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The Weight of Their VotesSouthern Women and Political Leverage in the 1920s$
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Lorraine Gates Schuyler

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780807830666

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807876695_schuyler

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Not Bound to Any Party The Problem of Women Voters in the Solid South

Not Bound to Any Party The Problem of Women Voters in the Solid South

(p.107) Chapter Four Not Bound to Any Party The Problem of Women Voters in the Solid South
The Weight of Their Votes

Lorraine Gates Schuyler

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter discusses the political status of newly enfranchised women who directly challenged the Democratic stranglehold in the South and observes that on the eve of woman suffrage, white southern Democrats stood in command of a political system in which few men voted and even fewer men maintained any real influence in political life. It notes that literacy tests, property requirements, poll taxes, and complicated registration and balloting procedures had prevented all but a small minority of southern men from casting ballots. The chapter observes that such tight control of the electorate had eliminated real partisan competition from nearly every corner of the South and depressed voter turnout even among those who could qualify for the franchise. It notes that after 1920, southern women worked to open up this closed system, brought new voters to the polls, and threatened to revitalize not only partisan competition in the region but intraparty competition as well.

Keywords:   political status, enfranchised women, Democratic, suffrage, ballots, partisan competition, intraparty competition

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