Making Democracy Work

About the League

What is our mission? How are we structured? What is our history?

Our Mission and Roles

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization encouraging the informed and active participation of citizens in government. It influences public policy through education and advocacy. We never support or oppose any political party or candidate.

The League of Women Voters has two separate and distinct roles.

  • Voters Service/Citizen Education: we present unbiased nonpartisan information about elections, the voting process, and issues.

  • Action/Advocacy: we are also nonpartisan, but, after study, we use our positions to advocate for or against particular policies in the public interest.

To conduct our voter service and citizen education activities, we use funds from the League of Women Voters Education Fund, which is a 501(c)(3) corporation, a nonprofit educational organization. The League of Women Voters of the Clemson Area, a membership organization, conducts action and advocacy and is a nonprofit 501(c)(4) corporation.

Our Vision, Beliefs, and Intentions guide our activities.

History of Our League

In July 1848, the first national convention for women was held in Seneca Falls, NY. The convention dealt with the social, civil, religious conditions and rights of women. The women attending this meeting decided to fight for the right to vote. Over 780 years later, in February 1920, and after several organizational changes, the National American Woman Suffrage Association became the National League of Women Voters. And, on August 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote was ratified and became part of the Constitution. Carrie Chapman Catt is credited as the League's founder; Maud Wood Park was the first League president.

In 1946, the NLWV became the League of Women Voters of the United States (LWVUS). In 1974, men were admitted as full voting members. The League's purpose was (and is) to promote political responsibility through informed participation of citizens in government.

Over the years, the League has been active in social and environmental issues, issues dealing with Congress, presidential debates, voting rights, fiscal policy, international trade, arms control, reproductive choice, and health care, to name a few.

The LWV of the Clemson Area (LWVCA) was formed in 1968. Through the years, the Clemson League has been active in issues dealing with local government, voting procedures, education, recreation, debates for local, county, and state candidates. Ruth Haun was president during the two-year formative, or provisional, period of the League. Once chartered by the state League, Dianne Haselton served four years as president of the new League. Several charter members of the LWVCA are still actively involved. LWVCA members have provided leadership to the League of Women Voters of South Carolina (LWVSC) by serving in various capacities on the state board, organizing and leading statewide meetings, and researching and preparing materials on selected topics for use by other local Leagues in the state.