This Post Has One Purpose: To Get You to Vote

By Ann Shayne
November 6, 2018

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92 Comments
  • Done early.

  • I take my daughter with me when school let’s out. She’s my voting buddy.

    • Taking your daughter is wonderful. I remember going to vote with my mother and I couldn’t wait until I was old enough to vote. Your daughter will be a lifelong voter.

      • I feel the same. I loved going in that booth with my mother. And I remember how exciting it was the first time I was in there by myself. Yep, “they” say biggest indicator of whether u are a voter is if u went to vote with your parents as a kid. Odd and not odd.

        • I so agree. My mother brought me into the voting booth with her when I was eight, andI have voted myself in every election since I reached voting age.

  • Voted last week without an awesome hat.

  • I think of those women every time I vote.

  • Voted early this time and felt proud to wait in line to cast my ballot and YES…bring back the muff!!!! I had one as a child and it was my favorite! Hummmm a slip stitch pattern?, a chunky yarn?, or brioche?

    • Fur, with satin inside. I don’t think any knotted mug could compare.

    • I had one too! I was very young, maybe 3. Fake fur in white.

      • I had one of white fur (rabbit?) and it was satin lined. There was a matching cap.

    • I knit a muff for my dad when he went into a nursing home: double knit, in dark grey Wendy Serenity Super Chunky. It was deliciously soft, warm and cosy, due to the alpaca content.

  • My grandmother (whom I adored) was 30 years old when she could finally have a vote. Doesn’t sound like ancient history when I think about it that way. Heading out to vote shortly.

    • Our grandmas were the same age!

  • When I vote, I always remember my Aunt Betty who took my sister and me to our first political protest when I was 7, to picket against Goldwater in 1964.

  • If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend the HBO movie “Iron-Jawed Angels.” If you are a woman, you will never not vote after you’ve seen it.

  • Thanks for the comments! Glad I voted early and am hoping the rain won’t keep voters away. Loved the pix and yes I had a muff. I still remember how I felt to put my hands Inside it!!! Vote vote vote !!!

  • Today I am voting on everything I can, and I vote YES on the muff!

  • Counting the minutes until I get to cast my vote. Been counting since November 8, 2016.

  • Amen.

  • Thank you, Ann! Voting matters.

  • Yes I will vote! No excuses! Thank you for the article.

  • AMEN, ANN! Alice Paul did not endure her hunger strike nor suffer the pain and indignity of being force-fed in jail so that we could stay home and let other people vote for us because it is rainy. Got to my polling place at 6:35AM (five minutes after the polls opened here in Ohio) and was happy to have to wait in line and see the place full.

    • When I was a child, I was so affected by reading about suffragettes being force-fed in prison that I have voted in their honor ever since. People who think voting doesn’t matter don’t realized how much it would matter if they COULDN’T vote.

  • We always vote as a family before taking my youngest daughter to school. My hope is that the line is so long this morning that she needs a tardy slip.

  • We voted just after 7 AM & there were more people at the polling place & more cars in the lot than we have seen in the 9+ years we have lived here! As with many of us in these challenging political times, knitting has been a balm for my soul. Yes please, bring back the muff! I have a photo of me in the mid 50s leaning against the back of my parents’ car & my hands are in a muff. I also named my first dog Muff! Thank you for that reminder.

  • THANK YOU!!!! Every Election Day, I am very vocal about this. Susan B. Anthony spent her entire life working to secure the right to vote for women. She died, never having voted…

  • The only reason Truman gave his support was because the force feeding became public and it tarnished his presidency. Voted last week. Ohio ads are brutal and uncivilized this year. It should be mandatory that opponents have to say something really nice about each other once in a while.

    • I can’t agree about Truman (cause Wilson was president in 1920 – I suspect you already knew that and just had the letters TRU on your mind) but I can certainly agree about civility. In Vermont, two candidates running for state rep played a duet together after a debate in October. I like the idea of the opponents having to say something really nice about each other.

      • Sorry about the inaccuracy. Was thinking about wearing a hat and carrying a muff on the 100th anniversary. Strong women need to be remembered.

    • Yes, no more mud slinging. I would like to see the negative comments banned and those running for election can only talk about and promote his/her platform and what he/she stands on and for. I don’t want to hear the canidate’s opinion of the opponent, I know that person doesn’t want their opponent to win, but why should I want you to win, candidate?!

  • Done!

  • And remember: you might be the nicest person on earth but you are not so sweet that you’ll melt if you need to stand in rain to vote.

    Also, if you are standing in snow to get in to vote, design a muff for The Great Return.

    These women of history didn’t let anything stop them. Don’t you!

  • Done on the first day of early voting. I never forget this is a privilege. Yes, we desperately need to bring back the muff! I had one when I was a kid (white rabbit), and it was one of my most prized possessions.

