The Morgan County League of Women Voters elected to disband last night.
The local political awareness group was founded 96 years ago and was not limited to just women. Though they had as 100 members at one point in their history, the group had lost a significant level of membership, with only 22 people registered and 12 active members.
The national League of Women Voters was founded 6 months before women received the right to vote in 1920 with the 19th amendment, according to the organization’s website.
Jane Masters was President of the local branch of the League. Masters explains why a decision was made to disband the Morgan County League of Women Voters.
“This has happened due to a decrease in membership that has been taking place over a number of years. We have about 20 members on the list, but some of these members are not able to get out of their homes, so they are there in name only. So the work of the League in the last three or four years has fallen into the hands of about a dozen people that have been doing this. The bottom line is that we’re tired and frustrated.”
Masters describes how the group of members voted last night.
“It was not an easy decision, and the group that was there last night was almost evenly divided, between those who wanted to continue and those that voted to disband. Even for those who voted to disband, it was a difficult decision when the history and accomplishments of the organization are taken into account.”
Masters says the current group of members was unable to move forward.
“The decision was not made lightly. We struggled, and we’ve been struggling with this for a number of years. We knew that our numbers were small, and we made different attempts at recruitment, but the interest simply hasn’t been there.”
The League of Women Voters established three main things in the county to offer open transparency in local politics, including a Voter Handbook published every two years, forums for local candidates to share their platforms and speak with their constituents, and an annual gathering of publicly elected officials for a ‘State of the County, City, and Village’ address.