Today, I will head to the polls to vote, my daughter in tow.
It's "just" a local election, the sort so many overlook and think are unimportant, an inconvenience to be squeezed into a busy schedule if it can be done with little effort. I bet a lot of people don't even realize today has an election, we're so busy listening to the carping on next year's presidential and congressional election.
For me, though, every election is important. Local elections impact our communities and schools every bit as much as national elections do. Local officials often set off on a trajectory to state and national office. Local matters.
As a woman, I'm doubly grateful to vote. It's hard for us to fathom in the modern age that once upon a time, we were deemed incapable of discerning a candidate's suitability for office, too weak to cast a vote based on logic and not sentimentality. Surely, our husbands and fathers were better equipped to weigh such matters; our place was in the home, concerned with children, laundry and baking bread.
Thousands of women were imprisoned, injured, and shunned in the quest for the right to vote. They struggled for a century and a half until, finally, in 1920 the 19th Amendment was ratified, guaranteeing women the right to vote.
Sadly, there still are places in this world where women continue to be denied the right to vote, places where women are still struggling to be heard, to gain the right to help decide who will make the policies that affect her life.
So go. Vote today. Blacken those bubbles, punch those holes, mark your ballots, mindful of just how fortunate you are to do so.
A vote is a terrible thing to waste.