Townhall’s have to be the toughest forum to do on a campaign. The questions are hard to predict. Bernie Sanders, whom I once liked a lot, was asked about allowing prisoners — even the Boston Bomber — voting while in prison. Bernie was fine with that. He asserted that every citizen should vote, even those serving time.
Imagine a small town with a penitentiary, inmates may outnumber citizens of voting age. If convicts can vote for local elections, then mayoral and congressional candidates would have to please the prisoners to get into office. Should prisoners elect our judges and States’ Attorney Generals?
Kamala Harris first said this was a conversation worth having. She’s since pulled away from this position.
AOC’s campaign director agrees with Bernie because he thinks people most impacted by the criminal justice system should be able to vote. Hmm. They can vote, if they’re old enough, before they’re convicted they can vote and impact the government.
I’m reading Louise de Koven Bowen’s memoir Growing Up with City. She became a Suffragette after reading about the British Suffragettes who locked themselves to fences in protest. She figured if these women would take such actions, there must be good reason to want to vote. (She was not an uneducated or stupid woman by any stretch so go figure. We sure can’t assume anything about people in the past.)
She describes the speeches she gave and the events she attended in this movement. After the women got the vote in 1923, Bowen was shocked that so few women did vote. I found a fascinating article that states that in 1923 in Chicago only 35% of women voted. The reasons were surprising to me. Some women didn’t believe politics was feminine. Some had husbands who wouldn’t permit it. The chart above shows all the reasons and data.
So the lesson is assume nothing. I had assumed that most women would vote after such a long fight for the right.