Ninety-four years ago on August 26, after decades of tireless advocacy, President Woodrow Wilson signed into law the 19th amendment, granting women the right to vote. The fight for universal suffrage continues today, so as we mark this historic anniversary, we are reminded how valuable our right to vote remains.
With the signing of this constitutional amendment, the work of the newly formed League of Women Voters, which was founded to finish the fight for suffrage, really began. An estimated 25 million women were, with the stroke of a pen, eligible to vote. The task of registering and informing those new women voters was enormous. Add to that the understandable desire of those who had worked so long and hard for woman suffrage to make a difference with their votes.
It is tempting to look back on those early days of the League for inspiration, especially as we look forward to a federal midterm election where much is at stake, but where too often voter enthusiasm is low. While it may be challenging, we are also inspired by the fact that so many Leagues and members are already out in their communities registering and educating voters through voters’ guides, candidate forums and VOTE411.org.