100 YEARS: The League of Women Voters of Maine celebrates work

Published: Feb. 13, 2020 at 3:30 PM EST
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Making Democracy Work for the Next 100 Years.

That was the theme for the celebration for The League of Women Voters of Maine.

Pious Ali says, "What holds us together is democracy. In order to strengthen that everyone should be able to participate, everyone should be allowed to participate."

In the last century, The League has helped educate women on the voting process.

Anna Kellar says, "For us to feel connected to the women 100 years ago who were fighting for their rights when it wasn't guaranteed, we want to bring that energy into making sure that people who feel excluded from the political party process today get to have their voices heard and that we are really powerful when we stand up and work together. "

Marianne Moore says, I think back to the first couple of times I had the privilege to vote not knowing or understanding the candidates on the ballot. I happened to see an insert in the local paper from The League of Women Voters who very thoroughly described each of the candidates without any slant to their political party."

The League was officially founded in Chicago in 1920.

That was six months before the 19th amendment was ratified and women won the right to vote.

Kellar says, "The League women who had been working very hard for that right realized that they would need to be educated about how voting worked and also those voting rights needed to be defended and extended to everyone."

Now members also focus on improving voter turnout and better serving marginalized communities.

Ali says, "I believe that everyone that lives in this country, or in this state, or in our cities, should be able to vote because our voting is what gives participants or residents the opportunity to select who they want to meet them. Probably the people that share the same values as them."

More than 500 people in Maine are now active members of the league.