Wasserman Schultz Marks a Century of Suffrage

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Washington, August 26, 2020 | comments
A hundred years ago today, the U.S. Secretary of State certified that the required 36 states had ratified the 19th Amendment to the Constitution: ‘The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.’
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A hundred years ago today, the U.S. Secretary of State certified that the required 36 states had ratified the 19th Amendment to the Constitution: ‘The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.’

The 19th Amendment did not, however, guarantee any woman the vote. A maze of state laws – citing  age, citizenship, residency, and more –still  kept  many women  from the polls.

Voting rights in America have always been borne of struggle. And the battles women fought 100 years ago—for a constitutional right and against segregationist and discriminatory Jim Crow laws in the South—echo in 2020 as American women continue to work against voter suppression and for full access to the polls.

The denial of the franchise exists in many forms today: voter-roll purges, restrictive ID laws, felon voting rights restoration roadblocks, attacks on mail-in ballots in a pandemic and the elimination of polling sites. In moments like this, it is important that we look back and remember the fierce determination of the “she-roes” who were far too familiar with this fight.

Not too long ago, the Suffragettes turned the once radical idea of women’s suffrage into a constitutionally protected right, a fight carried on by civil and indigenous rights warriors.  We must not allow their struggle to have been in vain.

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Tags: Women