WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — An organization committed to registering and informing voters is celebrating a major milestone this month, ahead of Tuesday’s general election.
The League of Women Voters is celebrating its 100th anniversary here in the state of Texas.
Even though some may know that the National League of Women Voters was founded in early 1920, what many may not know was that Texas already had its own league before that, founded in 1919.
On October 19, 1919 the Texas League of Women Voters was founded in San Antonio just four months earlier than the foundation of the national league in February of 1920.
The non-partisan political organization was founded just after the 19th amendment was passed in the House and the Senate aimed at giving women the right to vote.
President of the League of Women Voters, Kaye Holland, said “They wanted to get women educated because they had never voted. It was a 70 some odd year event to get to that point and women did not vote, did not know how to vote. So getting them informed and prepared so they could make good choices at the polls.”
And though it may have started with women, the scope of the league now stretches even further with men coming into the league nationally in 1974, with the intention of the league still dedicating itself to voter education, participation, and registration.
David Barbosa, League of Women Voters member, said, “There have been legislative moves on the part of certain state legislators and at the national level also to restrict voting and as a member of the league I feel strongly that we need to make sure that we speak up when those kinds of things happen.”
In 1953 Wichita Falls joined in and created their own league, now with members saying they hope to encourage voter participation from Americans in all walks of life.
Barbosa said, “Being a Hispanic, I’m interested given the growing number of Hispanics in the country, I am interested in looking at ways in which we can educate our Hispanic population so that they too can express their desires at the ballot box.”
And with all the league has accomplished in the 100 years since its beginning, members of the league say their fight is far from over and urge more people to be involved.
Emerson Capps, League of Women Voters member, said, “For me a hundred years says there is still a real need for voter education, for help with voter registration.”
Holland said, “It’s stayed. It’s kept going and we hope to keep it going past us.”
The league meets the first Wednesday of every month.
For more information on the league and how you can attend the next meeting, click here, here or here.
By the way, you only have two days left to cast an early ballot in the general election. For when and where you can vote and more on what will be on the ballot, visit the Texoma Politics Now section over on our website.