Under the Dome

Democrats urge women to seek bigger role in 2012 election

A Democratic panel of women in Raleigh blasted Republicans gathered in Florida for "taking our country back in time."

Those words from state Rep. Deborah Ross defined an event Tuesday in which Democratic women said Republicans were pointed in the wrong direction on everything from healthcare to pay equity.

Alabama Congresswoman Terri Sewell, elected in 2010 as the first woman Democrat from her state, urged the women in the crowd to get active this year. "The 2008 election was historic," she said. "But the 2012 election is imperative."

U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin's words about "legitimate rape" have enlivened this important voting segment, with women generally favoring President Barack Obama in polling. Ann Romney will speak at the Republican National Convention on Tuesday night and seek to court those votes for her husband, Mitt Romney.

State Rep. Jennifer Weiss said its crucial for women to play a role in this election after many sat out the 2010 elections. "They need to be re-energized," she said.

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