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100 Years Since Women Won the Right to Vote, a Woman Is Elected to White House Office

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As we close out the 2020 election cycle, we have much to reflect upon. This has been a tumultuous, sometimes heartbreaking, yet in many ways celebratory election year. At the League of Women Voters, we are celebrating the all-time high voter turnout and the extraordinary dedication of our poll workers, GOTV volunteers, election officers, and postal workers who fought against all odds to make this election successful and secure. 

In addition, this year we have a very special success to celebrate: we have a woman ready to take her rightful place in the White House. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris is prepared to be the first woman to ascend to one of the highest offices in our country. It has been a long time coming, America.

This accomplishment is even more significant because Kamala Harris is a woman of color — a Black, Indian American daughter of immigrants. How sweet it is! While the League never endorses candidates or parties, we celebrate the election of a women to the vice presidency, because we cannot deny the historic significance of this moment. 

Despite extraordinary circumstances, millions of Black and brown women went to polls and elevated their voices in the 2020 elections. Now, because of their persistence, along with their supporting partners — people of all ethnicities and gender identities — they can finally see a future for themselves reflected in the White House. Little girls across America will finally see the beauty of America's diversity represented in our highest hall of power. However, as Vice President-elect Harris so aptly pointed out in her post-election address, she may be the first, but she does not plan on being the last, and she humbly stands on the shoulders of those who came before.

Vice President-elect Harris has broken the glass ceiling that women have fought against since the 1800s, when Victoria Woodhull ran for president and Lucretia Moss ran for vice president.

Exactly 100 years after women won the right to vote, America has elected a woman to serve in the White House. We will not allow another 100 years to pass before we have many more women in the White House and the presidency. The League has long supported more women running for office at every level, and we will continue working toward the day when seeing women elevated to the highest positions of government is not only the norm but is expected. 

Because of this historic accomplishment, we can hear the voices of the past still resonate today: the joyful cheers of suffragists — especially our heroines of color who continued to fight for our rights after the 19th Amendment was passed, and the cries of victory from civil rights leaders who fought, bled, and died for the right to vote — many of whom were women whose voices were not always acknowledged. We can also hear the voices of the present: millions of voters, the majority of whom were women, are celebrating today because they proved that America still believes in Democracy and the importance of letting every voice be elevated, against all odds, even in the year of COVID. 

For “Change, it is a-coming,” and the election of a woman of color to the White House is one decisive step on America's journey towards healing. 

We all know America has a long way to go to become that more perfect union we aspire to be. This year ripped off the bandage that had allowed us to ignore or sidebar the division, distrust, and unkindness fueled by misinformation, inequity, fear, and loss of respect for one another. It is important that we do not re-bandage deep wounds but instead move towards healing. For “Change, it is a-coming,” and the election of a woman of color to the White House is one decisive step on this journey. 

So, let us all take a moment to honor and celebrate this historic feat, with the anticipation of many more to follow.  

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