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Statement on the Anniversary of the 19th Amendment

August 18, 2017

Today, August 18th, is the 97th anniversary of the adoption of the Nineteenth Amendment, which granted women the right to vote. Page Gardner, founder and president of the Voter Participation Center, issued the following statement:

“The Nineteenth Amendment was a historic step toward making every voice heard. Barriers to the ballot box still limit the political power of historically underrepresented groups, including women, young people, and people of color. From voter ID laws, to the Pence-Kobach Commission, voter suppression continues to deny women full participation in our democracy.

The suffragists, whose hard work made the Nineteenth Amendment possible, faced challenges at every turn. They were physically attacked at demonstrations, unjustly jailed, and abused in prison. They were accused of being unpatriotic and smeared in the press; political opponents questioned the necessity of their work. They disagreed among themselves about ideology and tactics. Still, they persisted, and after decades, found success.

As we celebrate the Nineteenth Amendment this weekend, we hope our descendants may celebrate the day when we achieve universal voter registration. In the meantime, we’ll rededicate ourselves to making voting more accessible by registering voters, improving turnout, educating the public, and working to protect the most fundamental tenet of our democracy: one person, one vote.”

 

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