The 19th Amendment and the League of Women Voters celebrate their 100-year anniversary this month, and the president of the local chapter of the LWV hopes the group will continue to remain relevant.
The 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote, celebrates its 100-year anniversary on Tuesday, and the League of Women Voters was formed not long after, according to Alice Frazier, president of the LWV of Delaware County Ohio. Frazier said the league was formed as a merger of several women’s suffrage groups.
“When the league was originally founded, the idea was that if women were going to vote, they needed to be educated about what they were voting on,” Frazier said.
The local chapter of the league was founded in 1948 and has been promoting democracy, voter access, and voter rights ever since. Frazier said the league has prepared voter guides in the past and hosted candidate nights, debates and discussions on issues.
“So doing all these studies and delving into things with a lot of depth has grown out of that original mission,” Frazier said, adding she’s always been interested in politics and joined the league six years ago.
“I’m interested in the intellectual aspect of it,” she said. “Our membership is not as big as it needs to be to support a lot of activities, but I think the league is still relevant and still has a role to play.”
Looking ahead, Frazier said the organization is seeking new members, including young people and male members.
“We’d like to be more visible and have the people to put on more programs, meet more regularly, and have a higher profile than we’ve had,” Frazier said before joking that the league isn’t “adept” at social media either.
Frazier said the group’s goals remain the same as they did 100 years ago.
“(The league has) stuck to its core mission of educating the voting public,” she said. “It has a reputation for being bipartisan and fair. We used to put out a printed voter guide, now we do that online.”
Frazier said in the future, she’d like the league to have an office that would allow people to meet. She added that’s obviously not a priority in the middle of a pandemic.
More information about the league can be found at www.lwvdelawarecountyohio.org.
The county will be observing the anniversary of the amendment with a proclamation by Delaware County Prosecutor Melissa Schiffel at Monday’s Delaware County Board of Commissioners meeting and at a socially distant gathering at Bun’s Restaurant around 4 p.m. on Tuesday, the 100-year anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment.
“The 19th Amendment symbolizes equality and represents our future,” Schiffel said. “It was the first time that women’s opinions about our future, which could now be voiced at the ballot box, were recognized as equal to that of men. It also represents the future and recognizes that women play an integral role not only in forming our present day, but also the future of our democracy.”
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.