The League of Women Voters South County would like to thank all those who had the vision, perseverance and tenacity to bring the Old Tyme Fair to life in Wilcox Park on a beautiful, sunny Aug. 24, 2019. We also want to thank all those who stepped back in time to 1920 at the League booth and joined in an early celebration of the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment giving women the vote. After a long and arduous fight, women finally could vote — and they did on Nov. 2, 1920, and at the League booth 99 years later. The voting took place on authentic ballots from the 1920 election and votes were counted on a voting machine, both provided courtesy of the Elections Division of the Rhode Island Secretary of State’s Office.
The results of the mock election rewrite history. Democrats Cox and Roosevelt defeated the 1920 winners, the Republicans Harding and Coolidge, by a two-to-one ratio! Similarly, Olde Tyme Fairgoers voted in the entire Democratic ticket for state offices by huge margins, electing Edward Sullivan for governor and the two female candidates for lieutenant governor and Secretary of State respectively. Republicans were elected to all these positions in 1920.
Noteworthy on the 1920 ballot was that Rhode Island had three federal representatives. Currently Rhode Island has two representatives in Congress, but the 2020 census numbers might reduce Rhode Island to only one. For the federal senator and representatives, the Olde Tyme Fairgoers’ votes again resulted in a Democratic sweep with sizable majorities, with the exception of one Republican representative who won by 2 votes.
If you have an interest in helping to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the women’s right to vote in 2020, please contact the League at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nina P. Rossomando
The writer is the president of the League of Women Voters South County.