One family, three generations, and 100 years of suffrage

Why We Wrote This

Is voting a privilege, a right, or a duty? A century into women’s suffrage, the Monitor asks three generations of women in one family what voting means to them.

As the United States commemorates the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, the Monitor asks three generations of women to reflect on their earliest memories of voting.

Isabella Bowker, an elementary school teacher from Baltimore, Maryland, describes herself as “the proud fourth generation of wonderful voting women.” She remembers following her mother, high school principal Jennifer Borman, into the voting booth at a very young age. And her grandmother, Corinne Adler, agrees that political engagement was always part of the family ethos.

“I remember my parents at dinnertime having all these political discussions,” says Ms. Adler, a registered dietitian in private practice, from her home in Boston. “Often people disagreed and argued, and had good fights about it.”

America’s founders saw voting as the cornerstone of our democracy. But what does it mean to have a political voice?

For Ms. Borman and her family, 100 years of suffrage has meant a lot more than casting a ballot every couple of years. In this conversation, they reflect on the legacy of early suffragists, the significance of women as candidates, and what voting means to them.

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