The League of Women Voters (LWV) is an American civic organization that was formed to help women take a larger role in public affairs after they won the right to vote. It was founded in 1920 to support the new women suffrage rights and was a merger of National Council of Women Voters, founded by Emma Smith DeVoe, and National American Woman Suffrage Association, led by Carrie Chapman Catt, approximately six months before the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution gave women the right to vote. The League of Women Voters began as a "mighty political experiment" aimed to help newly enfranchised women exercise their responsibilities as voters. Originally, only women could join the league; but in 1973 the charter was modified to include men. LWV operates at the local, state, and national level, with over 1,000 local and 50 state leagues, and one territory league in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The League of Women Voters is officially nonpartisan—it neither supports nor opposes candidates or parties. It does, however, support a variety of progressive public policy positions, including campaign finance reform, universal health care, abortion rights, climate change action and environmental regulation, and gun control.
|League of Women Voters of the United States|
|Founded||February 14, 1920|
|Founder||Carrie Chapman Catt|
|Focus||Political action, civic engagement|
|Chris Carson (President)|
In 1909, Emma Smith DeVoe proposed at the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) convention in Seattle that a separate organization be created to educate women on election processes and lobby for favorable legislation on women's issues. When her proposal was ignored, DeVoe founded the National Council of Women Voters in 1911. She recruited western suffragists and organizations to join the league.
Ten years later, prior to the 1919 Convention of the NAWSA (in St. Louis, Missouri), Carrie Chapman Catt began negotiating with DeVoe to merge her organization with a new league that would be the successor to the NAWSA. Catt was concerned that DeVoe's alignment with the more radical Alice Paul might discourage conservative women from joining the National Council of Women Voters and thus proposed formation of a new league. As fifteen states had already ratified the 19th Amendment, the women wanted to move forward with a plan to educate women on the voting process and shepherd their participation.
Though not all members of either organization were in favor of a merger, a motion was made at the 1919 NAWSA convention to merge the two organizations into a successor, the National League of Women Voters. The merger was officially completed on 6 January 1920, though for the first year the league operated as a committee of the NAWSA. The formal organization of the League was drafted at the 1920 Convention held in Chicago.
The LWV sponsored the United States presidential election debates in 1976, 1980 and 1984. On October 2, 1988, the LWV's 14 trustees voted unanimously to pull out of the debates, and on October 3 they issued a press release condemning the demands of the major candidates' campaigns. LWV President Nancy Neuman said that the debate format would "perpetrate a fraud on the American voter" and that the organization did not intend to "become an accessory to the hoodwinking of the American public."
State and local leagues host candidate debates to provide candidates' postions at all levels of government.
In 2012, LWV created National Voter Registration Day, a day when volunteers work to register voters and increase participation.
The League sponsors voter’s guides including Smart Voter and Voter's Edge, which was launched in collaboration with MapLight. The League, including state and local leagues, runs VOTE411.org, a website that allows voters to input their address and get candidate information tailored to their ballot.
The League has opposed voter ID laws and supported efforts at campaign finance reform in the United States. LWV opposed the decision in Citizens United v. FEC. The League supports increased regulation of political spending.
The League pushed for adoption of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, which requires states to offer voter registration at all driver's license agencies, at social service agencies, and through the mail.
LWV supports the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and the Kyoto Protocol. LWV opposes the proposed Keystone Pipeline project.
The League supports a general income tax increase to finance national health care reform for the inclusion of reproductive health care, including abortion, in any health benefits package. The League supports abortion rights and strongly opposed the passage of the Partial-Birth Abortion Act.
The League actively opposed welfare reform legislation proposed in the 104th Congress.
The League advocates gun control policies including regulating firearms and supporting licensing procedures for gun ownership by private citizens to include a waiting period for background checks, personal identity verification, gun safety education and annual license renewal.
A national board of directors consisting of four officers, eight elected directors, and not more than eight board-appointed directors, most of whom reside in the Metro Washington D.C. area, govern the League subject to the Bylaws of the League of Women Voters of the United States. The national board is elected at the national convention and sets position policy.
