On Thursday, Meghan Markle participated in the virtual When All Women Vote #CouchParty to celebrate 100 years since the 19th Amendment allowed women the right to vote in the U.S.
When We All Vote is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that is “on a mission to increase participation in every election and close the race and age voting gap by changing the culture around voting, harnessing grassroots energy, and through strategic partnerships to reach every American.”
The former American actress, who was identified by her first name and her royal title, didn’t endorse any specific candidate or party during the event. However, she stressed the importance of the “change” she hopes to see in November.
“Happy to be here for my friend Michelle Obama’s When We All Vote and to kick off the When We All Women Vote #CouchParty,” the 39-year-old shared.
“When I think about voting and why this is so exceptionally important for all of us, I would frame is as, we vote to honor those who came before us, and to protect those who will come after us,” said Markle. “Because that’s what community is all about. And that’s specifically what this election is all about.”
“I think we’re only 75 days away from Election Day,” she continued. “That is so very close, and yet there is so much work to be done in that amount of time. 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 mobilized and just as energized to see the change that we all need and deserve.”
The former “Suits” star also pointed out that voter suppression tactics prevented women of color from enjoying the same rights as their white peers.
“This week we are recognizing the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which of course gave women the right to vote, but not all women,” she explained. “And specifically not women of color. 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 marginalized, still struggling to see that right come to fruition. It’s just simply not OK.”
Markle shared that it’s important now more than ever for women everywhere to get involved in the current election season.
“This fight is worth fighting, and we all have to be out there mobilizing,” she said. “At this juncture, if we aren’t part of the solution, we’re part of the problem. If you’re complacent, you’re complicit. We can make the difference in this election. And we will make the difference in this election.”
Markle recently told Marie Claire that she will be voting in this year’s U.S. presidential election.
“I know what it’s like to have a voice, and also what it’s like to feel voiceless,” she told the outlet. “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.”
“One of my favorite quotes, and one that my husband and I have referred to often, is from Kate Sheppard, a leader in the suffragist movement in New Zealand, who said, ‘Do not think your single vote does not matter much. The rain that refreshes the parched ground is made up of single drops,’” said Markle. “That is why I vote.”
Just last week, Markle revealed at “The 19th Represents” virtual summit that her husband, Prince Harry, has stayed politically neutral – including not voting in elections – his whole life as a member of the British royal family.
“When I have these conversations about encouraging people to go out and vote, I think it’s often challenging for men and women alike and certainly for people to remember just how hard it was to get the right to vote,” said Markle. “And to be really aware and not taking that for granted. My husband for example — he’s never been able to vote.”
“I really do hope what you’re able to encourage and what we’re able to see happen through The 19th over the course of the next few months is that women understand that their voices are needed now more than ever — and the best way to exercise that is through voting,” she added.
In January of this year, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced they were taking a step back as senior members of the royal family. They are currently residing in Markle’s native California with their 1-year-old son, Archie.