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League of Women Voters


The League of Women Voters, a grassroots nonpartisan organization seeking to increase participation in government, is organized at all three levels of government—local, state, and national. Each level of the league has its own board of directors and its own agenda for political action. In West Virginia, there are local leagues, as well as a state league. The first meeting of the West Virginia league was held in 1944, and the group was recognized by the national office in 1947.

The league advocates for governmental reforms, educates the public about the governmental process, and provides nonpartisan information about those running for office. While the league never takes positions on candidates, it does take positions on issues. It has positions on issues pertaining to government, the environment, human services, and international relations. Members study issues before reaching a consensus, and then advocate for issues at the appropriate level of government.

The League of Women Voters was founded on February 14, 1920, in Chicago, during the victory convention of the National American Woman’s Suffrage Association. The women had gathered to celebrate their success in winning the right to vote. During their convention they decided to carry on with the task of educating women about the political process and the use of the vote. To founder Carrie Chapman Catt winning the vote was only the first step; the next was to learn how to use it. So the Suffrage Convention created the League of Women Voters. While it was founded primarily to educate women about the vote, its mission included all citizens and its membership has included men since 1974.

Written by Becky Ceperly