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The fight to vote, then the right to vote: First-generation women voters detail a lifetime of voting

In 1920 women we're finally given the right to vote and a few local women recall that day.

TOLEDO, Ohio — Exactly 100 years ago, the legal age to vote was 21. During these times, the 19th amendment was ratified which granted women the right to vote.

"You can't do that because you're a woman, yes I can I'm gonna do it now just because you said that."

Ruth Beach, Florence McLennan and Dolores Penn remember that monumental time and since then, they've never missed an opportunity to vote. 

"I think everybody has the ability to make a decision," McLennan said.

"Everybody has the right to do this so do you," Penn added.

"And like I say if you don't then you have no reason to complain because you didn't help matters at all by being quiet," said Beach who remembers her mother working at the voting polls.

She said her mom made about $5 working all day and couldn't imagine living in her mother's era- a time when women didn't have a voice. 

"Well it's a good thing I didn't live back then because I have a big mouth," added Beach.

Ruth's mother isn't the only woman that worked during election season, she soon followed her mother's footsteps and did the same as well as Florence McLennan who still volunteers to this day.

"We are so fortunate to live in a country like this where everybody has that opportunity because not everybody has that," McLennan added .

Although these women were too young to be the first women to vote, their grandmothers and even mothers are the origins of women voters.

"My grandma has been doing it for so long I thought that's what you're supposed to do and we sit at our table and they told you you don't let anybody tell you what you can't do unless it's something that should not be done but to vote that's a privilege and you don't let anyone ever tell you, you can't do that," Penn said.

They also explain voting was different back then and that voting now is a lot more convenient.

"The curtains closed around you and you moved a little lever underneath who you wanted to vote for and so we actually had come along way, I've been working the polls for 20 years so I've seen actually a lot of changes since I started working," McLennan said.

Some even remember the biggest election year of their lifetime.

"Kennedy was running he wasn't president then but he was running to be president and it was a very busy day because everybody came out that time it was quite the big election," Beach said.

"John F. Kennedy, I love them because they always seemed like they were concerned about people," Penn added.

With Election Day a few weeks away these women are encouraging everyone to go out and vote no matter what race, religion, or gender.

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