Women’s Equality Day Should Encourage Everyone to Vote

Maia Berthier, Staff Writer

Gabriella Torna

On Aug. 26, 1920, the United States passed the 19th amendment to the Constitution, granting all women citizens the freedom to vote and allowing them to finally be represented in America’s policy decisions. After all of the protests, judgment and imprisonment women had to go through just to be considered equal in society, they had finally achieved their goal. However, why is it that the suffragettes went through such torture to have this privilege, and now the future generations are letting their hard work turn to dust? People across the U.S. fail to represent themselves for various reasons, but none of those can justify the fact that not expressing your opinion in the polls could result in the outcome you didn’t want. Voting in elections, if you are eligible, is one of the most important things individuals can do to influence government decisions. It should be encouraged throughout the country, and people should think twice before they skip out on the opportunity.

Many people might consider their vote to be “a drop in the bucket” just because of the massive size of our country. Over 300 million people reside here, but this does not affect how much your vote matters. Many times, the decision is a very close call, and your vote could even be what decides an election. If you don’t vote, your beliefs may not be reflected in the legislation that will affect you in the future. If every eligible citizen votes for who they see as fit to lead the country in whatever capacity, the officials elected would match our country and its ideals.

“I think that the right to vote is very prestigious. Yes [each individual’s vote matters] because I think that even though you may not believe that you’re being heard, I feel like if there are a lot of people with similar interests around you or not around… you can essentially build up to make a popular vote,” senior Cecilia Rodriguez said.

The fight for suffrage was longer and more arduous than most people would think. Women protested and organized parades to draw attention to their cause, but that wasn’t enough. They began to picket in front of the White House and engage in large demonstrations that got many of them arrested. This drew more attention to the movement, but they had to continue to engage in such behavior for years to come. Many suffragettes became political prisoners after being thrown in jail countless times and some even went on hunger strikes to continue protesting from prison. The American people cannot just sit back and take what they have for granted, especially since many went through such hardships to give us the privilege to vote. Women, as well as people of color, did not just sit around and wait for suffrage to be handed to them. Sunday, Aug. 26 was the 98th anniversary of women gaining suffrage, and expressing your opinion in an election is something everyone needs to take advantage of, if not for yourself, for all of the fighters that gave that right to you.

Maia Berthier
Our very own auditorium was set up as a polling place for any eligible person in this precinct to vote for the primary election on Tuesday, Aug. 28.

“I am going to exercise my right to vote. I think it’s really important and it’s a nice way to stay connected to what’s happening in the country,” senior Sebastian Escobar said.

In this coming primary, some members of the senior class will be eligible to vote, and this election is an important one in the evolution of our country. More women and minorities are running than ever before, and if you think that those changes are good for Florida and the U.S., speak your mind through voting! Precinct 611 is the polling place inside Gables’ auditorium, and volunteers have been working hard to manage everyone performing their civic duty. Whether you are currently eligible or not, you should strongly consider voting in the future elections, because each vote is important and women (along with African-Americans and other minorities) did not fight tirelessly just for the future generations to take that privilege for granted.