When Estelle Schultz, 98, sealed her ballot for the 2016 election, she wanted to snap a photo to commemorate.
She sent it to her granddaughter Sarah Benor, who says she was moved to post the picture on Facebook. Like many posts during this election, it went viral.
“It received over 1,600 likes and many comments about how moving that is, how it was bringing people to tears, how they wanted to share it with their children and their grandchildren,” Benor tells NPR’s Michel Martin.
One of Benor’s friends commented on the post, saying that she should turn the idea into a project. So she did.
The website is called I Waited 96 Years, and it features women born before the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote in 1920.
Since last month, nearly 100 women have joined the project.
Benor says submissions have come from all over the country. Each woman gives a bit of personal information about herself along with a quote describing how she feels about voting in this election.One of the submissions is from Lung Hsin Wu, 98, from Portland, Ore. She was born in 1918 in Beijing and came to the United States in 1941.
“My vote means another step towards equity for women,” she says in her submission. “I voted for Hillary eight years ago, and I’m still alive to vote again.”
Sylvia Schulman, a 99-year-old from Oceanside, N.Y., says her vote solidifies that women are capable of whatever they set their minds to.
“This vote is not just because Hillary is [a] woman, nor because I am a Democrat,” she says. “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. 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.”
Edith Buckley, 97, of Las Vegas says she’s celebrating how far women have come.
“I never thought I would see a woman in the White House!” she says. “Progress, at last!”
No matter where these women are from, their submissions show they are taking this election seriously.
“This is what thrills me the most,” Schultz says, “that I’m still alive and able to do this.”