Women’s Suffrage Celebrates Historic Milestone Women’s Suffrage Celebrates Historic Milestone

The 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage is a time to celebrate & reflect

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — Amy Hogan and her daughter, Samantha, walked eagerly into the polling facility at Nottingham High School. They checked in, filled out their ballots, and put on their “I Voted” stickers just like everyone else. But on the way out, they stopped for pictures, each smiling a mile wide as they snapped selfies. 

Samantha Hogan, who is 18 years old, had just voted for the first time; however, that was not the only reason why this election was a special occasion for the Hogan family. 

This year also marks the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in the United States. The 19th Amendment was ratified in 1920, which ensures women have the right to vote. This milestone, coupled with her daughter’s first trip to the polls, was a surreal experience for Amy Hogan. 

Samantha Hogan votes for the first time.
18-year-old Samantha Hogan votes for the first time on the 100th Election Day that women have had the right to vote. This year, there were ten women on the ballot in Onondaga County, and five were women of color.
© 2020 Peyton Smith

“I cried a little bit,” Amy Hogan said. “I got a little teary. It was great, and I’m incredibly proud that I got to do this with my daughter on the anniversary of women’s suffrage.”

“I remember going to vote with my mom when I was little,” Samantha Hogan said. “It was really cool to get to share this experience with her again.”

Joan Durant, the director of voter services at the Syracuse Metropolitan Area Chapter of the League of Women Voters, was also inspired by her mother to vote.

“My parents thought it was terribly important,” Durant said. “My mother was born before women had the right to vote … so it’s very important in my life.”

Durant’s mother helped her understand why being politically active is so important, which inspired her to help others in Central New York through the League of Women Voters, she said. 

“We need to get people to understand, and women to understand, that voting is our way of telling our politicians that we’re their boss,” Durant said. “[Politicians] need to listen to us, and we all need to take an active civic role.”

Even though women have had the right to vote for 100 years, it’s still important to encourage them to get to the polls, Durant explained. 

“A lot of change has happened,” she said. “But voter suppression is still alive and well, and we need to keep fighting to make the voting process easier.”

One major obstacle to women voting is their gendered role in society, Durant said.

“If you’re working two jobs, have kids at home, when do you have the time to figure out who’s running for office?” Durant explained. “When do you have the time to figure out who’s running for office, or even when and where you’re supposed to vote?”

2020 is also the second year of early voting in New York State, which has allowed more women to vote, Durant said.

“The added flexibility of early voting has helped women,” Durant said. “It can be difficult for women who work on Election Day and also serve as caretakers to rearrange their lives and get to the polls on just one day. … We need their voices in politics.”

Amy Hogan agreed, explaining everyone must be represented in politics.

“It’s even more important to have women running for public office,” Amy Hogan said. “Women have a different perspective than men. It’s not better, it’s not worse, it’s just different. Having diverse voices in the room is the only real way to be represented.”

Samantha Hogan added, “Women have been able to vote all my life. It’s all I’ve known. Knowing that we’ve only had this right for 100 years really shows how important it is to do. It’s not just a right; it’s a duty.”

Reported by
Peyton Smith

Peyton Smith

Peyton studies broadcast and digital journalism and sport analytics at Syracuse University. He is active in several on-campus media outlets. At CitrusTV, Peyton is the day reporter for Tuesday News Live at 6:00 and has served as the executive producer of Orange Press Pass and CitrusTV NOW. He also works with WAER Radio and is on the ACC Network Production crew, where he helps broadcast live sports events through linear and digital telecasts. Peyton looks forward to advancing his career in broadcasting, production, and journalism.

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