Women have played a fundamental role in shaping an inclusive and active constituency. Women have supported and continue to hold the right to vote. For League members, February 14th every year is the anniversary of League of Women Voters Day.
History of League of Women Voters Day
After World War II, the League carried out a nationwide public advocacy campaign, at the request of President Franklin Roosevelt, to establish the United Nations and secure US participation. After the campaign, President Harry Truman invited the League to serve as an adviser to the US delegation at the United Nations Charter Conference. As one of the first organizations to be officially recognized as a non-governmental organization (NGO) by the United Nations, the Federation maintains its official observer status to this day.
Until 1957, as the League became more active in advocacy, the need arose for a separate organizing group for activities such as voter registration and information. The League of Women Voters Education Fund was established to encourage active and informed participation of citizens in government and increase understanding of public policy issues.
In 1972, shortly after Congress passed the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), the LWV officially voted in favor of "equal rights for all without distinction of sex". The League followed this vote with a nationwide pressure campaign that lasted through the 1970s. That national campaign ended in 1982, but the LWV continued to push for ratification of the ERA until today.
The league sponsored the first televised presidential debates since 1960, for which we received an Emmy for Outstanding Achievement in Broadcast Journalism.
The League sponsored televised presidential debates in 1980 and 1984, as well as presidential primaries in 1980, 1984 and 1988. Debates focused on non-governmental issues parties whose primary goal is to inform voters. However, as candidates demanded increasingly partisan conditions, the League withdrew its funding for the 1988 general election debates. Leagues across the country continued to hold contests and forum for local and state offices today.
In 1993, The League's grassroots campaign for national legislation to reform voter registration led to the passage of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), also known as the "mobile voter" bill". Objective: increase access to the electoral process. The voter bill allows citizens to register automatically at motor vehicle agencies, as well as by mail and at public service agencies.
When the 2000 elections revealed many of the problems the electoral system was facing, the League began to undertake electoral reform. Working closely with the civil rights coalition, LWV helped draft and pass the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), which established provisional voting, requirements to update the voting system, and the Election Support Committee.
The Federation has provided a website dedicated to voter information as early as the 1990s. In 2006, the Federation launched the next generation of online voter education with VOTE411.org, a "total store" for election-related information. Today, VOTE411 provides both general and state-specific nonpartisan resources to the voting public, including a nationwide polling place locator, ballot lookup tool, locations candidate on issues, etc.
In June 2019, the US Supreme Court ruled that partisan lawsuits cannot be resolved by federal courts. In response, the League initiated the People's Supported Equity Map, a concerted effort across all 50 states and D.C. to create fair and transparent, people-supported redistricting processes that eliminate partisanship and racism across the country.
February 14, 2020, marks the 100th anniversary of the League of Women Voters empowering voters and defending democracy. Over the last century, we have fought to defend elections, democratic reform, and equal access to the ballot all while upholding our commitment to partisanship and promoting an informed voter. As we look to the next hundred years, we aim to build power for the next generation of women leaders and suffrage activists. That's why we're celebrating our 100-year milestone with a nationally coordinated Action Day called Powerful Women by Vote.
How to celebrate League of Women Voters Day
- Search for an op-ed in the Springfield News-Leader, written by Federation president Marge Bramer.
- Plan to attend a fun social, For the Love of Voters, planned by our Centennial Committee. It will be held from 5 to 8 pm. February 13 at the Backlot bar in the Alamo Drafthouse.
- Take action in our lobbying state legislators regarding the First Amendment, called Clean Missouri. New Amendment establishes procedures for fair mapping of legislative districts response from some lawmakers whose bill would bring opposition in Missouri.
- Social media posts celebrating our founding.
ObservedLeague of Women Voters Day has been observed annually on February 14th.
Friday, February 14th, 2020
Sunday, February 14th, 2021
Monday, February 14th, 2022
Tuesday, February 14th, 2023
Wednesday, February 14th, 2024