Today marks the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, the constitutional amendment that legally guaranteed women’s ability to vote and participate in the democratic process. Eight days later, on August 26th, 1920, the amendment was incorporated into the U.S. Constitution, and since then the nation has celebrated August 26th as Women’s Equality Day in recognition of this achievement.
Like all social movements, women’s suffrage had a long and arduous struggle. With efforts beginning decades before the Civil War, the nationally-coordinated campaign formally commenced at the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848—more than 70 years before the 19th Amendment was ratified. Courageous women led demonstrations at the White House, organized lobbying efforts, held convenings across the country, and spread their message through the media. Eventually, several states and territories granted legal voting rights to women—Wyoming being the first to do so—and the U.S. Congress finally followed suit in 1920.
It is thanks to the persistence and hard work of these thousands of advocates that women can cast their vote today.
CWLC supports efforts to ensure everyone is able to vote safely during this pandemic. In California, every voter will receive a vote-by-mail ballot, as required by Governor Newsom’s Executive Order, and votes in California will be counted for an additional 17 past the election to ensure each ballot is tabulated. But, 46 states will be following strict voting guidelines requiring votes be received by election day. This situation underscores the reality that although women have the legal right to vote, unfortunately many Americans face numerous barriers to exercising their right.
Every voter in California will have the option of voting by mail or in-person at a polling location. If you have not already registered to vote, click here to do so today!
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