  • I voted on the first day of early voting. It is a privilege that I treasure. Yes, we must bring back the muff. Had one when I was a kid, and it was one of my most prized possessions.

  • Done. And there was a line! In the rain! At 7.30am! Yay. I’m from a U.N. family and we can live anywhere, but my mom and dad brought us here. Vote. Please. It’s so important.

    • Can you explain what this means? Google is failing me. “I’m from a U.N. family and we can live anywhere.”

  • Love this, Ann. I’ve been studying up on the Suffragettes for the last year. 2020 is not just an election year, it is also the 100 year anniversary of their valiant efforts. And they play heavily into my Jan 19 SF exhibition. Wish you and Kay could come. The whole theme is right up the MDK alley.

    Important day today. Take care, all. XOClare

  • In 1917 my mother’s mother, a Michigan farm wife with a fourth-grade education, was jailed for her women’s suffrage activities. If you are a woman reading this, your right to vote was bought and paid for by her and women like her. Nothing you do today will be more important than voting.

  • I always vote because it is my most important duty as a citizen. I remember going with my mother and watching her pipu all the little levers and thinking it was the coolest thing on Earth.

  • Ken Burns made a documentary about suffrage, Susan B. Anthony, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton titled “Not for Ourselves Alone.” I watch it every year on July 4th—the story is as much about the friendship between these two great women as it is about the suffrage movement. (You guys should watch it together!)

    I’m going to vote later this morning—I’m hoping for a lull. As for the muff, I’m more of a Scandinavian-style mitten kind of gal.

  • I always enjoyed and looked forward to going to the polling place to vote. Now I live in an unincorporated area and have to vote by mail. I have voted and even though it’s easier it is not the same as meeting with your neighbors and voting. Not just a right but a duty of citizenship! Ann great job of reminding us that it has been less than 100 years that women have had that right!

  • This proud immigrant voted at 7.08 a.m. I grew up in the world’s largest democracy, India, and am always aware of what a powerful and meaningful act it is.

  • Voted early. Feeling smug because now it’s raining. Chloe

  • In view of Deepa’s Comment which appeared just before mine (when my back was turned) Amen to everything she said so eloquently. Chloe

  • I voted last week at City Hall in a constantly refilling line of voters, not crowded just never empty. Yes, we need to remember our foremothers in voting but also to think of people all over the world who are today fighting and risking their lives for the right to vote. Voting is a privilege that can be taken away on a whim. Use it or lose it, people. Go vote. Take a snack if you have to but GO!

  • Voted!
    Have never missed an election since I was 21 in 1965.
    Yes, one had to be 21 to vote years ago.
    I’m still greatful to all those women who went before me.

    • Yes, they drafted our brothers and boyfriends for the Vietnam War at age 18, three years before they were able to vote for those in Washington directing that conflict.

  • Low turnouts for women in voting – that breaks my heart.

    I’m paraphrasing someone’s post I saw earlier this week (and I am so sorry I do not remember who it was):

    Vote like our schoolchildren are being gunned down and our elected officials are doing nothing about it. As well as our movie goers, church attendees, concert goers, yoga class members, and people at their workplace. Vote like our elected officials are tearing non-white children from their families and throwing them into tent cities and we really have no idea what is happening to them after that. Vote like our elected officials think that gender and race inequality in pay is acceptable, that women being assaulted is a subject for mockery, and that if you are a powerful enough white male, it’s okay to grab ’em by the pussy. Vote like non-white citizens are being stripped of their voting rights, as well as Native Americans. Vote like our elected officials are lying to us daily, and their own greed and hubris means more to them than representing us. Vote like our elected officials are more troubled by people kneeling at the anthem in quiet protest than Nazis marching and murdering in the streets.

    Vote.

    • Hi Wanda,
      I’m pretty sure you’re thinking of the tweet by Chelsea Peretti that went viral. I have it posted on my Instagram along with a few thousand other people. 😉 She is @chelsanity on Insta.

      • P.S. I should add that, weirdly, she did not put her tweet on her own Instagram. But it was reposted a zillion times on other accounts.

      • Ah! I knew it was a celebrity (I’m only low-key on social media and not on Twitter or Instagram, someone had shown me her post but later I couldn’t recall who it was…) Thank you!

  • Since childhood, I’ve been saying we need to bring back the muff! It makes so much sense! Why did it ever go out of style???
    p.s. YES! VOTE!

