logo for the League of Women Voters of Topeka and Shawnee County

President Vicki Arnett


President’s Perspective

November 2019

My grandmother used to say, there is no rest for the wick-ed, and the righteous don’t need any. Our league is pretty righteous. We have advocated for extending weekend early voting with the Shawnee County Board of Commissioners. No commitment was made to extend early voting for the November election, however, LWV has a 100-year history of advocating for increased access to the ballot. We will be back.

Please double check your voter registration and vote on or before Nov. 5. Information about your candidates may be found on vote411.org. Our voter services worked very hard to obtain answers to questions from all local candidates by participating in vote411. Educate yourself and others about the Kansas Constitutional Amendment question by reading the Voter and vote411.

Please plan to join us for Tuesday Topics on Election Day, Tues. Nov. 5 to learn from a panel of all five Shawnee County school superintendents.

Carrie Lancaster will present information about advocacy and the state legislative process Wednesday, Nov. 6, 6 – 7 p.m. at the YWCA. Learn about league efforts to make the process more transparent.

LWVTSC board is planning a board retreat and orientation in November to help us plan for the future. If you are interested in serving on our board or volunteering in any capacity, please speak to me, any board member or Gwen Elliott, nominating committee chair. It is important to our future that we continue strong leadership, in the league and in the community.

You will want to be a part of our future as we celebrate our past. Please renew your membership in November. Renewing in November helps our cash flow as we make our national membership payment. Your dues and donations keep us strong.

Kansas and LWV history inform our present and our future. There are many firsts to celebrate. In 1861, since statehood, Kansas was the first in the nation to support women voting in school elections. Since home and children were considered part of a women’s “sphere” or role, participation in decisions related to the education of their children was important to all Kansans. Kansas was the first in the nation to support women voting in city elections in 1887. Susanna Salter was elected mayor of Argonia, Kansas in 1887 on the Prohibition party ticket. Her nomination was considered a joke by the men of the community. Remember, most polling places were in saloons in 1887. When she won 2/3 of the vote, I guess we know who got the last laugh. She went on to serve the community in a serious and effective manner as the first woman mayor in the nation. She died in 1961 at the age of 101. The Salter home in Argonia is pro-posed to be a part of the women’s suffrage trail in 2020. The Kansas legislature voted in 1912, as the eighth state, to support full voting rights for women. Although there were efforts to overturn full suffrage, they were not successful.

The first in the nation League of Women Voters meeting was held in June 1919 in Wichita. Prior to the formation of the League, Topeka suffragists were known as the Good Government Club. I like to think of us as a continuing force for good government. Kansas was the fourth state to ratify the 19th amendment in June 1919. The final state to ratify was Tennessee in August 1920.
I will be spending some time planning my suffrage costume for upcoming centennial events. I hope you will join me.

Your LWVTSC membership renews in November. Please keep your league strong by renewing your membership prior to the end of November 2019. We want you to continue to be a member of the Topeka Shawnee County League of Women Voters. Everyone is welcome! As a member, you will:

  • have the opportunity to participate in local, state, and national League work
  • get exclusive civic information you can trust
  • know that your membership dues add to our grassroots strength and our financial resources.

Membership Levels include:  Individual $60, Household $100.  Become a sustainer for an additional $30.

Student Memberships are free.  

You have the option of paying by pay pal which will charge a $3.50 processing fee.   

If you prefer to write a check for your membership, please mail your check to Allan Foster, 6321 SW 25th St., Topeka, KS 66614 or Theresa Kiernan, 3620 SW York Way, Topeka, KS 66604. Please let one of us know if there has been a change in any of your personal information. Thank you.