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'Vote' dress is a reminder of rights and responsibilities

South Carolina Political Collections Gallery, Hollings Library


Need a reminder to cast your ballot in upcoming elections?

Look no further than this dress, handmade by state political leader Barbara Moxon (1921-2011) and worn on election days starting in the early 1970s. It is on semi-permanent display in the South Carolina Political Collections Gallery in Hollings Library.

Moxon, shown in the photo at right, dedicated her life to service. She was involved with and held positions in organizations and campaigns such as Advocates for Comprehensive Health Education (ACHE), SC Division of the American Association of University Women (AAUW), Common Cause of SC, Constitutional Convention Repeal Campaign, Equal Rights Amendment of SC (ERA), SC Advocates for Women on Boards and Commissions, League of Women Voters of SC, Planned Parenthood of SC, SC Commission on Women, SC Coalition for Choice, and the SC Christian Action Council.

“Mom was passionate about voting as not only one of our most important rights but also as a citizen’s responsibility," said Laurel Suggs, Moxon's daughter. "Anything she believed in she believed it was also her duty to promote. She felt that our beliefs had to be accompanied by action, either verbal or nonverbal. And her motto was: 'Persevere, never give up.'

"She was a wonderful seamstress," Suggs said. "She made the dress in the early '70s from material she bought locally. She often wore it on election days, sometimes when lobbying at the Statehouse and at some League of Women Voters meetings, and I’m sure she wore it for 25 years or more."

The dress is part of the Barbara Moxon Papers 1964-2006, housed at South Carolina Political Collections. For more information, visit