Wednesday, August 3, 2016

AM~Erica's Suffragette Revival Revolution

So anyway...

Not sure if you remember, but it was almost a year ago when I REGISTERED TO VOTE. And it feels great being able to walk into my polling place to use my voice on a ballot.

Jump ahead to June of this year...
Because of some life changes, we bought a house! YAY! Which also meant a move! BOO! But the move is an exciting one for our family. We didn't move far, but it was a move nonetheless.

One of the biggest pains of moving is the having to change your address on EV-ER-Y-THING! UGH! However, since I started voting again, I was NOT going to let another move prevent me from voting again. One of the earliest things I did was to go change my address on my registration.

Now the system acted really weird after I did it, so I went to do it again just to make sure. I was told that my info had already been changed. So, I left it.

With all of the annoying & intrusive election ads (the attack ads included), I was researching the candidates for this primary to see which color koolaid ballot I would vote on (UGH! I hate being forced into a koolaid avenue!) along with the local questions.

Eventually a couple of voter registration reminder cards came in the mail. However, they were for the previous residents. Hmmmm...

I did the right thing & sent those cards back to the election board, but then I got concerned about my own registration. In, Missouri, as long as you are registered by the 4th Wednesday before the next election, you should be fine. I gave plenty of time!

Finally, since I heard NOTHING, I looked up my registration. To my great disappointment, my registration didn't get changed as originally thought. Grrrrr....

I tried my registration again, even though it took this time, I was very frustrated. I should be able to vote at MY polling place, in MY community. Even if it's a new place, I want to step up & make a difference where I'm getting settled. So I knew I would probably have to fight for my vote.

As I put out some feelers, in my angst, I was reminded of provisional ballots. I looked into it for Missouri, and check the definition & rights. I was hoping that this would be a last resort, because I wanted my vote counted!

So I began to devise a plan:  I thought back to nearly a year ago when I paid homage to suffragettes who fought so hard for women to be able to vote. Remember when I went digging into my costumes & hats to recreate an Edwardian suffragette to celebrate the women's vote?

Well, that look really appears to mean business. So I wanted to use that bit of history...or make it known that I planned to vote.

I went digging, went matching, tried pairing different combos together until I found what I thought would work, and then I prepared myself for my own personal march.

Just to show I was serious, I put selfie of it on social media to tell folks I was on may way to try to vote.

Then, I took a deep breath, grabbed some info I thought I might need, went with a plan in mind, and nervously headed over to my polling place.

I'm going to be honest, I was incredibly nervous. I watched people sauntering in & out of the space. Here I was, dressed like it was 1914, a plan together, but didn't know how it would all turn out. After a few minutes of some deep breaths & pulling my confidence together, I marched in with a purpose.

After getting a few odd looks & some compliments on my hat, I went in & pleaded my case firmly. I let them know my registration didn't appear to take when I did it in June, but I'm in the system & should be OK to vote, I gave my photo ID along with a utility bill to prove residence. The gentleman who was helping me didn't really question - he just took my info, got onto his computer to make some changes, filled out a form with some extra info, then handed me my stuff to be able to move on through to vote!
I signed in, got my ballot demo, then had to choose my koolaid ballot (UGH!); I then took my ballot into the voting station & made my informed choices - even on a stupid koolaid ballot. I answered my community's questions to be voted on, too. I walked over, inserted my completed ballot into the machine to be counted, then got my sticker! (It's what we're there for anyway, right?)

You know what? This experience really got me thinking.
(I know, I know...scary, right?)
I am very tempted to dress this way for every election. Or something very strong in this sense. And I thought about how awesome it would be to revive history...or having as many women dress in some way to remind people of what the suffragettes before us paved the way for! Wouldn't that be amazing? So I had some thoughts:

1. Dress as an Edwardian-era suffragette.
Wear a maxi skirt/dress, a button up blouse of sorts, comfortable-yet-stylish shoes, a large & embellished hat &/or updo, and a long vest, jacket or cardigan. Add in something masculine like a tie, cuffs or vest. Wear brooches or pins with American flags, promoting votes for women, or for a statement of feminism. Maybe even a voting sash just for some extra visuals.

2. Think Rosie the Riveter.
Go in wearing overalls or a denim/chambray shirt. Add in some yellow. Wear a yellow or gold head scarf or bandana. Why yellow or gold instead of red? Stick with me, I'll explain. But WE CAN DO IT!

3. Wear yellow &/or gold.
The color of yellow (or gold) was the main color of the American suffragette movement, along with white & purple - but definitely the yellow! Combine the color with the above statements, or just punch your ballot wearing yellow.

4. Remember the voting rights of our black sisters.
This is where I'd tell you to dress within the 60's & 70's thinking of the power of the Selma march. Wear yellow in that fashion.

My fella-femmes, we cannot put off registering to vote, or even ignoring a vote. We cannot let our women who fought for this down. We need to remind people as to why we can vote! All women who are our American citizens. Through any era where we got to step up to the voting booth.

Watch or rewatch "Suffragette" & "Selma" as reminders. And let us not forget that the idea of any of us voting started somewhere & built from there! It was a hard-fought path, but we are here.

Now then, it brings me to something else -
I encourage women to be informed voters. Not blind koolaid drinking, not blindly following how our husband votes or how our parents vote...but this is about how YOU vote - how WE vote! We don't necessarily have to sing in unison, but use our voices as a chorus of political harmony. Many of us have different views from another, but we have to be informed in using our part to vote for not just us, but how it effects the future beyond us. It's beyond just making history to see a particular person in office, but instead how they will truly work in the office they run for. Will they do it effectively, and are they truly fit for the office?

I highly encourage each of us to take those quizzes that test your feelings on different issues against several candidates to see who you match up with. And it's a reminder that there's more than 2 candidates running for president in November. Find out where you fit, don't get mad at those frustrated with the flavor of koolaid they are used to drinking, and get informed - not enamored. This is important as we use our hard-earned votes. Not for celebrity, but for the people.

Now, go forth, and vote! There's 3 months to make a good & informed decision. If you are not yet registered, get on it! You can do it online! There's no excuse. Let's make a statement in our chorus of women's voices!

Look at this! A line of women voters, in 1920, for their first presidential election in Minneapolis.

Look at this! First time black men AND women voters in 1965

Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica


  1. Love your writing and your message. God bless!

    1. Thank you so much, Rudy. So glad you stopped by!