SARASOTA, Fla. — Many people consider voting an American right.
“I know that my vote counts,” said Beth Duggins who was voting in Sarasota on Tuesday during the Florida primary election.
But 100 years ago, Duggin’s vote would not have counted because women could not vote.
Brave women fought for decades for the right to vote, and their unrest paid off.
On August 18, 1920, the words “the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged … on account of sex,” were added to the 19th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
It seemed that women finally won the fight, but not all women.
“Black women were disenfranchised and actually didn’t get to vote until about 50 years later,” said Debbie Bell, a voter.
Women of color could not vote. Black women were not able to vote until the Voting Rights Act of 1965, 45 years later.
“I just think about all the women, the intelligent women, who did not get the opportunity to use their voices at a time where we needed their voices,” said Bell.
Voices that voting women are using today because of those who paved the way.
“Our rights are at stake now more than ever so everybody has a voice and I encourage everyone to get out there and vote, said Jenifer Leonard, a Sarasota voter.