4-Staters create new chapter of the League of Women Voters

One hundred years ago, the Missouri Senate threw its support behind the 19th Amendment which gave women the right to vote.

Monday night at the Joplin Public Library, Southwest Missouri women proved they know that right shouldn’t be taken for granted by forming a brand new chapter of the League of Women Voters.

“I think it’s long overdue. It should have had one for a long time. I’m a big fan of Joplin so I think Joplin should be way up there in the things that rock that state,” said Phyllis Behrens who was running for treasurer.

And these women and men who are also welcome, want to rock the state by rocking the vote. Getting 4-Staters registered to vote is arguably their top priority.

“We’re going to try and educate some people around here that might not know how to get registered to vote. They might not know where their voting place is. And so we’re hopefully going to spread some information around here to get more voters registered,” said Karen Roberts who was running for secretary.

“Voter registration, that’s a biggie. Voter rights, that’s really what drew me in at first, and as we continue to build our local chapter, I’m sure we’ll identify some local priorities,” said Neely Myers who was running for chair.

The inaugural meeting of the Joplin chapter was spent deciding an official chapter name, electing officers, and other forms of groundwork. But that didn’t dampen the passion of the crowd which varied in gender, race, and age.

“When I grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the League of Women Voters was a big thing in Tulsa. And my mother was always watching the paper for articles about them. And she never got to join, but the idea was, women can make a difference,” said Diane Langford who was running for co-chair.

If you missed the first official meeting of the League of Women Voters of the Greater Joplin Area but would like to get involved, check out their Facebook page.