Gov. Kay Ivey and Miss Alabama Lauren Bradford on Wednesday sat down to discuss the 101st anniversary of the 19th Amendment’s ratification, which enshrined women’s right to vote in the U.S. Constitution.
The 19th Amendment, passed by Congress June 4, 1919, and constitutionally ratified on Aug. 18, 1920, marked a historic victory in the movement for women’s suffrage.
“This past fall, the presidential election was my first time voting at all and so it was a very special experience to know that my voice was going towards contributing to who our nation’s leaders were going to be,” said Bradford. “I personally think that the 19th Amendment changed the perspective on so many things and allowed for a new wave of thinking in our country, and it allowed for a more holistic representation that was both righteous and necessary.”
She added, “I’m so very grateful to know that I’m proud to be an American woman standing on American soil with the right to vote, so voting in the election was a really empowering experience and I’m thankful to have the opportunity to contribute to.”
#OnThisDay in 1920, the ratification of the 19th Amendment granted American women the right to vote. I recently sat down with first-time voter, Miss Alabama 2021 Lauren Bradford to discuss her experience & this anniversary’s significance. pic.twitter.com/dSfOMWKUtH
— Governor Kay Ivey (@GovernorKayIvey) August 18, 2021
Ivey noted that women have not always enjoyed the most basic right of participating in the democratic process.
“A lot of folks have forgotten women didn’t always have the right to vote,” said Ivey.
Bradford went on to discuss the non-leadership roles women were formerly expected to play in society and how the right to vote changed that. She acknowledged the empowering effect the 19th Amendment has had throughout the decades since it was passed.
Bradford continued, “[S]itting with a female governor and being Miss Alabama, both of those things I think are so empowering for young women to see as well – and just for the world to see. It’s cool looking back, retrospect gives the clearest vision looking forward, I think, and allows for you to realize how much we have and how far we’ve grown.”
“I’m also excited to see women continue to step into leadership roles, I hope to see more of that as we advance, but I think it all started with the 19th Amendment,” she said.
Bradford concluded by expressing her gratitude to Ivey for her service to the Yellowhammer State.
“I’ve always looked up to you, and I’m very thankful to know that we have someone like you who is contributing so much to our state, so thank you for all that you do and help better Alabama.”
Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL