As the League of Women Voters prepares to celebrate its centennial on Feb. 14, we will use this milestone to reflect on our rich history, honor the work that women have done to strengthen our democracy, and set the stage for vibrant growth in the years ahead.
Rooted in the women’s suffrage movement, the league was founded as a non-partisan grassroots organization just six months before the passage of the 19th amendment that granted 20 million women the right to vote.
Ever since, the league has been at the forefront of efforts to register, educate, and support voters and voting rights.
Today, democracy is fighting for its life. Some 25 states have enacted new voting restrictions, including strict photo ID requirements, early voting cutbacks and registration restrictions. The league is prepared to face these threats using voter registration drives, tools such as the Illinois Voter Guide.org (a cutting edge election information website) and local candidate forums in cities throughout the state to help educate voters about key issues and the candidates’ positions.
As we celebrate 100 years of women’s suffrage in 2020, the League of Women Voters is fortunate to have thousands of dedicated members in hundreds of chapters across the nation, including the almost 4,000 members here in Illinois, who share a commitment to protect our democracy.
Our organization’s founding and winning the right to vote was only the beginning. We still have much work to do, and we accept the challenge with renewed strength and determination.
Barbara Koger Hayes, President
League of Women Voters H-F Area