INDIANAPOLIS — Vera M. Nuckols is among the first generation of American women to be born with the right to vote.
And she said she’s been voting ever since she was eligible.
“I’m a 100-year-old, so I’d say about 80 years,” said Nuckols.
Jenna Hadley is a collegiate student at Butler and 2020 marks her first presidential election where she is eligible to cast a ballot.
“It’s honestly kind of crazy to me that it’s only been a hundred years, considering how long men have been able to vote,” said Hadley.
The 19th amendment prevented voting discrimination based on gender. But it didn’t protect against other forms of voting discrimination. At the time, Native American’s were considered U.S. Citizens. And Native women along with all other marginalized communities of women had to fight for voting rights on their own.
It wasn’t until the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that administering literacy tests was prohibited federally, a practice many states used in an effort to prevent marginalized communities from exercising their democratic right.
Voting is a democratic right.
“It’s my civic duty to vote for human rights and what I believe in,” said Hadley.
But women of all ages see it as much more
“I figured it was a duty, a duty of every citizen to express their views through voting,” said Nuckols.
For decades, Nuckols has exercised her right to vote not only with her fellow Americans.
But also, with her late husband “he worked at the polls usually, he wouldn’t like it now that I didn’t vote this year. It’s my first year not to,” said Nuckols.
Nuckols said in the last century she’s never seen an election this polarized.
“It seems like people just don’t care about each other as much as they used to,” Nuckols.
And when it came to the candidates, Nuckols said “there wasn’t anything good about either of the major candidates.
The polarization hasn’t stopped many young voters.
“I was so excited to vote this morning,” said Hadley.
“Even just one vote, they all add up and make a difference in the end, and I know the polarization is hard to deal with for a lot of people, but it’s important to exercise your vote and possibly make a difference,” Hadley added.
Nuckols said she hopes America maintains its legacy of a peaceful election day.
“Most of them you just went and voted, and it was a calm day,” she said.
Nuckols said she wants Americans to continue to remember to care for one another
“People need to get back to their roots and think how hard people have had to work to make this country what it is. And have more faith in God and live a different life,” she said.
Hadley said it’s “going to be hard whatever happens but we’re all going to get through it together and move on from it and just learn from it.”
At the end of the day, regardless of our differences, we are the United States of America.