Local Leagues and state Leagues are organized in order to promote the purposes of the League and to take action on local and state governmental matters. These Leagues (chapters) have their own directors and officers. The national board may withdraw recognition from any state or local League for failure to fulfill recognition requirements.
Rebecca "Becky" Cook Cain-Ceperley was the president of the League of Women Voters from 1992-1998. Cain is currently the president and CEO of The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation in Charleston, West Virginia.Catt Hall
Catt Hall is an administrative building completed in 1892, at Iowa State University which currently houses the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, and the Carrie Chapman Center for Women and Politics. The building is named for Carrie Chapman Catt, an American women's rights activist and founder of the League of Women Voters. She graduated from Iowa State in 1880 at the top of her class.Cheri Toalson Reisch
Cheri Toalson Reisch is an American politician who sits in the Missouri House of Representatives representing District 44. Reisch is a member of the Republican Party. She is the sixth-generation of her family to live in Boone County, Missouri, her ancestors having settled in the county in the 1810s.Cheri Toalson Reisch is best known for bringing a gun to the Daniel Boone Regional Library after being scared of the League of Women Voters at a voter forum.Reisch is currently being sued for blocking a constituent on Twitter.Con-Con Eleven
The Con-Con Eleven were a group of eleven women delegates to the 1961-1962 Michigan Constitutional Convention. The group of eleven women (5 Democrats and six Republicans) were the first and only women to attend a Michigan Constitutional Convention. The eleven women were Vera Andrus (1896-1976), Ruth Gibson Butler (1891-1981), Anne M. Conklin (1925-1975), Katherine Moore Cushman (1916-1991), Ann Elizabeth Donnelly (1924-1984), Daisy Elizabeth Elliott (1919-2015), Adelaide Julia Hart (1900-1995), Lillian Hatcher (1915-1998), Dorothy Leonard Judd (1898-1989), Ella Demmink Koeze (1905-1986), and Marjorie Frances McGowan (1930-1980).The eleven were appointed to 11 of the fourteen committees of the Constitutional convention, and three would serve as vice-chairs, though none were chairs. The delegates were from Port Huron, Houghton, Livonia, Dearborn, Highland Park, Detroit and Grand Rapids, Michigan.Dottie Berger MacKinnon
Dottie Berger MacKinnon (1942–2013) was a lifelong children’s advocate who raised millions to establish safe havens for at-risk kids. She was a Hillsborough County Commissioner from 1994–1998, serving as its chairman from 1996–1997. She was the co-founder of Joshua House and Friends of Joshua House in 1992, a temporary safe location in Lutz for abused and unwanted children. She helped to create a $1.2 million endowment to ensure that it continues. She also established A Kid’s Place in 2009, a 60-bed temporary location for foster-care to help siblings to stay together. She was on the board of directors at Tampa General Hospital from 2000 to 2007. On May 4, 2011, she received the Ellsworth G. Simmons Good Government Award by the Hillsborough County Commissioners. She also received the annual award that year from Hood Simply Smart Milk and the League of Women Voters. In 2012, she received the “Woman of Influence Award” from the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce. In 2013, she was posthumously inducted into the Florida Women’s Hall of Fame.Edna Fischel Gellhorn
Edna Fischel Gellhorn (1878 – 1970) was an American suffragist and reformer who played a prominent role in founding the National League of Women Voters.Electoral reform in Alaska
Electoral reform in Alaska refers to efforts to change the voting laws in this U.S. state.
U.S. Senator John McCain and other Republicans endorsed a referendum to implement Instant Runoff Voting, after the conservative vote split between the Republican candidate and the Alaskan Independence Party candidate, allowing a Democrat to win the governorship. However, the League of Women Voters opposed it, citing the principle of one man, one vote, and the measure was defeated. Another issue is whether Alaska will join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact and designate its three electors to the candidate winning the nationwide popular vote, rather than the winner of the state's vote. SB 138, a bill to do just that, was introduced in 2007, but was not approved.Florida's congressional districts
Florida is divided into 27 congressional districts, each represented by a member of the United States House of Representatives. After the 2010 Census, the number of Florida's seats was increased from 25 to 27 due to the state's increase in population, and subsequent reapportionment in 2012.
