In recognition of the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote, First Lady Frances Wolf made the following statement:
“In 2020, there are very few excuses not to get things done. Just this year, as the entire world grappled with a global pandemic, all of us found ways to adjust our work lives, educate our children and celebrate some of life’s biggest accomplishments such as weddings and new babies. Instead of finding excuses, we found solutions. We found ways to make things happen, and that is how we must approach the upcoming general election on November 3 – without excuses.
“August 26, 2020, marks 100 years since women were granted the right to vote, and while we celebrate this milestone, we must remember the journey of suffrage for women. We must remember that we stand on the extraordinary work, commitment and sacrifices of the suffragists who sought to ensure that women had equal voting rights. These women sacrificed their time, their families and often their freedom so that women had a voice in public life. Sadly, for women of color, this right did not come to fruition until as late as 1965. During these last 100 years women have gained strong footholds in the public sphere as well as in the professional world and these successes began with access to the ballot box.
“Since the ratification of the 19th amendment giving women the right to vote, we have shown up in record numbers at the polls, eager to cast our votes for candidates who stood firmly with women, advocating for issues important to them. In fact, according to the Center for American Women in Politics, female voters have outnumbered male voters in every presidential election since 1980. There is power in our voice, and there is power in our vote.
“In Pennsylvania, women make up 25 percent of the General Assembly – earning more than a dozen of those seats in the last two years – and there are seven women cabinet members within the Wolf Administration. That is progress. The 2020 Democratic vice presidential candidate is Kamala Harris, the daughter of immigrant parents and the first African-American and South Asian-American vice presidential candidate on a major party ticket. One hundred years ago, her story could not exist. That is progress.
“Although we have come far from a century ago, we still look forward to opportunities for much needed progress. Because of election reforms that my husband, Gov. Tom Wolf, signed into law, eligible Pennsylvania voters can vote from home with a no-excuse mail-in ballot; we all have more time to register to vote, and every county has updated voting systems that improve our election security. With a state election system that increases our opportunity to participate in our democracy, there is simply no excuse to not exercise our hard-fought right to vote, either in person or with a mail-in ballot.
“If you need to register to vote, check your registration status, request a mail-in ballot, or have questions about voter eligibility, visit votespa.com. The deadline to register to vote is October 19, and the deadline to request a ballot by mail is October 27.
“As we observe one hundred years of suffrage for women and honor the pioneers who paved the way for us today, I urge every single eligible Pennsylvanian to do so. Voting is more accessible than it has ever been, and we must look beyond any excuse keeping us from the polls. Make sure our voices are heard on November 3.”