Planning Committee for Statewide Celebration of Women’s Suffrage
Secretary of State Mac Warner is pleased to announce the formation of a committee working together to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which gave women the right to vote.
“Working together over the next year, our Committee will help identifyand celebrate many trailblazing women here in the state.”
Mac WarnerWest Virginia Secretary of State
The U.S. Congress finally passed the 19th Amendment in June of 1919 after decades of arguments for and against women's suffrage. Once approved, at least 36 states needed to vote in favor of the amendment for it to become law.
In February 1920, the West Virginia Legislature met in special session and were lobbied heavily by the state's suffragists, led by Marion County-native Lenna Lowe Yost. On March 3, the House of Delegates voted for the amendment.
In a 15 to 14 vote on March 10, the State Senate made West Virginia the 34th of the 36 states needed to ratify the amendment. That summer, Yost became the first woman to chair a major party convention at the Republican National Convention, which nominated Warren G. Harding for president.
By August 1920, 36 states ratified the amendment, ensuring that the right to vote could not be denied or abridged based on sex.
Secretary of State Mac Warner formed the West Virginia Centennial Celebration of the 19th Amendment Planning Committee to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which gave women the right to vote.
The coordinating committee includes a team of community, business, education, political and civic leaders working together to develop a list of events happening around the state in recognition of the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage. Throughout the year-long celebration, members of the committee will work to share the history and the role West Virginia women played in the passage of the 19th Amendment.
State Republican Party Chairwoman Melody Potter and State Democratic Party Chairwoman Belinda Biafore are the appointed honorary co-chairs of the Committee. Click here for a full list of committee members.
Find the latest information on the committee, events and more by checking this site frequently, following the group at Facebook.com/WVWomenVote100, and subscribing to the latest news from the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office by sending a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The West Virginia Women Vote Suffrage Centennial logo was created by Colleen Anderson, a graphic designer, writer, songwriter, and origami enthusiast. Her publications include a children’s chapter book, a poetry chapbook, and three collections of original songs. She owns Mother Wit Writing and Design, a creative studio in Charleston, WV.
“My mother was born in 1925, five years after women in the United States received the right to vote. At the age of 91, a few weeks before her death, she proudly voted for a woman for President of the United States.
One of my earliest memories is of nestling between my parents in their bed while they listened to election returns on the radio, probably in the fall of 1952. By example, they taught me that voting was not only my privilege, but my patriotic duty. We often disagreed about politics, but we agreed on the importance of voting.
I created this design to encourage West Virginia women to vote as a way of honoring their mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, and all the women who fought for every woman’s right to vote, as well as to provide a patriotic example to their daughters and granddaughters.”
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