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
Courtesy
michelle obama

meghan markle
Chris Jackson
meghan markle

oprah winfrey
Vera AndersonWireImage
oprah winfrey

hrc
Dimitrios KambourisGetty Images
hrc

kerry washington
Thomas Whiteside
kerry washington

tamika palmer
Courtesy
tamika palmer

condi rice
Steve Gladfelter
condi rice

gloria steinem
Emily Assiran/ContourGetty Images
gloria steinem

sandra oh
Thomas Whiteside
sandra oh