rocket tracking


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Getting Out to Vote

I just got back from voting....which wasn't without some consternation.  We have two polling places.  In presidential years or years when there is expected to be heavy voter turn out, we vote in one location which is actually closer to my house.  I have to go further down the road to vote at the second station.

The first spot is at a church on a corner, but set back about 50 yards from the street.  The second place is in the township garage and it is at the back of an industrial complex off a state road.  The church's only designation as a polling place today was a small yard sign placed in front of the church's door and a 8 x 10 flag stuck in the ground, neither of which was very visible from the street, but there was a plethora of political signs for and against issue 2 and with the Troy Legal council candidates.  The second location was blocked by a semi-tractor trailer turning around the first time I went, and again, no signs except right in front of the building back beyond sight from the road.  I had to stop at the church to figure out WHERE I was supposed to go....I guess you're just supposed to intuit these things as they weren't published in the paper....however there was 59 pages of the full text of Issue 2 which was the proposal to limit Government union contracts as well as other Government employment contracts.

I always try to vote.  I have been unsuccessful twice, and it wasn't because I didn't try.  I feel that it is important to vote because of how much so many people have given to give me the right to vote, from the service men and women who have fought in various wars to the Suffragettes.

The quilt above is Judy V. Gula's, of Artistic Artifacts fame.  Called "Suffragettes Picketing in Washington, D.C."  The right for women to vote took a long time....100 years in America from the first part of the movement in the 1820s until the 19th amendment was passed in August of 1920.  African American men (but not women) obtained the right to vote in February, 1870.  Interestingly, section 1 of the 15th amendment reads:  "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude."  You'd think that included women...but evidently we weren't citizens.

Women campaigned to obtain the right to vote and many were beaten and imprisoned for it (Lorton Prison, later called Lorton Correctional institution in Lorton, Virginia, near Artistic Artifacts, was where many of the Suffragettes who marched on Washington, D.C. were incarcerated.  In 2008, a portion of the Lorton Prison was opened as the Workhouse Arts Center.  Some interesting articles on Women's suffrage in the U.S. can be found here.  While the term "Progressive" has come to be something to be spat from the mouth by some people today, it is important to remember if it weren't for the work of the Progressives and the Progressive party, women and persons of color would probably not have the right to vote today.  The Night of Terror is outlined here, and if that isn't a reason to vote, I don't know what is.

Judy's lovely quilt shows some photographs of the Suffragettes, as well as ribbons similar to ones which would have decorated the signs, placards, buttons and chests of the Suffragettes. The backing of the quilt is composed of the shirt samples, and the lovely buttons are period mother of pearl buttons which would have graced the dresses of the women at the time.  The square and round objects through which the ribbons pass are vintage mother of pearl belt buckles.  

I think that she captured the feeling of the period quite well, in addition to answering her own challenge nicely.

Her second piece is Suffragettes Suits of Power.

I think she sums it up nicely in her artist's statement for this piece:  "Are we woman of today taking our responsibilities seriously? My Mother told me that I had opportunities in the world that she did not. What did she mean? She was young. To the generations of woman before me who carved our rights, opportunities, and power from the stone of male politics, thank you!"


Anglers Rest said...

A very interesting & thought provoking post.

Hummer said...

Good for you!

kathy loomis said...

I just got home from working at the polls -- 5:15 am to 6:30 pm. Much as we may deplore the bad things that have happened to our political process, you have to get a thrill out of the simple fact of people coming in to vote. Many of them brought their little children along, or escorted their aged mothers. Republicans and Democrats sat at the same tables for 12 hours and chatted companionably. For me, working the polls is almost a religious experience, but then again, simply voting is even more so. I wouldn't miss Election Day for anything!!!

Janice m said...

yeah for us voters but more so for our defenders!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for posting these! Judy knew from the start of the challenge that this was her topic.

liz kettle said...

Great post Lisa...thanks for the reminder that we have come a long way (baby) but still have further to journey.