ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Next month marks 100 years since women were granted the right to vote. Now, one Albuquerque woman is rallying other New Mexican women to use that right in the upcoming election. She wants to make sure young voices are hitting the polls, come November.
“What we’re saying to young people all over this county, all over the state and throughout the country, is that we need to get women involved at the age of 18,” said Pamelya Herndon, CEO of the KWH Law Center for Social Justice and Change. “That’s the first time that you can vote, and to make sure that for the next 100 years, you are voting every single time that you can.”
At 18 years old, it’s the first time many women and men across the country can vote. It’s a right granted to women, nearly 100 years ago in August 1920 with the ratification of the 19th Amendment, about a year after it was first passed through the U.S. Senate.
“We want to make sure women are paying attention to who they are voting for, ask questions about a candidate’s ideas, their policies, and how will they affect women,” said Herndon. “Step up to the plate and vote.”
Herndon and other community members are making that push, reaching out to New Mexico women. They’re working with organizations like the National Organization for Women, American Association of University Women, Girl Scouts, NAACP and Department of Indian Affairs, hoping to get at least one 18-year-old from each of the state’s 33 counties, as well as the tribes and pueblos, to commit to voting this November.
“You don’t have to ask anymore. We make up over 50.8-percent of the population of the United States. That’s more than half. You don’t need to ask anymore. It’s time for us to take it,” said Herndon, who hopes some will even consider running for office some day. “The year 2020 is the absolute apex of the time when we should be taking action.”
Herndon hopes this is just the beginning for New Mexicans making big changes across the country. She says it all starts with that first vote.
“In the future, you’re going to see New Mexico making a huge difference and we’re happy to see that all of those women will be on that platform and we are making great strides in that area,” said Herndon. “As we are able to come together and utilize the power of our vote, we are absolutely certain that we will be making the changes that we need to see within our economic, political and social justice, not only for women, but for communities throughout the country.”
Herndon and the young women from each county and pueblo, along with representatives from other community organizations, will take part in a Zoom celebration of the 19th Amendment on Aug. 26. The virtual event will be open to the public.