August 26, 2016, marks the 96th anniversary of ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution granting women the right to vote. Tens of thousands of persistent women and men carried out the courageous political campaign to achieve this victory.
The League of Women Voters was founded months before the 19th Amendment was ratified. When the League’s founder, Carrie Chapman Catt, spoke at the White House celebration in 1920, she underscored the power of the vote:
The vote is the emblem of your equality, women of America. Progress is calling to you to make no pause. Act!
The fight for universal suffrage continues today, and the League is acting to secure for all eligible Americans the right to vote and to have representative government. Across the country, new restrictions challenge voter registration, limit early voting, and require voter photo IDs not readily available to all voters. The League is fighting to restore voting rights in these locales.
The District of Columbia continues to lack voting representation in both the House and Senate and has not yet gained full home-rule powers. Our sole representative in Congress has no vote. Congress continues to overturn laws passed by the District Council, and controls the budget funded by DC taxpayers. The League of Women Voters is actively working to bring about change.
With the 2016 presidential election coming up along with significant state and local contests, now is the time to prepare to vote—and to encourage your communities to vote.
Carrie Chapman Catt said that the vote is the “emblem of equality” – this is true not just for women, but for all citizens. Voting brings us together as Americans as equals – rich or poor, young or old. Election Day is your opportunity to support your community and have a say in our future.
Are you registered to vote? Have you moved and need a new registration?
The League of Women Voters can make it all easier for you! Our DC Voter's Guide is designed to help you sign up, get ready, and go vote. Check it out >>