Fill in the Blank: I vote because…


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Columnist Angelina Padilla-Tompkins explains why she votes.

…I am a woman. 

Some people in my life have political beliefs that don’t align with mine, and that’s OK. The joke has been made that our votes “cancel each other out.” With that mentality, why should I bother casting a vote? 

I vote because if it were over 100 years ago, I wouldn’t be able to. 

Even though the United States was founded in 1776, it wasn’t until 1920 that women were granted the right to vote. 

The women’s suffrage movement lasted from 1848-1917. Women fought for the right to have their voices heard and to have a say in the country they live. 

The 19th amendment states, “the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” 

It is often pointed out that there are too many white men in power and not enough women or minorities elected into political positions. However, we are seeing an increase in diversity with each presidential election. 

“About a quarter of voting members (23%) of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate are racial or ethnic minorities, making the 117th Congress the most racially and ethnically diverse in history,” according to Pew Research Center

In 2020, the 59th presidential election took place with current President Joe Biden running against former President Donald Trump. 

The Trump vs. Biden election showed more women than men turning up to cast their vote. 

“According to the current population survey, 2020 voter turnout was 68.4% for women and 65.0% for men. About 9.7 million more women than men voted,” reported the United States Census Bureau

President Joe Biden brought along with him the first female, the first daughter of immigrants and the first woman of color to the White House, Vice President Kamala Harris. 

It is essential for women to vote so that we can see individuals in office who reflect the values of women and their needs. 

Whether male, female or nonbinary, you need to exercise your right to vote. Do not take your rights for granted.