MARY SCHUERMANN KUHLMAN
INDIANAPOLIS – Aug. 26 will mark the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which guaranteed women the right to vote. Today, a key player in the voting-rights movement also marks a milestone.
On Feb. 14, 1920, advocates and organizations behind the women’s suffrage movement created the League of Women Voters. Linda Hanson, co-president of the League of Women Voters of Indiana, said since then, the group has continued to defend democracy and empower voters, no matter what their gender or political affiliation.
“It wasn’t just getting the vote. It was also informing voters so they would have the knowledge that they needed to be active citizens,” she said, “so, ensuring that everyone has a vote, that that vote counts, and that voters are educated about the issues that they’re voting on.”
Hanson said she believes it’s critical to recognize that the right to vote is sacred and important, and to encourage people to cast an informed ballot in every election. The League offers voters information about candidates, important election dates and polling-place information.
Hanson said the League focuses on nonpartisan efforts to improve democracy and the electoral process. She noted that the League also is working to extend the ratification deadline for the 1972 Equal Rights Amendment, which would ensure legal gender equality.
“The League filed a brief asking that Congress remove the deadline because no other constitutional amendment has ever had a deadline imposed on it for passage,” she said, “and once states pass it, it’s probably going to end up in the Supreme Court.”
On Thursday, the U.S. House voted to extend the deadline, but the resolution faces an uncertain future in the Senate.
More information is available here.