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September 04, 2012

A Note To Women Voters

IStock_0VoteWomen fought long and hard for the right to vote in this country.  They were mocked, condemned, protested against and told by countless men that they should not have that right.  It was a long-held belief that men should decide the fate of not only our country and our world, but of women as well.  From the beginning of time men did, in fact, make life decisions for the women of the world…until women fought to be a part of the decision-making process.  Finally, on... “August 26, 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution became law, and women could vote in the fall elections, including in the Presidential election.” (http://womenshistory.about.com/od/suffrage1900/a/august_26_wed.htm)

Women of today owe our right to vote to the powerful women who risked everything for this right.  Each and every one of us owes it to ourselves and to the women of tomorrow to take this right seriously.  We cannot for a moment take this right for granted.

We, as women, have the power to create large-scale change in not only our country, but our world as well.  Voting is one way to do this. The next presidential election for the United States of America takes place on Tuesday, November 5, 2012.  This election (like the ones before it) will affect the lives of every single man, woman and child in our world today.  Be a responsible voter. 

As a woman, be aware of how your vote, in particular, will affect the long-term rights for women in our country today and tomorrow.  Your vote has power.  Do not take it for granted.  Below are several tips for being a responsible voter:

1.    Know the candidates.  Do your due diligence regarding the candidates.  Find out what each believes in, what their focus will be and how they say they will create change.  Listen to the issues they don’t speak to as well as the ones they do.
2.    Choose your top three priorities.  Do not vote a party line without knowing what the key issues are for you.  Choose your top three issues.  Make sure these issues are important to YOU. 
3.    Seek the answers.  Once you have your key issues in your head, first find out as much information about the issues themselves as you can.  Often the media give small segments of information and leave out key points involved.  Next, find out what each candidate thinks regarding those issues.  What changes will they make or will they make any?  Do their views coincide with yours?  Be open-minded to hearing all candidates’ arguments before you make your decision.  I’ve been surprised by how much I’ve learned when I am just curious and not trying to prove I’m right.
4.    Keep an eye on the future.  Actions taken today will impact tomorrow.  We all know this yet can forget it in tough times.  Keep your eye on the future, not just today.  For example, today you may have lost your job and be worried about job growth, but a year form now you may be more interested in, say, interest rates.  Don’t vote reactively -- vote wisely.  See the whole picture and think about what’s best for our country, all women and all people. 
5.    Make sure your vote is YOURS.  Don’t vote a party line.  Don’t vote a certain way because your family has always voted that way or because your partner tells you it’s the right way to vote.  And don’t not vote!

In the end, let your voice be heard.  Take your right to vote seriously or you will have other people making decisions for your future.  Know the issues, review the candidates’ actions, not just words, and make your own informed decisions.  Many women in other countries do not have the right to vote…do not take your right for granted.

Challenge: Explore the issues on your own.  Tune in to the ones that you feel are import and find out where the candidates stand.  Make your own informed decisions and encourage other women to do the same.


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