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Carter County Election Commission holds ceremony for 101st anniversary of Women’s Suffrage

BY NIC MILLER
STAR STAFF
nic.miller@elizabethton.com

This Wednesday in Carter County was a very special day for all women who live within the community, as this day marked exactly 101 years of women having the right to vote in America. 

To celebrate such a momentous occasion in women’s history, a ceremony was held at the Carter County Election Commission Office to commemorate all the hard work and dedication that women in the area had to be able to gain voting rights.

And while this ceremony fell on the 101st anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment, this event also celebrated the 100 year mark that was not able to be celebrated last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Members of the community from many different organizations, such as The Carter County Democratic Women, The Overmountain Republican Women, The Elizabethton Public Library,  The Carter County Commission, The Carter County Election Commission, as well as elected officials like Carter County Mayor Patty Woodby and Tennessee State Senator Marsha Blackburn, were all in attendance for the event on Wednesday.

Mayor Woodby spoke on how special of an occasion that this event was, saying, “Achieving this milestone required a lengthy and difficult struggle and took decades of activism, protests, and dedication to the cause.”

“Today we honor all those who worked tirelessly despite the odds, and succeeded in changing our nation. I would like to encourage everyone to honor these heroes by making your own voices heard and voting every time that you have the chance.”

Eve Olive, a descendent of a women’s suffragist in Carter County, was also in attendance for this ceremony, and speaking from personal experience was able to say, “The ratification of the amendment took place 14 years before I was born, so I very easily could have been born where I had to fight for my right to vote.”

“My grandmother, Sophie Hunter Dickson, actually did go out and fight for her right to be able to vote and in the end, she was successful.”

To even further commemorate this event, Elizabethton Public Library Archivist Joe Penza has helped place plaques on the walls inside of the election commission building, telling the story of how the 19th amendment came to be ratified.

These plaques will remain on the walls for the near future, however a permanent marker celebrating the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote has been placed into the ground outside of the election commission building.