A portrait of an Iowa woman who was instrumental in getting women the right to vote now hangs in the Secretary of State’s office in the capitol. Secretary of State Chet Culver, the state’s commissioner of elections, says the portrait of Charles City native Carrie Chapman Catt is on loan from Iowa State University. Culver says they haven’t worked out the terms of the loan, but he hopes to be able to display the portrait in the statehouse for many years to come. Culver says the move to hang the portrait in his office celebrates the 83rd anniversary of the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution which gave women the right to vote. Culver says it’s a nice way to remember the contributions of a prominent and famous Iowan, and highlights the importance of having citizens actively engaged in the political process. Carrie Lane, a seventh grader who is the great great niece of Catt, was on hand for today’s statehouse ceremony. She says Catt was a wonderful American, and she’s proud to be her descendent. Diane Bystrom of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center at Iowa State University says Catt spent 33 years trying to get women the right to vote. Bystrom says Catt was devoted to the cause from the time she graduated from Iowa State, and is credited by historians with devising the plan which won passage of the 19th amendment.
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