Voter Suppression, Elections Past

Voter suppression is not a new idea. Just ask the women who were denied the vote before 1920.

The first European country to introduce women’s suffrage was the Grand Duchy of Finland, and the world’s first female members of parliament (in 1907) were Finnish.  The U.S. did not allow women the right to vote until a constitutional amendment was passed by Congress on June 4, 1919, and ratified on August 18, 1920. This was the 19th amendment. The fight to win this right began during the mid 19th century, when women suffragists marched, lobbied, and practiced civil disobedience. Few early supporters lived to see final victory in 1920. For nearly 7o years the battle raged on, every decade or so picking up new supporters in government, society, and media.

This 1913 cover from Life magazine shows the four out of five citizens who were allowed the vote. Using nasty stereotypes, Life‘s point is not just clear but startling.

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