As the first polls begin to close around the country, news has broken that Hillary Clinton won Vermont — which means that no matter what else happens tonight, she's already made history: She is officially the first woman to receive electoral votes for the presidential nomination of a major political party.
Although Tonie Nathan was the first woman to win an electoral vote in the United States — one Republican elector voted for the the Libertarian nominee for Vice President in 1972 — Clinton's electoral votes are historic on several levels. Not only is she the first to receive votes as a nominee from a major political party, but her nomination is the closest any woman has come to becoming president of the United States. Of course, other women have run in the past; Victoria Woodhull became the first woman to run for president in 1872, before women even received the right to vote, and since then, women have sought presidential nominations with increasing regularity. There's even another woman running for president in the current election: Jill Stein, the nominee for the progressive Green Party.
However, after decades of hard work by female politicians, Clinton's campaign has been the most successful by far. In June, she became the first woman to head a presidential ticket for a major political party, and on Nov. 8, the electoral votes began rolling in.
To win the presidency, Clinton or her rival, Donald Trump, need at least 270 electoral votes. Many polls remain open across the country, and those that have closed are still being counted. As a result, it remains to be seen whether Clinton will become president, but that doesn't take away from Clinton's mark on history — it's safe to say her campaign has done its part to shatter the glass ceiling, or at least leave it cracked. During her run, it became clear that even presidential candidates aren't exempt from the sexism that still facing so many women in the United States: Clinton's appearance was scrutinized, her femininity questioned, and she was insulted to her face during the debates.
Election results won't be called until late into the night, and considering how neck-and-neck the candidates were leading up to Nov. 8, there's no clear frontrunner. But even if Clinton doesn't become the next president, she has made history again and again during her campaign — I'd say that's something worth celebrating no matter what.