"If you aren’t going out there and voting, then you’re complicit."

Olivia Harvey
Aug 21, 2020 @ 11:06 am
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Credit: Max Mumby/Indigo, Getty Images

Yesterday, August 20th, Meghan Markle spoke during The United State of Women When All Women Vote event, a "week of action" that calls on "new voters, future voters, experienced voters, and everyone in between" to help ensure that every eligible woman is registered and prepared to vote in the 2020 election season. In her speech, Markle highlighted the importance of casting a vote in the upcoming election, stating, "If you aren’t going out there and voting, then you’re complicit."

"When I think about voting and why this is so exceptionally important for all of us, I would frame it as we vote to honor all those who came before us and to protect those who will come after us, because that’s what community is all about, and that’s specifically what this election’s all about," Markle said, adding there's so much at stake this year. The Duchess of Sussex has already said she would be breaking royal protocol and voting in the November election.

Markle also celebrated the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment—but reminded everyone that it definitely did not give all women the right to vote.

"This week we are recognizing the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which of course gave women the right to vote—but not all women, and specifically not women of color," she said. "And as we look at things today, though it had taken decades longer for women of color to get the right to vote, even today we are watching so many women in different communities who are marginalized still struggling to see that right come to fruition, and...it’s just simply not okay."

Markle noted that the attempts at voter suppression (such as the recent removal of mailboxes and halt of funding for the U.S. Postal Service) prove that we need to support each other now more than ever. "This fight is worth fighting," she said, "and we all have to be out there mobilizing to have our voices heard."

"We are obviously faced with a lot of problems in our world right now, both in the physical world and in the digital world," she said. "But we can and must do everything we can to ensure all women have their voices heard. Because at this juncture, if we aren’t part of the solution, we are part of the problem. If you aren’t going out there and voting, then you’re complicit. If you’re complacent, you’re complicit."

Markle noted that it doesn't necessarily matter what we're individually passionate about, be it environmental issues, human rights, the right to health care, or all of the above. What matters is that we're in this fight together, and we're working to ensure that all of us have the right to vote and make a difference in this election cycle.

"In the fraught moment right now that we find our nation in, exercising your right to vote isn’t simply being part of the solution; it’s being part of a legacy," Markle concluded.

Head over to the United State of Women website to learn more about how you can help your fellow women register and get on board to vote in the upcoming election. Our lives depend on it.