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League of Women Voters of Georgia: Making an Educated Decision

October 1, 2014
Women in Dacula advocating for the 19th Amendment on a horse-drawn carriage

Susan B. Anthony. Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Margaret Fuller.

These names are known throughout America and the world for their work with women’s rights — especially the right to vote.

But have you heard of Emily C. MacDougald? Or Annie G. Wright? Or even Carrie Chapman Catt? These names are less known but hold just as much importance.

In 1848, Elizabeth Cady Stanton helped organize the Seneca Falls convention, which kicked the women’s equality movement into high gear.

About 70 years later in 1920, Congress ratified the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution, giving women the right to vote. You’ve probably learned this much in school. However, what isn’t typically covered is how women handled this. How would half of the population now participate in electing our government? Enacting laws? The average woman knew nothing of politics. Why should they when before they had no voice? But after 1920, women were given an important responsibility — one that shouldn’t be taken too lightly.

Many of the old suffragist groups came together to help educate women (and men) about American politics. That same year, Carrie Chapman Catt founded the national League of Women Voters at the national American Woman Suffrage Association convention in Chicago.

Two months later in April 1920, Georgia suffrage parties came together to form the Georgia branch. Emily C. MacDougald held a meeting in her Atlanta home to form the League of Women Voters of Georgia. They then elected Annie G. Wright of Augusta to be their first president.

Since their formation in 1920, our Georgia League of Women Voters has been committed to educating people about the political process — helping men and women make informed, educated decisions. They are a nonpartisan group whose main mission is to have informed active participants in our Georgia governmental system.

They’ve helped with issues ranging from child labor laws to maternity leave to prison reform to unemployment compensation to school desegregation to the “Motor Voter Act” to environmental protection. The list could go on and on.

To learn more about the League of Women Voters of Georgia, check out their website or take a look at the New Georgia Encyclopedia. Even though it’s been over 90 years since women got the right to vote, making educated, informed decisions — whether you’re a woman or a man — is still extremely important. Keep checking our blogs once a week to learn more about your Georgia government.

Photo Courtesy of the Georgia Archives

About the Author

Bethany McDaniel is the Editorial Director for GeorgiaGov. She graduated from Berry College in Rome, Ga., with degrees in Visual Communication and History.

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