Southern Arkansas University

Voices and Votes: Democracy in America

Grand Opening: 12 p.m., December 16, 2023
On Display: December 15 - January 28, 2024*
Location: SAU Beyond the Campus

*There will be a closure period from December 23 until January 8 for the Christmas holiday break. 

Southern Arkansas University is honored to host the prestigious Smithsonian traveling exhibit, Voices and Votes: Democracy in America as it unveils its grand opening at noon on December 16, 2023. The exhibit is being displayed at SAU Beyond the Campus, on the west side of the town square in Magnolia, Arkansas. This collaborative endeavor between Southern Arkansas University and the Smithsonian Institution promises an engaging exploration of America’s democratic evolution, spotlighting pivotal moments that have shaped the nation’s electoral landscape.

About the Exhibit

Image of “A woman living here has registered to vote” suffrage window sign, 1919. Courtesy of National Museum of American History

The exhibit will showcase a remarkable collection of artifacts, interactive displays, and engaging multimedia experiences. Voices and Votes offers a profound exploration of the American voting experience, highlighting pivotal moments, diverse voices, and the evolution of the nation’s democratic process.

This collaborative effort between Southern Arkansas University and the Smithsonian Institution brings an unparalleled educational opportunity to our community and beyond. Dr. Paul Babbitt, associate professor and chair of history, political science, and geography at SAU, expressed enthusiasm about the exhibit’s impact, stating, “We are honored to host the Voices and Votes exhibit, providing a platform for dialogue and reflection on the importance of civic participation in shaping our nation’s history.”

Visitors will be able to delve into the exhibition’s immersive displays, which feature historical items, oral histories, and captivating visual narratives illuminating the struggles, triumphs, and ongoing challenges faced in the journey toward equitable suffrage.

The Voices and Votes exhibit will be open to the public from December 15, 2023, to January 28, 2024, inviting schools, community groups, and individuals to engage with this thought-provoking display. There will be a closure period from December 23 until January 8 for the Christmas holiday break. Groups can visit the exhibit from January 2 through January 7 with prior arrangements.

“Bloody Massacre in King Street,” engraving by Paul Revere, 1770. Courtesy of National Museum of American History

Join us in celebrating this momentous occasion at Southern Arkansas University and be a part of this enriching experience that commemorates the fundamental cornerstone of democracy: the power of every voice through voting. Admission to the exhibit is free and open to the public.

Voices and Votes: Democracy in America is part of the Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and State Humanities Councils nationwide. It is based on an exhibition by the National Museum of American History. Support for the Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress.


For more information, contact Dr. Paul Babbitt at or complete the form below. 

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100 E. University, Magnolia, Arkansas 71753-5000 Telephone: (870) 235-4000
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