After The Vote

Local Women in Politics

Marie Carr Fraser political ad, 1923

Marie Carr Fraser

Marie Carr Fraser was a well-respected soprano and singing teacher who was elected supervisor of Elmira’s seventh ward in 1919, serving on the Chemung County Board of Supervisors from 1920 to 1922. Carr Fraser’s campaign was boosted by an endorsement from the increasingly-powerful Prohibition Party.

At the end of her term, she ran unsuccessfully for County Clerk

in 1923.

Minnie Clark

In 1911, Minnie Clark submitted the paperwork for her candidacy for supervisor of Elmira’s tenth ward. Since women did not yet have the right to vote in the state, the election commissioners were not sure how to handle this situation. County Attorney Thurston ruled that Clark was ineligible to run because only “electors” could be candidates. Clark tried again in 1918. She was the first local woman to enroll in a political party, choosing the Socialists. That year, she ran for Chemung County Sheriff on the Socialist ticket, but her outsider campaign was unsuccessful.

Alice Mary Robertson

Alice Mary Robertson was the first woman elected to the United States government after the passage of the 19th Amendment gave women the vote nationally. Robertson was elected to represent Oklahoma in Congress from 1921 to 1923. She was the second woman to serve in Congress after Jeannette Rankin who represented Montana from 1917 to 1919. Robinson attended Elmira College from 1873 to 1874. While she benefited from increased women’s rights, she opposed feminist groups like the League of Women Voters and the National Women's Party and voted against bills providing government funding for maternity and childcare.