Indiana State University staff educated the public on historical importance of Hoosiers in attaining the right to vote.
On Wednesday Jan. 15, Marsha Miller, research and instruction librarian at Indiana State, gave a presentation to cover the 1917 Maston-McKinley Partial Suffrage Act, the Legislative Council of Women, and Governor Goodrich in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment being passed.
“We are celebrating this week of indiana ratifying the 19th Amendment and the 100th final ratification of the 19th Amendment in August of 1920 when all women got full voting privileges,” said Miller.
The suffrage movement started in Indiana in 1851 and Indiana was the 26th state to ratify the 19th amendment on Jan. 16,1920.
It wasn’t always an easy task, fighting for the right to vote in Indiana, and sometimes the suffragists were given false hope.
“For a short period of time in 1917 it looked like Indiana women were going to vote but then it was taken away from them. That was significant, but they kept at it and were able to start voting until 1920,” said Miller.
Miller’s main goal of presenting this information is to further educate the public about the struggle for women to attain the right to vote and keep them involved in politics.
“One of the things about women's suffrage is that everyone may know a little bit of something, but maybe they only know the names of some of the people, maybe the ones a little more nationally known like Susan B. Anthony,” said Miller.
The fight for the right to vote is something that many were and still are passionate about because it took a toll on people and lives were lost in the process.
“This is a very political issue but it’s at the heart of so many people. They don’t realize what it took, not just for women, but for african Americans to vote. A lot of people died before they were even sure it was going to happen.”
Attendee and fellow member of the League of Women Voters, Patricia Mansard, believes we need to honor those who participated in the fight to be able to vote through staying engaged in the voting process.
“It was such a long hard-fought struggle to get what should have been a very obvious justice accomplished for half of our population to simply have the right to participate in the government,” said Mansard.
“We owe all these people who have worked for so long who have given us this right to vote, to be engaged and realize that our everyday lives are determined by a great degree by who we elect.”