Charleston, W. Va. – Charleston, W. Va. – 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.
The coordinating committee for the “WV Centennial Celebration of the 19th Amendment” 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.
State Republican Party Chairwoman Melody Potter and State Democratic Party Chairwoman Belinda Biafore have been appointed honorary co-chairs of the Committee. Click here for a full list of committee members.
“The role women have played in West Virginia government stretches across political party and socioeconomic lines,” Warner said. “Working together over the next year, our Committee will help identify and celebrate many trailblazing women here in the state.”
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.
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.
More information, including a list of events, is to come. Those seeking information about the coordinating committee should contact WVSOS Deputy Press Secretary Jennifer Gardner at 304-356-2616, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.