I voted sticker

I voted... for a woman!

photo: Flickr/Yaquina/2.0

How long did you have to wait to vote for a woman for president? 23 years? 40 years? 

Some women have waited a lifetime.

I Waited 96 Years! is a project that showcases the women who were born before the 19th Amendment granted some women the right to vote on August 18, 1920.

The project, launched by Sarah Bunin Benor, Roberta Schultz Benor, and Tom Fields-Meyer, began with Estelle, Sarah's grandmother and Roberta's mother.

Estelle asked Roberta to take a photo of her casting her absentee ballot for Hillary Clinton. She also asked Sarah to share it on Facebook. After Estelle's photo went viral, Tom suggested Sarah grow this concept. On October 16, the team launched the website, which has garnered submissions from 31 women so far.

Sarah told Revelist that the first few submissions came from family and friends, but have picked up after receiving widespread publicity.

"We sent information about the site to over 60 news outlets and organizations in an effort to find more women to feature," she said. "We are especially concerned that most of the women on the site are white, so we've sent requests to organizations like the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging and the National Caucus and Center on Black Aging, asking them to help us find submissions from women of color."

Sarah said Estelle is thrilled that the project has taken off so quickly. Sarah has no concrete plans on how the project will evolve after the election, but hopes it can help future generations. 

"It would be great to see this site used in educational settings, helping children to see our current oldest generation as a link to our country's history," Sarah said. "It would be an added bonus if the site encouraged young people to form connections to old people, especially by visiting retirement communities and assisted living facilities."

Here are 11 women who are more than ready to vote for a woman for president.

1

Estelle Liebow Schultz, 98

Estelle Liebow Schultz, 98
photo: I Waited 96 Years

Estelle was born in June 1918 in New York. She's a retired educator and a former assistant superintendent.

"Recently, I was diagnosed with a serious heart condition and am now in home hospice. I am following this campaign carefully, and I decided that I would like to live long enough to see the election of our first woman president," she wrote in her submission. "When I was marking my absentee ballot for Hillary Clinton, it occurred to me that this wish is even more poignant, because I was born in 1918, two years before women achieved the right to vote. To see such an accomplishment in my lifetime is momentous. I encourage all of my fellow nonagenarians to follow me in marking your ballot with a sense of pride in a life long lived and a country making history."

2

Edith Wilkinson, 96

Edith was born in August 1920 in Valley Stream, New York. She volunteered and advocated for mental health patients.

“Women who were candidates on major tickets were shut down by men," she wrote. "Hillary is a strong woman who cannot be shut down. She was given no encouragement by men. It's a men's club. Why has it taken so long?”

3

Katherine Blood Hoffman, 102

Katherine was born in August 1914 in Winter Haven, Florida. She taught chemistry at Florida State College for Women and Florida State University. She eventually became the dean of women at FSU.

“This election means that women can achieve anything," she wrote in her submision. "In 1937 I was accepted into the medical school at Duke University. I decided not to attend because female students were required to sign a pledge stating that they would not marry while in school. The male students did not have to sign and did not have the same restriction. I did not think that this was fair."

4

Dorothy Barton, 98

Dorothy was born in March 1918 in Lyons, Michigan, and took a variety of jobs before becoming a nurse and earning a bachelor's degree in behavioral science.

“When women were given the right to vote, I was 2-years-of-age. It was a while before I exercised my option," she wrote. "At age 14, I was a decided Democrat. I broke rank only once as an adult to vote for Dwight Eisenhower. I am proud this year to cast my vote for Hillary Clinton. I admire her persistent determination to improve the chances of young people and women for better education and better pay."

5

Sylvia Schulman, 99

Sylvia graduated high school at 16 and taught elementary school for more than three decades.

"This vote is not just because Hillary is woman, nor because I am a Democrat. It's to show that we as women can do anything we want, especially when we have worked hard in our careers to obtain the experience necessary to excel," she wrote. "It's nice to show my granddaughter and great-granddaughter that the sky is the limit and they can do anything a man can do. I'm proud to say that I'm with her."

6

May Mirel, 96

May was born in November 1919 in Czernowitz, Austria-Hungary, and became a naturalized US citizen as an infant. She's worked as an accountant, medical assistant, and school teacher.

"My first presidential election was in 1940, when I was 21, because my birthday is in late November, and I just missed the 1936 election," she wrote. "I have voted in every national election since then. It will be an amazing 97 birthday this year, celebrating Hillary's win, knowing a gifted woman is finally elected our president. She was my senator in New York, and I have admired her for a long time, for her intelligence, strength, and commitment to bettering the lives of everyone, especially children. I am excited to vote for Hillary and already sent in my absentee ballot."

7

Consuelo Lopez, 96

Consuelo was born in November 1919 in Austin, Texas.

"When I was born, women had no voice and were not allowed to vote. Now we are about to make history and have a woman president for the United States. I never thought in a million years I would see that happen. It's a glorious time."

8

Stellajoe Staebler, 100

Stellajoe was born in June 1916 in Knoxville, Tennessee. She worked as a secretary during World War II and has been a peace activist and conservationist.

"This vote means that the population of the US has not gone completely berserk," she said. "I am grateful that at the age of 100 I'm still able to vote and that there is a highly qualified woman to vote for. I have imagined that this would happen someday. I'm thrilled that it's in my lifetime and that the Democratic party has given us this chance."

9

Gladys Hindes, 96

Gladys was born in December 1919 in Grand Rapids, Michigan and worked as a real estate agent.

"Thank God, I'm still alive and have the ability to vote. I'm glad that I can vote for a woman who is very qualified for this job," she wrote. "I get goose pimples all over knowing that I can vote for a woman! I've never missed a vote since I could start voting."

10

Mary Sue Wilson, 101

Mary Sue was born in October 1915 in Gaffney, South Carolina, and worked as a store clerk. She eloped when her mother didn't approve of her marriage. 

"I turned 101 years old on Monday, October 17 and Thursday my two sons and my youngest granddaughter took me to early voting," she wrote. "I remember when women got the right to vote, and this week I got to vote for a woman for president. I think I'll get to see a woman president in my lifetime—and I think that woman will be Hillary Clinton. My first time voting was when I turned 21 in 1936. I voted for FDR. I was born a Democrat and I'll die a Democrat."

11

Ruth Graze, 102

Ruth was born in 1914 in New York and worked in advertising. 

"It means that women are equal with men."