  • “Our daughters daughters will adore us and they’ll sing in grateful chorus, well done sister suffragette”
    Ann, as I was reading your post I was reminded of the song Sister Suffragette from the movie Mary Poppins. (Doing a Google search you could actually see a video of Glynis Johns singing the song– I think a muff was actually involved at some point during her rendition.) When I was a child that song really drove it home to me that women had to fight for the Voting Rights. However, since Mary Poppins took place in England the British women had the same situation going on. Amazing. We are a much younger country but their women got the right to vote not too long before we did here in the United States. My generation was the first to vote at the age of 18. I remember signing up to register to vote in high school when I was a senior. It was thrilling then to be able to vote and it’s still is thrilling now all of these years later. It means so very much.

    I will soon be casting my ballot today. Perhaps after that I’ll be looking for yarn to make one of the five pages of muffs that I saw in Ravelry. Guaranteed to keep both hands warm, but gosh do I now wish I had cruise control for my car…

  • My son and I are going together. So important, this year and every year. Love the hats, too.

  • Wanda, you said it better than I ever could.

  • My ballot is completed and ready to be dropped off at my polling place. The activity at the Registar of Voters office last week was brisk. I’m ashamed to say I can count the number of times in my 55 years that I’ve voted on one hand. I had decided that was NEVER going to be the case again. I will vote every election both in tribute to these women and to make my vote heard!

  • Black Americans died for their right to vote.

    Native Americans are still being denied their right to vote.

    You cannot be fired from your job if you choose to vote on Election Day.

    Today is your last chance to choose which direction this country will go.

    Vote.

    P.S. Take your time in the voting booth, and triple-check each screen before you go to the next. If you have any doubts as to how your vote was recorded, ask the election judge for a provisional ballot.

  • Later this morning I am taking my son to vote for the first time. I voted early, but he was lazy. I am hoping there are throngs of people there. Along muff lines, I still have my grandmother’s rabbit muff. I used it sometimes as a girl and it always kept my hands toasty!

  • I think today will be the day I finally order the kit for that cool suffragette sweater from Susan Crawford’s Shetland Project…

    Swiss women didn’t get the vote until 1971! I know this from going to grad school with a Swiss man who told me (in 1994) he thought it had been a really bad idea, because ‘women have to think of family things’! In 1994! The fight never ends!!

  • Absolutely voting! And I still have the muff I bought when I was 18. A couple of years ago. lol

  • Voted early before coming to stay with my kids…making sure they get out and vote too!

  • Although people of color had the vote in 1870, they were allowed to vote after the Voting Act of 1965, signed by Lyndon Johnson. Let’s not forget this important step in American History.

    I vote by mail and will deliver it to the polling place this morning when they open at 8 am.

  • #bringbackthemuff

  • My mother named me Susan after Susan B. Anthony. I have voted in every election since I turned 18 in 1974. In Washington State we can vote by mail. As soon as my ballot arrived, I voted, packed it up and walked it to my mailbox.

  • Voted by mail, as we do in Oregon. Everyone should.

  • I voted early with my son who was home on fall break from college. His first time voting. So proud that all my kids vote each election!

  • My youngest daughter turned 18 in October and is very proud and excited to be voting in her first election. I’ll be dropping off our ballots this morning in the box outside the library where my knit group meets.
    When I was 5, I got a bright red wool winter coat for Christmas. I really wanted purple, my favorite color, but in the mid-60’s a purple coat wasn’t an option. My mom made up for that by knitting purple mittens and a purple, red and white tam (with a red and purple pompom!!) to match the purple embroidery thread she used to embroider my name inside the collar. She also embroidered a beautiful purple floral motif on the bright red MUFF (hanging from a red satiny cord and lined with white faux fur- I felt so elegant) that came with the coat. I had the warmest hands at the bus stop!
    PS- In HS and college in the late 70’s, when the survival parka with the huge snorkel hood was popular, I had a purple one! (Luckily I went to Kansas State U where wearing a purple parka showed school spirit and not a quirky personality .)

  • On my way shortly. Great post!!!

  • It is shocking to see what a short time we have been able to cast a vote. Because I’ve always been able to vote, I probably take it for granted. I voted early and avoided the rush or a chance of a virus to keep me in bed on election day.

  • Voted at my kitchen table, in a state with one of the lowest barriers to voting in the country (WA).

    Also, ugly crying over this post at work. <3

  • Well done and thanks for the video. I voted early by mail!

  • Every time I enter the polls I remember my grandmothers who were well into adulthood before they could vote. I remember the freedom riders in the American South who were beaten and killed as they registered black voters. I remember the awful feeling of disenfranchisement when I lived in a foreign country and couldn’t vote. Some people feel that their one vote doesn’t matter, but one vote is massive compared to having none!

  • My parents never voted when I was a kid, which made me want to all the more.

    Those muffs are amazing, and I bet they give you a good arm workout.

  • Excellent column. Voted last week

  • Daughter of a junior UK suffragette checking in here. I knew the value of my vote from her.

    I came to the US, went through the whole naturalization process in order to vote. And anyone who thinks the INS, predecessor of ICE, was civil and kind clearly never knew about the insults and bulllying we endured in the almost three year long process.

    We were invited by the US gov to come here after Sputnik amped up the need for atom scientists, him, and modern language specialists, me. The immigration authorities made it as difficult as possible. But we persisted! We knew that INS didn’t represent the people. And all our experiences since then have proved this right.

    Joyful day when we were naturalized. Never missed a vote since. So happy to be an American, and still active and working for our rights. Been working for weeks on gotv, and not done yet, no matter how today goes.

    Thank you for an eloquent post, mdk!

  • Yes; thank you, Ann for the rally cry on voting. I usually vote via mail these years and did so back ten days or so. I don’t get an “I voted” sticker by mail…..as best as I can remember from previous years…..hubby votes at the community center…..I’ll ask him to pick me up a sticker! Yeah!

    I turned the half-way point last night on my knit Doctor Who scarf and am free-forming a crochet hexagonal table cloth…..I’ll listen in on the election results while I do so.

    Also, I’m finally able to drop down 10 rows or so to make a correction in garter stitch. Stockinette corrections = easy peasy for me that many rows down, but I failed miserably in garter stitch down that far…..until last night…..not sure why I’m so addle-minded like that, but…..I persevered!!

    What’s on your hooks or needles?

    • I wish I knew your secret. I hate large expanses of garter stitch because I always find mistakes rows and rows later, esp. since they seem to appear on only one side—then make a worse mess trying to fix them. Logically, it shouldn’t be hard, but I never fail to screw it up.

      Re voting: It’s beyond belief to me that there are people who don’t vote. What do they think a democracy is? Even though, sadly, my choices (beginning with Dick Gregory—I guess that dates me) often don’t win, the act of going to the polling place and seeing my neighbors there, all with one equal vote, engaging in this civic ritual with a mixture of solemnity and bonhomie, is something that always brings me close to tears. Voting by mail might be convenient, but it’s not for me.

  • We owe these women so very much. Alas, it’s sobering to think how far we still have to go! Maybe on the 100th anniversary of women getting the vote, we’ll have more to celebrate in terms of the status of women. And yes, I voted this weekend! But oh, to have had a hat like that!

  • Dropped off my ballot on Friday. Hurray for at home voting!! Now motivated to make that felted muff. Hmmm…fun fur or boa for the fluff?

  • I always took my kids. Continued to vote in person til this year, when the appeal of a mail- in ballot won out. Also gave me time to research judges, which I have often skipped over because I didn’t know anything about most of them.

  • Thanks for a great pot! We all need to truly appreciate this very important right and take full advantage of it.

    Wanda, your comments were right on point. I take my hat and my muff off to you. So well put.

    I stood in line for the first time ever this morning and even that felt like a priledge!

  • This is so great! My parents were conscientious voters, and I definitely followed in their footsteps. (Mom was born only five years after white women got the right to vote.) I took myself down to the county courthouse a few weeks after my eighteenth birthday, and have consistently voted ever since! I am also greatly inspired and moved by the suffragists. I dressed as a suffragist one Halloween, years ago. Besides period-appropriate clothing, I fluffed out a straw hat with lots of netting and a vintage pin, and wore a Votes for Women sash. (Combining two of my favorites–women’s rights and Halloween!)

  • Done early, and thanks for speaking up!

  • My great-grandmother and grandmother voted for the first time in the 1920 election. Great-grampa took them to the inauguration via Niagra Falls. And, yes, they had muffs, mink lined with satin, in my closet at the moment. Maybe I need to get them out! I vote in their honor and my dad’s who always voted till he died at 97.

  • I did comment earlier.
    But! I should have mentioned a book I just read ( written by my niece).
    “ Good and Mad”, written by Rebecca Traister, has the most interesting background / history about feminism I have ever read. Everyone I know who has read the book has had the same comment : “ I didn’t know that!” about the early feminists.
    If you want the history, read the book. Most libraries have it.

  • Done! And thanks for all the encouragement!

  • From one of your New Zealand correspondents (women won the right to vote 125 years ago this year!) – it was a hard-fought right so I ALWAYS vote in our elections (which are every four years). As my parents once said: ” if you don’t vote, you can’t complain about the government!”.

  • I love that women are putting their “I voted” stickers on the grave of Susan B. Anthony!

  • I made a heartfelt comment but I don’t see it. Was there a hitch in moderating?

  • 72 years. I teared up.
    But really this comment is to say that the only two things on my 9-year old daughter’s Christmas wish list are a phone (dream on, kid), and a muff.

  • It occurred to me not too long ago that my own mother, born in 1916, was born into a US where she would not have the right to vote simply because she was a female. My thanks to the woman who did the hard work to get us the vote. I do vote in their honor.