Wednesday, October 24, 2012

It will soon be time to Lauri Robinson


I’m not going to suggest who you should vote for, try to convince you which party is right or wrong, which candidate will make better decisions, or begin to justify the billions of dollars spent on elections across the United States. But I am going to ask you to please vote.

The presidential election in November 1920 was the first time women in all states were allowed to exercise their right to vote. Only one woman from the 1848 convention, where the right was first proposed, was still alive. Charlotte Woodward was eighty-one years old when she proudly cast her vote—72 years after the battle began.

The right wasn’t gained easily—women were incarcerated, beaten, tortured, and murdered. It was a long and bloody battle, one that is often overlooked or forgotten when Election Day rolls around.

I touch on this issue in several books, including Mail Order Husband, where readers are introduced to Victoria Claflin-Woodhull, the first woman to run for the Presidency. The Equal Rights Party nominated her in 1872. The book also mentions how Woodhull spent Election Day in jail.

The women who initiated and fought for decades for this right weren’t fighting for themselves. They fought for women kind, so future generations would have more say, more opportunities to live a life of equality.

So in 2012—92 years after the right was granted, I’m asking all women to please respect the women who changed our lives. Honor their trials, tribulations and deaths by voting.

A final voting tidbit—Mickey Mouse, via write in lines on ballots, has won elections across the United States. The cartoon character has won everything from school board elections to state Governor. The only election he hasn’t won is the Presidency of the United States. The fact that an 84-year-old mouse (no matter how loveable he is) wins any election should be an embarrassment to all political parties, and not what I believe our foremothers fought for.

Vote! Put your mark on the ballet and proudly wear your little red stickers! 


  1. Some years, Mickey Mouse has been the best candidate. I have my choice this year, and voted yesterday in early voting. There were a couple of areas where I would have liked to have written in Mickey Mouse for people I opposed who were running unopposed. ☺

  2. Very poignant and meaningful post, Lauri. I taught this struggle when I was an American Lit teacher. Susan B. Anthony in her red shawl has long been a hero. I mailed in my ballot a few day ago.

    And I hear ya, Caroline. Running unopposed never seems to have a "No" area. Sheesh.

  3. Good post, Lauri. We have voted at every election forever. I don't think I've ever missed one. I wear that I voted sticker with pride.

  4. Lauri--thank you so much for reminding us of the right to vote. I didn't realize 72 years passed before a woman could vote in 1920.
    I believe I would not be a good member of an advocacy group. I'd give up too easily, probably. This makes me feel honored and proud of those who made it possible. They deserve our greatest admiration.
    Well done.

  5. Thanks Ladies, and thanks for exercising your rights!

  6. Hubby and I are sitting down tonight to fill out our ballots. Oregon has mail-in elections.

    Our(women) battles have been as bloody and controversial as any other minority in this country.

  7. Lauri, thank you for reminding us not to take our right to vote for granted. Did you get to see "Iron Jawed Angels" a few years ago? It showed what our ancestresses went through to overcome male prejudice. A real eye opener.


Thank you for visiting Sweethearts of the West! We are very sad to require comment moderation now due to the actions of a few spam comments. Thank you for your patience.