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Women’s Suffrage, A Look Back, and Forward, with Sylvia Nugent

Tuesday marks the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which prohibits states and the federal government from denying the right to vote to citizens of the United States based on sex.

"Women were the last minority to earn the right to vote,” long-time political strategist Sylvia Nugent said. "It took a long time for that to happen, and when you think about it, it’s a right that we haven't had that long."

Nugent noted one of the most shocking things about the effort was how long it took. According to, activists and reformers worked on the effort for nearly 100 years, starting decades before the civil war. The state of Tennessee ratified the amendment on August 18, 1920, allowing the amendment to officially become law.

"Having the right to vote is just awesome," Nugent noted. "It's something that we should never take for granted and that we should exercise not only as a right but as a responsibility."

It was Barry Goldwater's presidential campaign that first exposed Nugent to the world of politics. She's gone on to work on countless political campaigns at all levels of government.

"I remember in the 1980s, women almost automatically had a 12 point disadvantage," Nugent said. "While that's changed, and we’ve made significant progress...we still have a ways to go."

Nugent stressed the importance of educating our children on their right to vote.

"I'm sending all of my grandchildren (who are all under the age of 13) a bouquet of flowers this year with a card that says--100 years ago today, women earned the right to vote. Please remember how important it is to exercise that right."

All voters will be able to exercise their right to vote in the upcoming November elections. Early voting will begin on October 13.


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