The League of Women Voters of the Whitewater Area invites all citizens, churches, municipalities, organizations, and businesses in Walworth and Jefferson counties to ring bells, blow whistles or honk horns at noon on Wednesday, August 26, 2020 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, which guaranteed the right to vote to all Americans, regardless of sex. The Wisconsin Governor’s 19th Amendment Centennial Committee, headed by First Lady Kathy Evers, is encouraging bell-ringing statewide just as was done in communities throughout Wisconsin in August of 1920 to celebrate women’s enfranchisement. The Wisconsin Historical Society, as an agency of the state, is taking the lead on this event and encouraging citizens to post their photos and videos on social media using the hashtags #WomensVote100, #WIVotesForWomen and #BIGHistoryIsHappening.
Although the 19th Amendment was a historic milestone in women’s equality worthy of great celebration, the League acknowledges that voting rights were not unconditionally extended to all women in 1920. Minority women excluded from the naturalization process were not citizens and could not vote in 1920 and women of color faced discrimination and racism at the polls until the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization that encourages active and informed participation in government. Since its founding in 1920, the League has been vigilant and committed to ensuring that every eligible American citizen’s basic constitutional right to vote remains free of undue barriers and discrimination. Visit our website at lwvwhitewater.org and like us on Facebook!