Her Vote. Her Voice. remembers 1920 suffrage anniversary

In celebration of women’s suffrage, Augustana faculty and students are paying tribute with events sponsored by the Her Vote. Her Voice. (HVHV) campaign.

HVHV is a South Dakota based group whose initiative is to facilitate statewide celebrations, develop educational programs and assemble historic artifacts in remembrance of the ratification of the 19th Amendment. 

Margaret “Peg” Preston,  is an Augustana history professor and chair member for HVHV.

“The celebration was meant to be bigger,” Preston said. “It was meant to be in person, and the pandemic undermined a lot of this celebration.” 

Due to COVID-19, many of the events set in motion for this year’s celebration had to revert to Facebook live events, podcast interviews and virtual education.

Augustana President Stephanie Herseth Sandlin has worked closely with the HVHV committee and appeared on the organization’s podcast “How Radical.” 

Herseth Sandlin spoke of her achievements and challenges as the first woman from South Dakota to be elected into the U.S. House of Representatives and the first woman to serve as president of Augustana. 

On Sept. 14, Herseth Sandlin will host a webinar where she will sit down with a group of female leaders from South Dakota to discuss the importance of the 19th Amendment.

“I so appreciate women leaders like Stephanie and others that are going to join this panel,” Pamela Miller, Augustana chief of staff, said. “I admire their willingness to break barriers for women who will come after them.”

The event will be live via Zoom or can be viewed from the Augustana (SD) Alumni Facebook page. 

One of the events featured on campus is the Center for Western Studies gallery exhibition that seeks to honor women’s suffrage. The exhibit features 19 pieces created by women. According to the HVHV website, each piece is meant to demonstrate “the diverse and powerful voices of the women of the Northern Plains.”

HVHV’s primary goal from now until November is to help individuals get registered to vote and educated on the general election. 

“Advocating the vote is not just for women, but for new voters such as students who just turned 18, for new citizens who have just attained citizenship and for persons whose vote have been discouraged or undermined,” Preston said.

Preston finds that although the 19th Amendment paved a new road for women voters, many were still left out.

“The 19th Amendment did not give every woman the right to vote — Native Americans, women of color —  and so that needs to be recognized by these events,” said Preston.

HVHV members will be doing just that as they advocate the right to vote for all, just as the women before them have done.

Information on how and where to vote has been provided at the Mikkelsen Library. Students can access an online voting guide on the library’s website or meet with one of the librarians in person. 

The last day to register to vote in South Dakota is Oct. 19, and election day is Nov. 3.

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