Today is the 100th Anniversary of Women's Right to Vote
The Nineteenth Amendment was ratified on August 18, 1920, which granted women the right to vote in the United States. Here at Dallas Area Visitor Center, in Dallas Oregon, we wanted to share a few tidbits of information showing the significance of this historic day:
1. The Women’s Suffrage Movement in the United States was a decades-long battle
The Women’s Suffrage movement burst into view in the United States in 1848 at the Seneca Falls Convention, where participants introduced the notion that women deserved their own political identity and that a righteous government cannot exist without equal rights for all. These organizers passed the torch to the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage, founded in 1913, which raised awareness through distributing pamphlets at street meetings, organizing parades, speaking tours, and petitioning Congress to pass legislation on the movement. In 1919, the Senate passed the Nineteenth Amendment and it was officially ratified on August 26, 1920.
2. Due to racial inequality, many women of color in the United States were not granted the right to vote until 1965
With the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920, it technically granted women the right to vote. However, due to widespread inequality within the ranks of the women’s suffrage movement who primarily focused on white middle-class interests, many African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanics, and American Indian women did not receive the right to vote until later in the century. African American women were not guaranteed the right to vote until the Voting Right Acts of 1965. During the height of the civil rights movement, The Act was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson to prohibit racial discrimination in voting.
3. There has been a historical, global increase of women in political power
Much has changed since the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment. The Center for American Women and Politics in the United States reports that in every presidential election since 1964, the number of female voters has exceeded the number of male voters.
There has also been a historical increase of women in elected offices around the world. This is evident with the highest number of women ever elected to the U.S. Congress in 2018, Slovakia electing the first female president, the United Kingdom electing 220 female MPs to the House of Commons, women making up 49% of Senate of the Republic of Mexico and female Prime Ministers in Denmark, Norway, and Finland. Foundationally, the right to vote is a nonpartisan issue that benefits the interest of the country, strengthens our democracy, and with more women in office, it promotes diversity of thought and experience.
4. The spread of voting and election information has changed
The way we share information has evolved dramatically from distributing pamphlets in 1913 to millions of people sharing information on the Internet across the world in 2020. State and local governments now use their election websites as the primary source to provide up to date announcements and information on how to register to vote, find designated polling stations, and access election results. Political campaigns use their digital infrastructure to release information about their policies, accept donations, recruit volunteers and give updates on the campaign to increase supporters’ engagement.
5. Access to election information is essential to voter turnout and democracy.
Voting is a crucial tenet of our democratic system and regardless of circumstance, individuals should have access to the information necessary to exercise their rights without outside interference. With many upcoming elections in 2020, it is important that we have confidence in the democratic processes and that starts with ensuring their website infrastructure and internal teams are secure against malicious efforts to take them offline and shake voter’s faith in democracy.
The Dallas Area Visitor Center feels it seems fitting that we celebrate the Centennial
anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment and International Women’s Day, highlighting the achievement of women throughout history and the importance of voter confidence in the democratic institutions that many fought to participate and have their voices heard. We want to encourage all women in community of Dallas Oregon to get out, exercise your right to vote and make democracy work for you!