Get Out the Vote: Empowering the Women's Vote - CODAworx

Get Out the Vote: Empowering the Women’s Vote

Submitted by Kelly Salchow MacArthur

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Client: AIGA, the professional association for design

Location: Ann Arbor, MI, United States

Completion date: 2020

Project Team

Co-Founder + Designer

Kelly Salchow MacArthur

Elevate Design

Co-Founder + Designer

Nancy Skolos

Skolos + Wedell

The League of Women Voters

Overview

Women in graphic design who are actively contributing to society and the profession today were invited to design a poster marking the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote in the United States. 65 posters from 71 women make up the original collection, which was exhibited in 10 venues across the country in the lead-up to the 2020 Presidential election. The posters are free, downloadable, and printable for public use. A catalog of the collection was published in newspaper format, and distributed to communities.

Goals

2020 marked the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote in the US in 1920. It was the first legislation for women’s voting rights, but Jim Crow laws, intimidation and violence kept many minorities from voting. Not until the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965 were voting rights of all women protected and enforced, and intimidation tactics progressively eliminated. Yet today, voter suppression initiatives are again on the rise.

This project was a historic opportunity to unify and celebrate women of design while focusing their talents toward the important civic goal of voter participation. These non-partisan posters were displayed and made widely available to the public.

Process

Kelly Salchow MacArthur and Nancy Skolos initiated this once-in-a-lifetime project, and partnered with AIGA and the League of Women Voters. A diverse list of invitees was developed in an effort to highlight especially socially-active women in the profession, at different points in their careers. Each was invited to design a non-partisan voter participation poster. To support mentorship and inclusion, each invitee had the option to invite an additional designer to participate. AIGA members additionally contributed over 150 posters online. The entire collection is available for free download and distribution at https://getoutthevote.secure-platform.com/a/gallery?roundId=104.

Kelly Salchow MacArthur developed a timeline, which delineates the discrimination and the struggle of women's fight for equality (from before 1920 to 2020). The timeline appears in the catalog, exhibitions, and online.

2020 voter turnout was the highest since 1900, with two-thirds of eligible voters casting a ballot. This project was one of many grassroots efforts across the country to instigate voting, and one that we hope had an impact in what was a truly pivotal election.