League of Women Voters, voluntary public service organization of U.S. citizens. Organized in 1920 in Chicago as an outgrowth of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, it had as its original nucleus the leaders of the latter organization. The league was organized to educate American women in the intelligent use of their newly won suffrage. At its founding the league was primarily concerned with the status and rights of women, but it later broadened its interests to encompass the improvement of the entire political, economic, and social structure of the nation. It has directed its educational and research campaigns to those ends on local, state, and national levels. Formerly limited to female membership, the league voted in 1974 to accept men as full members. With headquarters in Washington, D.C., the organization has some 110,000 members.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.