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This year is memorable for many reasons, but one that you might not realize is that 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote. 

In honor of that milestone, three women at Arbor Terrace Naperville shared their thoughts on women’s suffrage and what it means to them.

For Debby Bjorseth, being free to exercise her right to vote is important because she can express her feelings on hot-button issues.

suffrage 3 - johanneJohanne Flynn agrees that it’s important and meaningful for women to have a say in our government, adding, “Women are just as smart and able to participate in politics as men are.”

Margaret Longman, whose first vote was in the Dwight D. Eisenhower-Adlai Stevenson matchup in the 1950s, said she treats her right to vote as a serious responsibility.

suffrage 2 - margarateDebby and Johanne both cast their first ballots in 1964, when Lyndon B. Johnson won re-election over Barry Goldwater. Debby remembers the excitement she felt, while Johanne remembers feeling anxiety because voting symbolized the responsibility of adulthood. 

In the century since women were granted the right to vote, they have turned out to the polls in higher numbers than men, according to the Pew Research Center. Debby, Johanne and Margaret take this right seriously, like so many other women who have helped to define the American political landscape for the past 100 years.


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Donna Isbell Walker

About the Author: Donna Isbell Walker

Donna is a former newspaper feature writer and editor whose passion is writing about WWII and Korean War veterans.