The districts are represented in the 116th United States Congress by 13 Democrats and 14 Republicans.
In 2010 more than 63 percent of Florida voters approved the initiated Amendments 5 and 6, known as the "Fair District Amendments," to the state constitution, over the objections of the Republican-controlled legislature. These are intended to promote fairness in congressional districts and "prohibit lawmakers from intentionally drawing districts that favor incumbents or political parties."The legislature had adopted new districts in 2012 as a result of the 2010 census. Their product was soon challenged in early 2011 by groups who had worked for passage of the amendments, including the League of Women Voters and Common Cause. The trial revealed much secret dealings by party operatives and lawmakers; the court set a new legal standard. At one point the court excluded the press and shut down the TV feed in order to allow three hours of testimony by a political operative.On July 9, 2014, a Florida judge ruled that state Republicans had illegally drawn the state's congressional districts. Judge Terry P. Lewis of Florida’s Second Judicial Circuit ordered that the 5th and 10th districts be redrawn. On appeal, the Florida Supreme Court ruled on July 9, 2015 that several more districts had to be redrawn, and that the legislature had unconstitutionally worked to benefit the Republican Party. The historic ruling was considered likely to affect most of the state's 27 districts.On December 2, 2015 the state supreme court approved a remedial plan for districting for the 2016 elections. All but Districts 1, 8, and 19 were altered in some way by the plan.Jane Lobman Katz
Jane Lobman Katz (1931 - 1986) was an Alabama advocate for government reform. She was inducted into the Alabama Women's Hall of Fame in 2000.Katz was born in Montgomery in 1931 to Jewish parents. She advocated heavily against 'poor government' in Alabama. She served as the State Legislative Chairperson for the Alabama League of Women Voters, and in that capacity supported education, regulation, standardization, and equalization of property taxes. She was a lifelong advocate for election law reform and campaign finance reform and regulating political action committees. Katz felt there was a need for stronger ethics laws and consumer protection laws. She advocated background checks of providers of childcare. She promoted a constitution reform convention, and the Equal Rights Amendment. Katz created the Capitol Newsletter, a newsletter about legislation. Her Voting Record reported on how Alabama legislators voted on issues pertinent to the League of Women Voters, the first magazine to do so. Katz died in 1986, at age 55.Katz was described by the Alabama Women's Hall of Fame thusly "Her ability to make complex, controversial, sensitive political issues understandable to average people, gave her a prominent place as a watchdog against poor government in Alabama." Former Alabama Chief Justice Howell Heflin, said of Katz, "[she was one of the] truly understanding supporters for the adoption of judicial reform in the Judicial Article."Kathleen N. Straus
Kathleen Nagler Straus (born December 3, 1923) is an activist who served as a member of the Michigan State Board of Education from 1993–2016. She has been continuously involved in civic organizations in Michigan since moving to Detroit in 1952 as a young mother. Her many volunteer and professional roles have included the Presidency of the League of Women Voters of Detroit, Executive Director of People and Responsible Organizations (PRO) for Detroit, President of the Michigan State Board of Education, and Secretary of the National Association of State Boards of Education.Lavinia Engle
Lavinia Margaret Engle (May 23, 1892 – May 29, 1979) was an American suffragette and politician. She was a member of the Maryland House of Delegates and Montgomery County Board of Commissioners, leader of the National American Woman Suffrage Association and Maryland League of Women Voters, and held positions within the Social Security Administration.Engle was born in Forest Glen, Maryland, to Quakers James Melvin Engle, a Treasury Department official, and Lavinia Hauke Engle, who was an active suffragette. Lavinia Hauke Engle was the first president of the Montgomery League of Women Voters and a frequent speaker at women's clubs in Maryland. She testified before