Vote your interests

How you vote tomorrow is a personal decision. What matters is that you go to that ballot box and exercise your right to vote.

Why do I care? I’m second generation on one side of the family. My grandparents came from Sweden in the 1920s.  They lived with us for a short time. My grandmother was a stern woman, who spoke bitterly about injustices, past and present. One thing that angered her was how women were granted the right to vote in Sweden sometimes, and then it was taken away at other times. Even as a young kid, I understood the unfairness of that. There were times we got to vote in my family too. Essentially, it seemed the kids got to vote, except when Mom and Dad did not like the outcome, then the vote was taken away. My older brothers and sisters all voted for me to be named Molly. But my mom changed her mind upon hearing a nurse saying, in a sing-song voice, “Here’s your little Molly” and changed it to her first choice.

My grandma said she’d vote for Betsy as well, but that didn’t make it right. She’d tell me about how, for years in Sweden, unmarried women and widows were allowed to vote in local elections, but not in national elections. Married women were under the guardianship of their husbands and had no voting rights. “Orattvist” she would say.

She made me promise to vote every chance I got. In 31 years, I’ve never missed a general election, although I did have to file an absentee ballot once.

Do you have a voting rights story? I would love to hear it.

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