Second Century of Educating and Empowering Voters
The Missouri Equal Suffrage Association became the League of Women Voters of St. Louis on November 13, 1919. The League is holding special events and activities in 2020 to recognize how “Women Power the Vote.”
“The nonpartisan League was founded to help American women exercise their hard-fought right to vote,” said Evelyn Maddox, President of LWV of Missouri. “A hundred years after getting suffrage, women now outnumber men among registered voters. For the four elections in 2020, women will power the vote. Our founders fought to get the 19th Amendment passed 100 years ago, and we honor that long battle by educating and empowering all voters so that each can play a critical role in shaping our country.”
LWV of Metro St. Louis sent suffragist valentines to Missouri legislators, League members and friends. Volunteers delivered cookies to workers at several local election authorities on Valentine’s Day. Special suffrage valentines were posted on social media to honor “Historical Hometown Heroines” Victoria Woodhull, Virginia Minor, Edna Gellhorn, Beatrice Grady, Marian English and Marie Byrum.
The St. Louis League hosted Suffragist Cinema on March 8 at the St. Louis County Library Headquarters, showing the movie Iron Jawed Angels: Lead Follow or Get out of the Way that stars Hilary Swank, Frances O'Connor, Julia Ormond and Angelica Huston. After this movie on the suffragists' struggle to win the vote, there was a discussion of women’s equality in the 100 years since the League of Women Voters was founded.
The League of Women Voters president, Chris Carson, issued the following statement:
Today we are faced with many challenges that threaten to compromise our democracy. Our efforts to support voting rights and to fight against voter suppression and discrimination at the local, state and national levels have been very successful, and this has been achieved primarily by educating and empowering voters, circulating special petitions, and intervening in several critical court cases.
The League’s historic commitment to register, educate and mobilize voters is not only stronger, but more effective than ever, utilizing such tools as Vote411—a cutting-edge election information website utilized by millions of voters each election cycle.
Evelyn Maddox, President of the LWV Missouri, had this to say about the League's work to come:
We will continue to fight voter discrimination and to keep secret money out of our elections to ensure that our elections are fair, free and accessible. One hundred years after the League was founded in 1920, members of the League are proud of the great progress achieved when it comes to truly Making Democracy Work.