were coming to life on the steps of our Nation's Capitol. Needless to say, it would be nearly a year before I could stomach picking the book up again, thereby killing my New Years' goal
Not everyone checked out the Federalist Papers from their local library at 19 like me. I get it. One of my favorite books is Founding Mothers, The Women Who Raised A Nation by Cokie Roberts, so I understand I might be a little different. I love this country! Is it perfect? No, but it has potential and is better than most, in my humble opinion. It has potential because of our elections! I wish more people knew what having that right cost in lives over the years.
For example, in 2020, women celebrated the centennial of their right to vote. One of the things I take pride in for my home state, Tennessee, is that it was the deciding state, the 36th to vote for the ratification of the 19th amendment, winning women the right to vote. On August 18, 1920, Rep. Harry T. Burn from McMinnville was the deciding vote. His mother, Febb E. Burn, implored that her son give women the right to vote, and a young, first-term senator did as his mother asked, and a little over 100 years ago, women were allowed the right to vote.
Women (and men!) must vote. If we do not stand up for other women's rights, no one will. We all need to exercise our right to vote, as it is our civic duty. We owe it to one another to be picky about who holds office and the policies said people create. There are many barriers to voting, and don't get me started on the Gerrymandering of districts. If you can't win an election fairly, does that person deserve to win? I venture to say most people would say no if they understood the process.
This great state that won the vote for women is practically a non-voting state. Only 20% of Tennesseans vote. We can change that. We must change that. The New Suffragettes are working hard to get voters registered. One must be registered by October 11, 2022, to be eligible to vote on November 8, 2022. The last day to request an absentee ballot for the State General Election is Tuesday, November 1, 2022 (Apply for an Absentee Ballot). You can help in our efforts to get Tennesseans to the polls by downloading the GoVoteTN app. From your smartphone, you can check your and others' registration status. You can get fellow Tennesseans registered to vote for the next election if they missed the cut-off, so download the app or bookmark the site. Remember, your vote matters this November, so vote like our freedom depends on it because it does!