Congress for women's suffrage with Susan B. Anthony.Lavinia Margaret Engle earned a BA from Antioch College in 1912. She would later return to school as the first female graduate student in political science at The Johns Hopkins University. After completing her BA, she joined the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA), where she became a suffrage campaign coordinator. She traveled extensively in the South and was particularly active in organizing the suffrage association in South Carolina. In 1919, she participated in the suffrage march in Washington, D.C. down Pennsylvania Avenue, which was met with violent opposition.After passage of the 19th Amendment, Engle advocated for the continued need for groups advocating women's suffrage rights. After the dissolution of the NAWSA, Engle became a leader of the League of Women Voters. From 1921 to 1936 she served as executive director of the Maryland League of Women Voters. During this time, she pushed for legislation including the Juvenile Court Act, the establishment of a State Department of Infant and Maternal Hygiene, the establishment of the Commission on Almshouses, and the reorganization of the Board of State Aid to Charities. She served on the Commission on Reorganization of the State Administrative Departments in 1921 and the State Commission on Higher Education in 1930. In 1930, she ran for the Maryland House of Delegates from Montgomery County and won a seat. During her one term in office, she helped pass the Marriage Bill and introduced legislation for unemployment insurance.In 1936, she left her post at the Maryland League of Women Voters and was appointed by Franklin Delano Roosevelt to the Social Security Administration, where she served until her retirement in 1966. She first acted as an educational representative, traveling the country to speak at college campuses and women's boards, but was soon promoted to Chief of Field Operations. In 1942, she was appointed Director of Region III, and in 1951, she became Assistant to the Commissioner of Social Security in charge of staff development. In 1963, she joined the Welfare Administration.League of Women Voters of Florida
The League of Women Voters of Florida (LWVFL) is a civic organization in the state of Florida. The organization is nonpartisan; the League's Bylaws mandate that the organization will not support any political candidate or party. League promotes political responsibility through informed and active participation of citizens in government, acts on selected governmental issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. League's members do advocate on policy issues.List of United States Supreme Court cases, volume 468
This is a list of all the United States Supreme Court cases from volume 468 of the United States Reports:
Reed v. Ross, 468 U.S. 1 (1984)
Thigpen v. Roberts, 468 U.S. 27 (1984)
Burnett v. Grattan, 468 U.S. 42 (1984)
United States v. Yermian, 468 U.S. 63 (1984)
National Collegiate Athletic Assn. v. Board of Regents of Univ. of Okla., 468 U.S. 85 (1984)
Securities Industry Assn. v. Board of Governors, FRS, 468 U.S. 137 (1984)
Davis v. Scherer, 468 U.S. 183 (1984)
Securities Industry Assn. v. Board of Governors, FRS, 468 U.S. 207 (1984)
Regan v. Wald, 468 U.S. 222 (1984)
Bacchus Imports, Ltd. v. Dias, 468 U.S. 263 (1984)
Clark v. Community for Creative Non-Violence, 468 U.S. 288 (1984)
Richardson v. United States, 468 U.S. 317 (1984)
Hobby v. United States, 468 U.S. 339 (1984)
FCC v. League of Women Voters of Cal., 468 U.S. 364 (1984)
Berkemer v. McCarty, 468 U.S. 420 (1984)
Spaziano v. Florida, 468 U.S. 447 (1984)
Brown v. Hotel Employees, 468 U.S. 491 (1984)
Hudson v. Palmer, 468 U.S. 517 (1984)
Wasman v. United States, 468 U.S. 559 (1984)
Block v. Rutherford, 468 U.S. 576 (1984)
Roberts v. United States Jaycees, 468 U.S. 609 (1984)
Regan v. Time, Inc., 468 U.S. 641 (1984)
United States v. Karo, 468 U.S. 705 (1984)
Allen v. Wright, 468 U.S. 737 (1984)
Segura v. United States, 468 U.S. 796 (1984)
Selective Service System v. Minnesota Public Interest Research Group, 468 U.S. 841 (1984)
Irving Independent School Dist. v. Tatro, 468 U.S. 883 (1984)
United States v. Leon, 468 U.S. 897 (1984)
Massachusetts v. Sheppard, 468 U.S. 981 (1984)
Smith v. Robinson, 468 U.S. 992 (1984)
INS v. Lopez-Mendoza, 468 U.S. 1032 (1984)
Payne v. Virginia, 468 U.S. 1062 (1984) (per curiam)
