The Duchess of Sussex recently revealed why she plans to vote in the 2020 presidential election

By Stephanie Petit and Michelle Tauber
August 20, 2020 06:50 PM
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Meghan Markle
| Credit: When We All Vote

Meghan Markle is encouraging everyone to use their voice this election season.

On Thursday, the Duchess of Sussex joined the virtual When All Women Vote #CouchParty alongside The United State of Women and Glamour, celebrating 100 years since the 19th Amendment allowed women to vote in the U.S.

Although Meghan — who was identified only by her first name and the title the Duchess of Sussex — did not endorse any specific candidate or party, she repeatedly spoke of the "change" she hoped to see in the November election.

"Happy to be here for my friend Michelle Obama's When We All Vote and to kick off the When All Women Vote #Couch Party," said Meghan.

"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 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 is all about. I think we're only 75 days away from election day. That is so very close, and yet there is so much work to be done in that amount of time.

"We all know what's at stake this year," she continued. "I know it. And all of you certainly know it if you're here on this fun event with this, then you're all just as mobilized and just as energized to see the change that we all need and deserve."

Meghan also discussed the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women in the U.S. the right to vote when it was finally ratified this week in 1920 — but she noted that voter suppression tactics ensured that women of color did not enjoy the same rights as their white peers.

"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," she said. "And specifically not women of color. As we look at things today, though it had taken decades longer for women 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 to come to fruition. It's just simply not okay."

Encouraging women to get involved in the current election season, she said, "This fight is worth fighting, and we all have to be out there mobilizing . . . At this juncture, if we aren't part of the solution, we're part of the problem. If you're complacent, you're complicit. We can make the difference in this election. And we will make the difference in this election."

The virtual event discussed how viewers can reach as many people as possible to empower them to get registered and make a plan to vote in November. Other guests included Glamour Editor-in-Chief Samantha Barry, actor and activist Yvette Nicole Brown, Power 105.1 radio host Angie Martinez, board chair Valerie Jarrett and DJ Diamond Kuts.

Meghan, 39, recently revealed that she plans to vote in the U.S. presidential election when she joined 99 other influential women — including Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton and Oprah Winfrey — in sharing their reasons for heading to the polls with Marie Claire.

"I know what it's like to have a voice, and also what it's like to feel voiceless," she said. "I also know that so many men and women have put their lives on the line for us to be heard. And that opportunity, that fundamental right, is in our ability to exercise our right to vote and to make all of our voices heard."

"One of my favorite quotes, and one that my husband and I have referred to often, is from Kate Sheppard, a leader in the suffragist movement in New Zealand, who said, 'Do not think your single vote does not matter much. The rain that refreshes the parched ground is made up of single drops,' " Meghan continued. "That is why I vote."

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The Duchess of Sussex also discussed the right at the "The 19th Represents" virtual summit last week, noting that Prince Harry has stayed politically neutral — including not voting in elections —  his whole life as part of the royal family.

"When I have these conversations about encouraging people to go out and vote, I think it's often challenging for men and women alike and certainly for people to remember just how hard it was to get the right to vote. And to be really aware and not taking that for granted," she said. "My husband for example — he's never been able to vote."

She added, "I really do hope what you're able to encourage and what we're able to see happen through The 19th* over the course of the next few months is that women understand that their voices are needed now more than ever — and the best way to exercise that is through voting."