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Nov 2, 2020

Why Women Should Engage in the Election

The 2020 election culminates on voting day tomorrow, and in this 100th anniversary year since women gained the right to vote, it’s important to understand why women should engage in the election. 

Sarah Lamar, an attorney from the law firm of HunterMaclean in Savannah, Ga., who calls herself a “political junkie,” believes that women should persevere and lean on each other in order to make their voices heard in politics. 

Women’s role in politics

  • Women worked hard to make their voices heard, beginning with the prohibition movement which likely wouldn’t have happened without their participation.
  • So much of what happens in this country originates in Congress, from economic issues to civil rights and engagement in war. Women must make their voices heard as part of these important conversations.
  • The electoral college creates confusion but it amounts to each of us “telling” an elector from our state to cast a vote for a certain candidate. That elector casts a vote for a candidate based on the votes cast by people in the state. 
  • The electoral college emerged as a compromise between a faction that wanted Congress to vote to decide the president, while another faction wanted the people to vote for the president. 

Wading through the rhetoric

  • Knowledge is power. Your ability to learn about the issues determines whether you’re able to make an educated decision about issues that are on the ballot. Although the internet is a great resource for finding information, be careful about the sources you trust. Recognize the agenda of each resource and look for both sides of a conversation.
  • When you’re deciding how to vote, research the organizations that are endorsing an issue to get a better understanding of its impact. 
  • Talk about it with the people in your circle to get other perspectives. Strive to have civil discourse with people that you trust so you can share positions without feeling threatened. Realize that face-to-face communication is better than a social media debate.
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg famously said this: “Fight for the things you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” Articulate why you believe what you believe, and don’t judge others who disagree.
  • To impact your community, get involved in organizations that influence the issues that are important. Talk to your representatives about the things that you’re worried about. They are there for you, and not the other way around.

Shaking up the status quo

  • Don’t ever give up. Women outvote men in every presidential election since 1964. 
  • It wasn’t until 1992 that the U.S. had more than 2 women serving simultaneously in the Senate. Now one-fourth of the Senate is made up of women. Pew Charitable Trusts