ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — As excitement for this year’s election continues, it’s important to remember that not too long ago in our nation’s history, women were not allowed to cast a ballot. 2020 marks the 100th anniversary since the 19th amendment was ratified granting women across the United States the right to vote.
“We’ve been celebrating remotely, and luckily, in New York State, women got the right to vote in 1917, so we had all this extra time to celebrate leading up to 2020,” said Jennifer Wilson with the League of Women Voters of New York State.
It’s said the women’s rights movement kicked off in New York State in 1848 with the Seneca Falls Convention organized by suffragette Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
“Especially in the western and northern parts of the state, we are, we were very involved in the passage of the 19th amendment, and we have a number of really incredible suffragists who called the state home,” Wilson said.
And Wilson says the spirit of those suffragists lives on. This summer, the state board of elections asked for help due to a “critical shortage of poll workers.” Officials noted that prior to this election 55 percent of poll workers were over the age of 60. And that made them especially “vulnerable” to COVID-19 complications.
Wilson says reports show that younger people across the country, especially young women, have answered the call.
“It’s very exciting to see these young women, stepping up and helping handle the election during the pandemic serving as poll workers, which is very difficult and a very long day to be a poll worker,” Wilson said.
Wilson says it’s disappointing that many in-person events had to be canceled this year celebrating the women’s suffrage milestone. But, she says there’s still opportunities to learn.
“There’s a lot of museums throughout the state, of course, Susan B Anthony out in Rochester and Carrie Chapman Catt and Elizabeth Cady Stanton out in the Seneca Falls area. So, New York State, once things are reopened, I would definitely highly encourage New York state residents to take a little day trip or take a weekend trip out to some of these sites and really kind of absorb the history of New York State and our very rich suffragist history,” she said.