Meghan Markle has said those who don’t vote are “complicit” during a virtual event aimed at increasing US voter participation.
The Duchess of Sussex made the comments on Thursday while appearing on the event When All Women Vote, and encouraged women to vote in the upcoming US presidential election.
“I think we are obviously faced with a lot of problems in our world right now, both in the physical world and in the digital world, but we can and must do everything we can to ensure all women have their voices heard,” the duchess said. “Because at this juncture, if we aren’t part of the solution, we are part of the problem.
“If you aren’t going out there and voting, then you’re complicit. If you are complacent, you’re complicit.”
The duchess also discussed why it is important to exercise the right to vote, explaining that she believes it “protects those who come after us”.
“When I think about voting and why this is so exceptionally important for all of us, I would frame it as: We vote to honour those who came before us and to protect those who come after us,” she said. “That’s what community is about and that is specifically what this election is all about.
“We’re only 75 days away from election day and that is so very close and yet there’s so much work to be done in that amount of time.”
While Meghan did not endorse a specific candidate during the event, she said “we all know what’s at stake this year”.
“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 mobilised and just as energised to see the change that we all need and deserve,” she said.
The duchess also discussed the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment this week, which gave some women in the US the right to vote, acknowledging that women of colour were excluded – and that marginalised communities still struggle “to see that right come to fruition”.
“This week we are recognising 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 colour.
“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 marginalised, still struggling to see that right come to fruition. It’s just simply not okay.”
The duchess’s call to action comes after she revealed that she will be voting in the upcoming presidential election because she “knows what it’s like to feel voiceless”.
“I know what it’s like to have a voice, and also what it’s like to feel voiceless,” the 39-year-old told Marie Claire. “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.”
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