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This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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League of Women Voters

League of Women Voters, 1927The League of Women Voters of North Carolina was founded in 1920 by leaders of the movement for women suffrage to inform and encourage active participation by citizens in public policy issues. As a nonpartisan organization, the league does not support or oppose any candidate or political party. It encourages citizen participation and education through voter registration drives, public debate, and forums, and it fosters change through advocate lobbying efforts at all levels. It also studies and promotes a wide range of issues, such as universal voter registration and effective election laws; fair, honest, and open campaign practices; protection of natural resources; responsible local, state, and federal fiscal policies; safe, affordable housing; child care and women's issues; an effective criminal justice system; and fair and equitable taxes.

The North Carolina league is a three-tiered organization with a national office in Washington, D.C., a state office in Raleigh, and a state board of directors that serves as an administrative unit for 27 local leagues representing 23 counties in the state.


Celebrating a Quarter Century of Political Participation in North Carolina: A History of the League of Women Voters in North Carolina, 1951-1976 (1976).

Kathryn L. Nasstrom, "'More Was Expected of Us': The League of Women Voters and the Feminist Movement in the 1920s" (M.A. thesis, UNC-Chapel Hill, 1988).

Additional Resources:

Clare, Rod. “Resisting ‘the Doldrums’: The League of Women Voters in North Carolina in the 1950s.” The North Carolina Historical Review 86, no. 2 (2009): 180–207.

Image Credit:

"League of Women Voters, 1927." Courtesy of Duke University Archives.  Available from (accessed May 1, 2012).

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