For the next segment in our Women’s Suffrage series to honor the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which legalized a Women’s Right to Vote, we wanted to explore women’s involvement in our U.S. democracy across the nation. This article will explore some recent women’s political milestones throughout the country.
According to a study done at the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University (“CAWP”), women have outnumbered men as registered voters since 1980. In the 2016 Presidential election, CAWP reported that around 83.8 million women in America were registered to vote, outnumbering their male counterparts by around 10 million. Further, in every presidential election since 1964, “the number of female voters has exceeded the number of male voters.” In the 2016 election, 63.3% of eligible women went to the polls vs. 59.3% of eligible men. Therefore, not only are women registering to vote in higher numbers, there are also more women consistently going to the polls.
The Status of Women Data Organization (statusofwomendata.org) released a study of State-by-State Voting Participation; New Hampshire, Minnesota, and Maine came in as the top three female voting states, while Utah, Texas and West Virginia had the worst female turnouts. With Schneider Downs’ locations in Ohio, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, our states came in at 28th, 43rd, and 45th, respectively.
In addition to political participation via voting, women taking over political seats in the House and Senate is also on the rise. CAWP reported that the first female to run for the House of Representatives did so in 1866, 54 years before women were even eligible to vote. During this election, the female candidate received just 24 out of 12,000 votes. In 1917, three years before women became eligible to vote, the first woman was elected to the House. Today, there are 101 women currently serving, which makes up 23.2% of the House. As for the Senate, the first woman was elected in 1932, with about 25% of the Senate being made up by women today.
It is obvious that while women are making immense strides in the political world, they are still behind in the fight for equal representation. The Status of Women Organization provides many resources for women who wish to get more involved in politics. These resources include campaign trainings, political action committees, women’s commissions and state chapters of the National Women’s Political Caucus. Schneider Downs, in conjunction with the SD Focus on Women committee, is dedicated to using these and countless other resources in order to develop and inspire women to reach their highest potential.
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