The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization encouraging the informed and active participation of citizens in government. It influences public policy through education and advocacy.
So for the past 96 years, the women and men who joined the League in its belief in the power of women, have shared a commitment to making sure our elections are free, fair and accessible to every eligible voter. With the power that the vote brings, the League has also been committed to changing the conversation in the public arena. Over the years, the power of women has helped raise many issues in the context of the greater good of society, just as it has taken the power of diverse racial and ethnic groups to reinforce the undeniable fact that while a perfect democracy may always be just beyond our grasp, a more perfect democracy depends on `we (all) the people' not `we (some of) the people.'
In 2016, voters will go to the polls to elect a president, one-third of the U.S. Senate and the entire U.S. House of Representatives, as well as thousands of other elected officials in state and local races. This will be the first such election in half a century where voters in every state will go to the polls without all the protections of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. It is also an election in which we are facing issues of economic, domestic and international security that are as seemingly intractable as any I have ever seen. And yet, the fact remains that on Election Day every vote and every voter is equal. It is not just a matter of resolving that we ourselves will vote; it is a matter of resolving that we will do all we can to insure that others have the information they need as well.
In 1920, 23 million women won the vote. Every woman who has used the power of their vote has changed this country and changed the world. The good news is that in every election, we have the potential and the power to do it again. We can make our democracy more perfect. The suffragists believed it; I believe it, too.
Elizabeth McNamara, President, LWVUS