The Importance of Voting: League of Women Voters

Well before I was born, but not nearly long enough ago, women were granted the right to vote in the U.S. A precursor of the 19th amendment was The League of Women Voters. My grandmothers, great-grandmothers, and great aunts were active in the suffrage movement, and were activists in general. Voting was very important to them. Using your voice and actions to bring about change was HIGHLY valued in my family. My mom was a member of the League of Women Voters for years and years. Her father had taught her, and she taught me, that your voice is yours to be used, and used for good. Rights won but not used can be taken away gradually or quickly, and perhaps never seen again.

The debates between the Presidential candidates (and the Vice-Presidential Candidates) will begin soon. They were at one time hosted by the League of Women Voters. Many years ago, the debates were not just rehearsed sound bites that are the outcome of focus groups. They were debates—the way high school and college debate teams used to debate.

Regardless, though, the debate procedure will go on. The sniping, sound bites, and media talking heads will have it. Despair not. Our day, as voters, is coming. Our voices will be heard. The politicians may continue to think that they can do whatever they want.Their actions and words often prove that is what they think. How? Oh, when one side complains that the other side won’t compromise, the uncompromising side says openly in speeches “elections have consequences, and we won”.

But if they don’t hear our voices this time, we have another chance at the next election, and the next. I am in it for the long haul. You see, I don’t know about you, but many of my priorities and values are definitely NOT adhered to when it comes to the laws, programs, and policies of the land. I am one voice, and one vote. I must not despair, and I will not. I will continue to vote. Don’t you wish you were permitted to ask people that don’t want to bother voting if you could vote in their place as well? Oh wait a minute…. that could end up in all kinds of fraud!

Anyway, I have copied some information about the League of Women Voters for your enjoyment/edification. It is from this web site: http://www.lwv.org/history.

The League of Women Voters was founded by Carrie Chapman Catt in 1920 during the convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. The convention was held just six months before the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, giving women the right to vote after a 72-year struggle.

The League began as a “mighty political experiment” designed to help 20 million women carry out their new responsibilities as voters. It encouraged them to use their new power to participate in shaping public policy. From the beginning, the League has been an activist, grassroots organization whose leaders believed that citizens should play a critical role in advocacy. It was then, and is now, a nonpartisan organization. League founders believed that maintaining a nonpartisan stance would protect the fledgling organization from becoming mired in the party politics of the day. However, League members were encouraged to be political themselves, by educating citizens about, and lobbying for, government and social reform legislation

This holds true today. The League is proud to be nonpartisan, neither supporting nor opposing candidates or political parties at any level of government, but always working on vital issues of concern to members and the public. The League has a long, rich history,that continues with each passing year.

For additional historical information about the League, please visit the Issues section of this web site.

About Kate Kresse

I love to write, I love to talk, I love to uplift people when I can. I am a woman in love with life. I am a wife, mom, tutor, writer, and I am a perennial optimist. (OK not every single minute but you get the point! :-)
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One Response to The Importance of Voting: League of Women Voters

  1. “The League began as a “mighty political experiment” designed to help 20 million women carry out their new responsibilities as voters.” I think the point about ‘responsibilities as voters’ is a most important issue. Somehow modern rhetoric has highjacked this point about democracy, as though reaffirming the ‘gift’ given women and non-land-owning males by the political elites of the time – a person’s ‘right’ to vote. Our democracies are only as good as we make them and if we abrogate our responsibility to participate by voting, they will collapse back into the networks of influence we abhor in other styles of government.

    Perhaps our founding fathers were cynical, but I appreciate that at 21 (or 18 as it is now) I had to register as a voter, and that my non-participation in any Australian election thereafter (without a legitimate excuse) would result in a fine. I may not always like the results of every election, but at least I know that it is the government voted majority of all my countrymen and women – not 30, 40, or 50 percent of them.

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