Presidential Election 2016
WASHINGTON — The nomination of Hillary Clinton for the presidential candidate of the Democratic Party marked a pivotal point in the United States democratic process. For the first time in United States history, a woman is only votes away from leading the country.
Clinton, a Democrat, is the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major political party. She has received a lot of criticism but a generous amount of support along her journey. Women across the world have banded together to support Clinton because many believe that she is an advocate for women and because they've waited years to see a woman in charge of the United States.
In Washington D.C.'s Ward 1, at the Columbia Heights Community Center, hundreds of women of different ethnicities came out to vote and expressed their opinions on Clinton. As of 12 p.m., at least 500 people had already come to vote at this polling place. The wait time was estimated to be one hour but that didn't seem to deter this year’s voters.
Megan Loucks, a 25-year-old woman, said, “I am so excited, I really support women with everything they do and I even bought a book about feminism to read while I waited in line to vote.”
Bridget Britt, a 56-year-old woman, said, “It will be amazing! It will be history! This will be our first woman president and we just had our first black president.”
Lisa Surprenant, 24, said, “I am really excited and it’s been a long time coming and it also speaks volumes that less than 100 years ago, women gained the right to vote, and now we can vote for our first woman candidate.” The 19th Amendment to the Constitution gave women the right to vote in 1920.
Many of the women interviewed had nothing but positive things to say about a Clinton presidency. Some said that they wanted their daughters to be able to grow up with a female president who would allow them to be optimistic about their hopes and dreams. The significance of such seems lost however on other women.
Many unaffected by the enthusiasm of her campaign seem to consider Clinton a lesser of two evils, a way of avoiding the possibility of Donald Trump being elected. Simone Blake, a twenty-year-old Howard student from Massachusetts explains her support for Hillary Clinton.
“I feel like the choices we have aren’t very good, but I’d rather vote for someone not terrible.” Like many women, she expressed her discouragement with the political process regardless if a woman is elected or not. “I feel like things still won’t change,” she said. “I feel like people think that guys are going to have more respect for women, but that’s not necessarily true."
Loucks would disagree.
“It’s not all about her gender, it’s about her capability, and that was the deciding factor for me. Just because she's a woman won’t change the problems we have. Obama is our first black president but we still have racism in this country.”
Not only women think a Clinton presidency could be a positive. Cordaye Oglegree, 28, also said he thought it would be good.
“Having young girls know that they can do and be anything that they want to be goes a long way, because it’s proof that a woman can be president,” Oglegree said.
One man even wore white with an “I’m with her” button to show his support for Clinton.
Bridget Britt believes that Clinton will make changes, based on what she's been saying at various speeches and debates. She said, “I think she will make a good candidate because when they say, 'Speak what you say and say what you mean,' she’ll stay true to that phrase. And Obama is backing her, so I know he won’t steer us wrong.”
Another voter, Naya Gonzalez is originally from Mexico, and has been in the U.S. for 14 years. Gonzalez said this is her first time being able to vote. “Today’s election is a memorable one for me. It’s my first time voting as a permanent citizen,”
Gonzalez said the stakes are high for this election, and she feels like her vote will actually count. Regarding the candidates, she said, “I feel like everyone is not great, but I support Hillary because I know that she has been fighting a lot for women’s rights and equality throughout her career.”
Though not as enthusiastic as other female voters, Gonzalez concedes how pivotal Clinton's position is. “It’s about time. If you look at other nations, for example, Argentina or Chile, they have female leaders, and to be a first-world country, we are kind of behind on that.”