The 19th

    October 29, 2020

    Voting during the 19th Amendment’s centennial wasn’t supposed to be this way

    “The moment was supposed to be a bright spot in an otherwise chaotic and uncertain year,” wrote Errin Haines, The 19th’s editor-at-large. “Instead, it would leave me feeling that chaos and uncertainty more acutely than ever.”

    We’re the only newsroom dedicated to writing about gender, politics and policy. 

    As the pandemic rages and voter enthusiasm is at a record high, Americans are being urged to make a plan to cast their ballot in the most consequential election many of us will ever live through.

    My plan was to vote early, something I did frequently in my native Georgia before moving to Philadelphia five years ago. Because of the pandemic, Pennsylvania allowed voting before Election Day for the first time this year.


    On Monday, I emerged exhausted, demoralized and enraged after four hours of standing in line.

    How, in the city where the Constitution was written and signed, where we celebrate the founding principles of democracy, is this happening? I was angry not for myself, but on behalf of the Philadelphians who could be disenfranchised this election. I am someone who had four hours to stand in line; there are too many who live in this city who do not.

    It wasn’t supposed to be this way.

    I wondered how many people passed by, saw the line, and kept walking or driving.”

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