100 Influential Women on Why They’re Voting in the 2020 Election

“I am voting because I want change. I want radical, life-altering, culture-shifting change.”

Twenty-twenty—a year none of us could have predicted. Amidst a racial reckoning and a global pandemic that has simultaneously transformed our lives, we’re arguably facing the most consequential election of our time.

On November 3, 2020, millions of Americans will use their collective power to write our country’s next chapter. Voting isn’t just about choosing who represents us in the White House—it’s about determining who we want to lead our schools, our police departments, our courts. We witnessed the power of the polls in 2018 when the country experienced the highest midterm election voting turnout in four decades, electing a historic number of women to office. It was a milestone for our democracy, but there’s still much work to be done.

That work begins with holding free and fair elections. This month marks the centennial of women’s right to vote—though not all women were able to exercise that right immediately. The 19th Amendment was ratified in 1920, but it took an additional 45 years for the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965 to ban discriminatory Jim Crow laws that disenfranchised Black people. The fight continues today with voters in counties across the nation battling discriminatory practices that disproportionately affect people of color.

A true democracy only exists when we all vote.

With fewer than 100 days until Election Day, Marie Claire asked 100 influential women—celebrities, politicians, activists, authors, and business leaders—to share their personal reason for casting a ballot this fall. We hope their answers inspire you to register to vote, then safely head to the polls (or mail in your ballot!) this November. Read the responses, below, then join the conversation using the hashtag #WhyImVoting to make your voice heard.

Michelle Obama

(Image credit: Courtesy)

Meghan Markle

(Image credit: Chris Jackson)

Oprah Winfrey

(Image credit: Vera Anderson/WireImage)

Hillary Clinton

(Image credit: Future/Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

Kerry Washington

(Image credit: Thomas Whiteside)

Tamika Palmer

(Image credit: Future)

Condoleezza Rics

(Image credit: Steve Gladfelter)

Gloria Steinem

(Image credit: Future/Emily Assiran/Contour/Getty Images)

Sandra Oh

(Image credit: Thomas Whiteside)

Being Black on Stage