2020 is the 100th anniversary of the adoption of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, prohibiting the US and individual states from denying the right to vote on the basis of sex. Vermont Suffrage Centennial Alliance (VSCA) is lead by the League of Women Voters of Vermont. The mission of the Alliance is to commemorate and celebrate the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage and to acknowledge its incomplete legacy. For more information, please contact lead organizer, the League’s Sue Racanelli, at 802.225.6032 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Both individuals and representatives from organizations are encouraged to join the Alliance!
The 72-year Woman’s Suffrage Movement was one of the longest social reform movements in U.S. history. Vermont suffragists began their quest for voting rights in 1852 despite facing legislators and newspaper editors who either ridiculed or dismissed their demands for decades. Taxpaying Vermont women finally earned the right to vote in school meetings in 1880 and in town meetings in 1917. Suffrage remained elusive until Tennessee ratified the 19th Amendment, and it became part of the U.S. Constitution on August 26, 1920.
While many women were afforded access to the vote with its passage, many others still faced insurmountable obstacles, both legal and otherwise. Disenfranchising practices were used to block access to the vote for women of color, low-income women, and women with disabilities. These obstacles included poll taxes, literacy tests, stringent voter ID requirements, including those excluding tribal members, polling places inaccessible to those with disabilities, lack of availability of polling locations, intimidation and violence.