SPARTA, NJ – The nineteenth amendment was ratified 100 years ago. It was August 26, 1920 when women had earned the right to vote.
The Sparta Township Council recognized this milestone with a proclamation at the meeting on Tuesday night. Read by Deputy Mayor Christine Quinn Sparta Women’s Club members Kathleen Shepard and Marianne Bayliss were in the council chambers to receive the honor.
Members of the Sparta Woman’s Club have been researching the suffragette movement and the women who worked so hard to get the vote for their gender. According to Co-President Kathleen Shepard and Marianne Bayliss the members of the club have been compiling biographies of the iconic women into an anthology.
“We’re learning a lot about how brave these women were,” Bayliss said.
"It's been very interesting," Shepard said. "They had to go through a lot."
The local chapter is part of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs which was originally established as part of the “Society Plan” that joined women across the country in pursuit of the right to vote.
In 1914 the General Federation of Women’s Clubs approved a resolution to “give the cause of political equality for men and women its moral support by recording its earnest belief in the principal of equality regardless of sex,” according to the proclamation.
By the 1964 presidential election the number of female voters has exceeded the number of male voters, a trend that continues to the present, according to Center for American Women and Politics.
In the 2016 presidential election 73.7 million woman reportedly voted as compared to 63.8 million men. This number represents 63.3% of eligible women and 59.3% of eligible men who cast ballots for the candidates.
In this country’s history only one woman, Hillary Clinton, has been nominated to run for president in a major political party. Three women have been nominated to run for vice-president; Geraldine Ferraro in 1984, Sarah Palin in 2008 and now Kamala Harris has been named as Joe Biden’s running mate.
The Sparta Women’s Club will be continuing with their suffragette biography project as they also celebrate with a Yellow Ribbon tribute.