Las Cruces to hold 2020 ‘If Every Woman Voted’ suffrage event Saturday


Mitchell Allred

A woman votes at a polling booth set up in New Mexico State University.

The Las Cruces community will have the chance to celebrate the centennial anniversary of the state of New Mexico ratifying the Nineteenth Amendment which prohibits any United States citizen being denied the right to vote in governmental elections on the basis of sex. 

The event, 2020 Suffrage Celebration and Walk: “If Every Woman Voted,” will take place on February 22—which falls one day after New Mexico’s ratification anniversary of Feb. 21 1920—at the Plaza de Las Cruces located at N. Main Street and will be hosted by the 2020 Southern New Mexico Suffrage Alliance. 

New Mexico State University student Annie Quintana-Eddins plans to attend the celebration, and said that she would be happy to celebrate the 100-year anniversary. 

I am very proud our community has planned this event valuing women’s rights. I think it will be fun and bring the community together,” Quintana-Eddins said. 

This event is the first to be hosted by the alliance and will run from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. It will feature several sponsors such as the NMSU Archives and Special Collections and the American Association of University Women – Las Cruces. 

The Nineteenth Amendment been in place for almost one hundred years, as it was added to the U.S. Constitution on August 26, 1920. Quintana-Eddins reflected on the length of time that women have been allowed to vote in the U.S. 

It is still hard for me to believe that women only just this year, have had the right to vote for one hundred years. This not only shows the incredible progress women have made in just one hundred years but also glaring inequalities still present,” Quintana-Eddins said. 

Lindsey Bachman, chief deputy clerk for Dona Ana Countyco-manages the Facebook page for the 2020 Southern New Mexico Suffrage Alliance and encourages NMSU to participate in the celebration. 

“We hope to see a lot of NMSU students attend,” Bachman said. 

Other NMSU students shared their different reactions to the anniversary of New Mexico ratifying the suffrage amendment. 

Marcos Lares, an NMSU student, recognized female figures that influenced women’s liberty and the amendment’s significance. 

I will recognize that this amendment was crucial for women to be equal. Fearless leaders like Susan B. Anthony and Alice Paul fought long and hard for the right for women to have a voice,” Lares said. 

NMSU student Dante Archibeque reflected on the advancement of women in politics since the ratification and provided his opinion that men should be supportive of such advancements. 

In a time where we are able to witness a record number of women running for office and leading legislatures across the country, I couldn’t be prouder to support them as they continue to fight for women’s rights in other forms. As a male, it’s imperative to support women in politics as they should have an equal seat at the table,” Archibeque said. 

Another student, Rachel Roberts, said that celebrating the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment is harmful, given that people of color faced barriers in accessing voting until the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was signed into law.  

“It really only granted the vote to white women because people of color of any gender still faced disenfranchisement through literacy tests, poll taxes, and other legal hurdles. It took 45 years and incessant work from communities of color, particularly black women, to get the Voting Rights Act of 1965 passed.” Roberts said. “It’s important to celebrate milestones, but celebrating the anniversary of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment as if it granted the vote equally distorts history and is ultimately harmful.” 

The conversation about female involvement in politics also brought students Archibeque and Lares to share their ideas about abortion legislation. 

Archibeque said he does not agree with the exclusion of women in government that was formulated in early U.S. history. 

The belief that males are inherently “better” than women is wrong—it was wrong when the Constitution was written and it is wrong now. The right to vote finally gave women an avenue to start to craft laws that affect them, like a woman’s right to her own body,” Archibeque said. 

In opposition, Lares said he feels that the New Mexico legislature does not do enough in reference to abortion legislation. 

This is not women’s empowerment and the legislature needs to do more to protect the lives of the women in the womb,” Lares said. 

Finally, Quintana-Eddins provided an image of women’s representation in the United States’ legislative branch. 

The sad fact is that there are only 101 women in [the] House of Representative and only 21 in the Senate. We are still not seeing proportional representation where it really matters. Women make up more than half the population—it is about time our inequalities are taken seriously,” Quintana-Eddins said. 

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