“After Roe’s End, Women Surged in Signing Up to Vote in Some States.” Why didn’t they vote before?

by Bob Schwartz

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
—Martin Niemöller

The New York Times reports that according to analysis of 10 states with available voter registration data, “On average in the month after Dobbs, 55 percent of newly registered voters in those states were women, according to the analysis, up from just under 50 percent before the decision was leaked in early May.”

Which begs the question: Why didn’t they choose to vote before?

The most likely answer is that they didn’t vote because they weren’t motivated and interested enough, that is, the circumstances did not seem to affect their interests enough. Now they do.

Which is shortsighted because:

IN A DEMOCRACY VOTING IS ALWAYS IN YOUR INTEREST.

The famous quote from Martin Niemöller about living in Nazi Germany is not specifically about voting, just about “speaking out”. So if we substitute “vote” for “speaking out”:


First they came for the socialists, and I did not vote—because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not vote—because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not vote—because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to vote for me.


In a democracy, voting is the ultimate and most effective means of speaking out. Americans who are newly choosing to register—and hopefully then to vote—are welcome and needed participants in that democracy.