LEHI, Utah and SAN FRANCISCO, March 3, 2020 -- In 2020 more women will hit the campaign trail or cast a vote at the polls than ever before. Some experts are predicting a record-breaking number of female voters, projecting up to 70 percent of overall voter turnout will be women.* One hundred years ago, many women could not cast a ballot due to discriminatory laws in their home states.
To honor the trailblazers who came before us and recognize the importance of voter equality -- Ancestry® is shining a light on the many people and moments that shaped women's suffrage and the ratification of the 19th Amendment.
This August 26, 2020, marks the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which removed discrimination in voting "on account of sex" and ultimately granted many women the right to vote for the first time on a national stage. Ancestry hopes to elevate the stories of the generations of women who carried the torch, and to connect today's voters with those who cast the first votes (or in some cases may not have been able to at all). Anyone can search for their personal links to women's voting rights history for free by visiting www.ancestry.com/MakeThemCount throughout 2020. A discovery can be as easy as starting with one name.
"Important historic milestones remind us of where we've been but also where we're going," said Jennifer Utley, Director of Research at Ancestry. "Learning our ancestors' stories gives them power. If you think about it, it's very possible your great-great grandmother couldn't vote. You can, and it's because of the women who fought for your rights. Celebrating their grit, tenacity, and humanity, makes them count."
As the leader in family history, Ancestry – powered by billions of records, facts and stories –offers people the opportunity to learn more about those who fought for voting equality and find a personal connection to women's suffrage. While the 1920 ratification of the 19th Amendment was a key achievement in women's suffrage, the road to voters' rights spanned generations – from the early efforts of suffragists and abolitionists in the 1800s to breaking down barriers to voting for women of color in the mid-1900s. Ancestry's unparalleled records collection helps bridge the road to progress in America.
Ancestry is working with descendants of voters rights advocates to tell these historic stories throughout the centennial, both known and unknown, to honor the many contributions generations of women made on the path to the voter's booth.
"2020 is an important time for us to reflect back on the fight for voting access, remembering that the 19th Amendment was one part of a long, multi-generational movement fueled by diverse, incredible women," said Dr. Lisa Tetrault, associate professor at Carnegie Mellon University and women's rights expert. "Ancestry plays a unique role in helping people find their personal connection to that past and highlights the untold stories of countless individuals who shaped our nation's suffrage story."
Starting on March 3, visitors to www.ancestry.com/MakeThemCount will be able to discover their family's connections to women's voting rights and learn more about the history of women's suffrage.
Ancestry®, the global leader in family history and consumer genomics, empowers journeys of personal discovery to enrich lives. With our unparalleled collection of 24 billion records and over 16 million people in our growing DNA network, customers can discover their family story and gain actionable insights about their health and wellness. For over 30 years, we've built trusted relationships with millions of people who have chosen us as the platform for discovering, preserving and sharing the most important information about themselves and their families.
*Brookings Institute, "What does high voter turnout tell us about the 2020 elections?" Galston, W.A., Nov. 20, 2019.