Garrison v. Hudson, 468 U.S. 1301 (1984)
California v. Harris, 468 U.S. 1303 (1984)
Heckler v. Turner, 468 U.S. 1305 (1984)
Uhler v. AFL-CIO, 468 U.S. 1310 (1984)
Montgomery v. Jefferson, 468 U.S. 1313 (1984)
National Farmers Union Ins. Cos. v. Crow Tribe, 468 U.S. 1315 (1984)
Walters v. National Assn. of Radiation Survivors, 468 U.S. 1323 (1984)Lucy W. Benson
Lucy Wilson Benson (born August 25, 1927) was United States Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs from 1977 to 1980. When Benson was named to this post, it was the highest position ever held by a woman in the United States Department of State.Prior to joining the State Department, Benson served as President of the League of Women Voters (1968 to 1974) and Massachusetts Secretary of Human Services (1975 to 1977). She has also been a member of the Lafayette College board of trustees since 1985.Madeleine Lemoyne Ellicott
Madeleine Lemoyne, Mrs. Charles E. Ellicott (November 14, 1856 – 1945) was an American suffragist. She was the founder of the League of Women Voters of Maryland, serving as its president for 20 years, longer than anyone else.
Born in Chicago, Ellicott studied chemistry at Rush Medical College, and then continued her studies at the Polytechnic in Zurich, Switzerland. In conjunction with the annual National League of Women Voters meeting planned for Baltimore in 1922, she was one of the organizers of the Pan-American Conference of Women.She married Charles Ellis Ellicott in 1890. They had three sons, Charles Ellis Ellicott, Jr. (born 1892), Valcoulon Lemoyne Ellicott (born 1893), and John Roman Ellicott (born 1896).Minnesota Woman Suffrage Association
The Minnesota Woman Suffrage Association (MWSA) was an organization devoted to women's suffrage in Minnesota. From 1881 to 1920, the organization struggled to secure women's right to vote. Its members organized marches, wrote petitions and letters, gathered signatures, gave speeches, and published pamphlets and broadsheets to force the Minnesota Legislature to recognize their right to vote. Due to their efforts, the legislature approved the Nineteenth Amendment in 1919.Missouri League of Women Voters
The Missouri League of Women Voters (LWV Missouri) is a nonpartisan organization to inform women voters in the American state of Missouri and encourage their participation in the political process. It was founded in 1919 as a successor to the Equal Suffrage League, a campaign for women's suffrage in the state, and appointed Edna Gellhorn as its first president. It is affiliated to the U.S.-wide League of Women Voters and organizes local branches in different parts of the state.Texas Equal Suffrage Association
The Texas Equal Suffrage Association (TESA) was an organization founded in 1903 to support white women's suffrage in Texas. It was originally formed under the name of the Texas Woman Suffrage Association (TWSA) and later renamed in 1916. TESA did allow men to join. TESA did not allow black women as members, because at the time to do so would have been "political suicide." The El Paso Colored Woman's Club applied for TESA membership in 1918, but the issue was deflected and ended up going nowhere. TESA focused most of their efforts on securing the passage of the federal amendment for women's right to vote. The organization also became the state chapter of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA). After women earned the right to vote, TESA reformed as the Texas League of Women Voters.Woman's Journal
Woman's Journal was an American women's rights periodical published from 1870-1931. It was founded in 1870 in Boston, Massachusetts, by Lucy Stone and her husband Henry Browne Blackwell as a weekly newspaper. In 1917 it was purchased by Carrie Chapman Catt's Leslie Woman Suffrage Commission and merged with The Woman Voter and National Suffrage News to become known as The Woman Citizen. It served as the official organ of the National American Woman Suffrage Association until 1920, when the organization was reformed as the League of Women Voters, and the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was passed granting women the right to vote. Publication of Woman Citizen slowed from weekly, to bi-weekly, to monthly. In 1927, it was renamed The Woman's Journal. It ceased publication in June 1931.
Women's lobbies, alliances and national committees
women's rights alliances
Women's clubs in the United States