Meghan Markle says she’s ‘very concerned’ about voter suppression

The former actress, now the Duchess of Sussex, emphasized the importance of voting in November's presidential election in a chat with Gloria Steinem.

The Duke And Duchess Of Sussex Visit Morocco
Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, is fearful that voter suppression tactics will impact November's presidential election. (Photo by Hannah Mckay - Pool / Getty Images)
Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, is fearful that voter suppression tactics will impact November's presidential election. (Photo by Hannah Mckay - Pool / Getty Images)

Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle recently sat down with feminist icon Gloria Steinem for an interview about politics and voting rights in America, curated by Yahoo’s MAKERS series.

Markle had a conversation with the veteran activist exploring the need for representation. She shared how diversity impacts her as a biracial woman and highlighted ways education and voting help to combat oppressive tactics.

The Duchess was raised in Los Angeles. She became a member of the British royal family in 2018 when she married Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex. They had their first child, a son, Archie, a year later.

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Markle’s talk with Steinem was hosted at the royal family’s home in Beverly Hills. The former actress emphasized the importance of voting in November’s presidential primary election. 

The possibility of Sen. Kamala Harris becoming the first woman and first African American vice president of the United States has personally resonated with the duchess.

“You know, for me, being biracial — growing up, whether it was a doll or a person in office, you need to see someone who looks like you in some capacity,” Markle said. 

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She says the diversity Harris brings to the campaign and the policies at stake in this election are two factors inspiring her to vote and educate herself on ways to ensure others are inspired to vote.

“I had the chance to speak with Stacey Abrams about [voter suppression] to try to get a better understanding of what to do, for example, if you’re a person of color, and you’re in line, for potentially hours on end, and during that time, someone tries to intimidate you, and then you think, ‘You know, it’s not worth it’… That’s bad enough, but then there’s a ripple effect because whoever is in the back of the line says, ‘Whatever they did to them … I don’t want that to happen to me.’ That, I think, is so frightening,” said Markle.

With her fear of voter apathy and concerted suppressive efforts, Markle expressed a desire to protect people against these tactics, empowering them to cast their ballots and overcome any adversity. 

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In addition to her push for people to cast ballots this year, the duchess is invested in women winning, and her family mirrors her values. She appreciates that Prince Harry acknowledges he’s a feminist. 

“I look at our son and what a beautiful example that he gets to grow up with a father who is so comfortable owning that as part of his own self-identification. That there’s no shame in being someone who advocates for fundamental human rights for everyone, which of course includes women,” she said.

Markle’s political commentary has raised the eyebrows of detractors who say the Sussexes should lose their titles. However, the English royal family is not barred from participating in America’s political proceedings, and the naysayers certainly have not stopped her from continuing to share her concerns about voter suppression.

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Meghan recently spoke with The 19th’s Emily Ramshaw about these same issues and cited the 19th amendment, emphasizing her deep respect for our collective voting power and an obligation to use her political voice, Huffpost reported.

“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,” she told Steinem.

According to Yahoo, MAKERS exists to propel the women’s movement through storytelling, discussions and digital content. The platform hosts an annual global conference to advance women in the workplace.

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