I filled out my ballot and dropped it in the mail today and I made Jason take iPhone photos of me while I did...the middle photo above is the direct result of him telling me I looked too serious while licking the envelope :).

Thanks to inspiration from Susan B. Anthony, I feel like a well informed voter this year.

You see, this past April, the Washington Post wrote an article about Susan B. Anthony's grave, I encourage you to click the link and read the article (it's not long!).

The gist of the story is this- as way to honor Susan B. Anthony, who fought for women's right to vote for 60 years, women are trekking to her grave in upstate New York for a unique tribute. As Colby Itkowitz writes in the aforementioned Washington Post article:

"They came to say thank you to the woman who paved the way for them to be able to fufill their civic right. They took their "I Voted" sticker and pressed it on the tombstone." 

The Thank You Susan B. Anthony Facebook page explains: 

"Susan B. Anthony never got to see women legally vote. Come show her you did, and say thank you on Election Day at the Mt. Hope Cemetery in Rochester, NY." 

When I first read the story earlier this year, it had me almost tearing up. It made me ashamed at how I've treated voting in the past. In Washington State they make it so easy too, everyone votes by mail, which means I don't even have to put pants on to cast my ballot. In general, I do vote, but there have been midterm elections that I've forgotten about and there's usually at least one or two ballot measures that I'm not well versed on at all. A stark contrast to the women of the past who fought long and hard for this right.

The 19th amendment, giving women the right to vote was ratified in 1920, the sweet end of a tireless battle waged by Susan B. Anthony and countless other women. And now, less than 100 years later, I'm embarrassed to admit that one time, I found a ballot in a pile of old mail, months after I should have turned it in. Susan B. Anthony, who dedicated her life to the cause and even ended up in jail for it, never got to vote herself. She died before the 19th amendment was passed. Had she gotten the chance to vote, I'm sure the woman who "appeared before every congress from 1869 to 1906 to ask for passage of a suffrage amendment" would never lose her mail-in ballot in a pile of J.Crew catalogs.

In the quote above, Colby Itkowitz calls voting a "civic right" not a "civic duty", and I think that's an important distinction. I'm humbled that women before me fought long and hard for you and me to have that right and I won't take it for granted again.

PS. I purposely chose to leave my opinion out of my post, because the point of it is to encourage everyone to vote and be informed, and I don't think anyone should be swayed by my personal opinion. But for the sake if posterity, I have to add in "I'm with her!" and am thrilled to be voting in this historic election.

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