The Process

What it Takes

Fortunately, it doesn’t take a messy act of Congress to change a portrait on paper money.  It requires an order from the Secretary of the Treasury. With the stroke of a pen, the President can direct the Treasury Secretary to make the change. President Obama already has publicly expressed an interest in featuring more women on our money. With at least 100,000 votes, we can get the President’s ear. That’s how many names it takes to petition the White House for executive action. We went way beyond that with well over a half a million votes backed by names and email addresses.

Two Rounds of Voting

Here's how it works...

We designed the movement to resemble a political campaign and to include the greatest number of citizens in the voting process. The steps are simple:

1. Primary Voting.  From March 1st to April 5th, voters had a chance to vote for three of 15 candidates who emerged from a diverse group of over 100 women in a "caucus" phase of voting involving more than a dozen women’s historians, academicians and museum curators. Our voting platform was designed to ensure that each participant records just one ballot.

2. Final Round Voting. After the Primary, voters were asked to return to the the voting booth to cast their ballots for one of the four finalists. Voting ended on Mother's Day, May 10, 2015.

3. Petition Day. On Tuesday, May 12, we will announce the people's choice for the woman we’ll propose to President Obama for the new face of the $20 and we will present the petition to the White House in an innovative way designed to inspire action.

*All voting was confidential and verified by an independent database manager.


Primary Candidates and Results

Our Primary Round consisted of 15 candidates: Alice Paul, Betty Friedan, Shirley Chisholm, Sojourner Truth, Rachel Carson, Rosa Parks, Barbara Jordan, Margaret Sanger, Patsy Mink, Clara Barton, Harriet Tubman, Frances Perkins, Susan B. Anthony, Eleanor Roosevelt and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Read More about the Primary Candidates.

Each voter was asked to select 3 of the 15 candidates to support. At the close of the primary round on April 5th, 256,659 people had cast ballots. Every candidate received at least 10,000 votes and the top 3 vote-getters received more than 100,000 votes each.

Advancing from the Primary Round to the Final Ballot were Eleanor Roosevelt, Harriet Tubman and Rosa Parks. Because of strong public sentiment that people should have the choice of a Native American to replace Andrew Jackson, Cherokee Nation Chief Wilma Mankiller was added to the Final ballot.

Selection Process for 15 Candidates

We started with about 100 names of accomplished American women. (Remember, by U.S. code, the people featured on paper currency have to have been deceased for at least two years.) Through informal discussion, 60 were chosen for inclusion on a 2-part survey. These candidates were judged on two criteria: 1) their impact on society (given double weight) and 2) the level of difficulty they faced in pursuing their goals, including whether they were pioneers in their field.

The 30 candidates who emerged were then judged by about 100 "advisors," using the same survey technique. Extra weight was given to surveys completed by the more than a dozen experts in the field of women’s history.


Who Else Did We Consider? 

(in alphabetical order by first name)


Amelia Earhart:

First female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic in 1921. Dubbed Lady Lindy by the press. Aviation editor of Cosmopolitan Magazine. Established organization of women pilots. Disappeared during around-the-world flight in 1937.

Belva Lockwood:

First female attorney to argue before U.S. Supreme Court. One of the first female lawyers in the U.S. Ran for president twice on National Equal Rights Party ticket, becoming first woman to appear on official ballots.

Elise Strang L'Esperance:

Pioneered the preventive model for cancer treatment, founding the Strang Clinic that became the Memorial Sloane Kettering Cancer Institute. There, researchers developed the Pap smear and scopes to detect colon cancer. She was awarded the prestigious Lasker Prize in medicine.

Harriet Beecher Stowe:

Member of a prominent family of 19th century social reformers, she wrote Uncle Tom's Cabin in 1850 to denounce slavery. First American novel to feature a black hero and one of most influential pieces of reform literature ever published.

Helen Keller:

First deaf-blind person to earn a BA degree. Prolific author, lecturer, suffragist and political activist. Lobbied for rights of disabled, including reading services for the blind and access to Social Security.

Jane Addams:

Recognized as the founder of the social work profession in the U.S. First American woman awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her role as a reformer in the areas of maternal and child health, public health and world peace. She was an early champion of women's right to vote.

Jeannette Rankin:

First woman elected to Congress, injecting the first woman's voice into national political debates. A pacifist, she was the only member of Congress to oppose entry of the United States into both World Wars. In 1941, she voted against entering the war with Japan.

Lucretia Mott:

One of the earliest female abolitionists. Planned the first woman's rights convention at Seneca Falls with Elizabeth Cady Stanton and delivered opening & closing addresses. Harbored runaway slaves and agitated for the right of blacks to vote and have access to education.

Maggie Kuhn:

Forced to retire at age 65, she started Gray Panthers to promote issues of concern to the elderly, such as pension rights and age discrimination. Instrumental in enacting nursing home reform and combating fraud in health care.

Margaret Chase Smith:

First woman to serve in both houses of U.S. Congress. A moderate Republican, she delivered the speech "Declaration of Conscience," critical of McCarthyism. First woman ever on the ballot for a presidential nomination at a major party convention.

Mary Harris Jones (Mother Jones):

Known as "Mother Jones." After her husband and four children died of yellow fever and her dress shop was destroyed in the Great Chicago fire, she became a prominent labor and community organizer, supporting mine workers and child labor laws.

Maya Angelou:

Inspirational author, poet and activist, acclaimed for bringing the 20th century black experience to a broad audience, beginning with her autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, which was the first nonfiction best-seller by an African American woman.

Nellie Bly:

Pioneer in investigative reporting. Among the first to go undercover to expose society's ills, like the poor treatment of the mentally ill, leading to broad reforms. Ran a multi-million dollar family business, providing workers fitness and education benefits.

Sally Ride:

A physicist, she became the first American woman -- and the youngest American and the first known lesbian -- to travel in space. She served on the Presidential commission investigating the Challenger disaster. She wrote books and designed programs on science for children.

Victoria Woodhull:

A member of the Equal Rights Party, she was the first woman to run for U.S. President, start a weekly newspaper and run a Wall Street brokerage firm. Advocated for freedom to marry, divorce and bear children without government interference.



Bella Abzug, Abigail Adams, Hattie Alexander, Queen Alliquippa, Marian Anderson, Gloria Anzaldúa, Virginia Apgar, Mary McLeod Bethune, Shirley Temple Black. Elizabeth Blackwell, Amelia Bloomer, Gertrude Simmons Bonnin, Pearl S. Buck, Luisa Capetillo, Carrie Chapman Catt, Gloria Neese Clark, Bessie Coleman, Dorothy Day, Maria Ruiz de Burton, Ella Deloria, Mary Dyer, Frances Eagleton, Crystal Eastman, Alice Evans, Althea Gibson, Ella Grasso, Angelina Grimke, Sarah Grimke, Elizabeth Key Grinstead, Fannie Lou Hamer, Dorothy Height, Grace Hopper, Anne Hutchinson, Jovita Idar, Mistress Sarah Jenney, Lady Bird Johnson, Queen Ka’ahumanu, Jacqueline Kennedy, Coretta Scott King, Hedy Lamarr, Dorothea Lange, Sybil Ludington, Dolly Madison, Christa McAuliffe, Barbara McClintock, Margaret Mead, Lady Deborah Moody, Carry A. Nation, Georgia O’Keefe, Annie Oakley, Mary White Ovington, Hannah Callowhill Penn, Esther Petersen, Molly Pitcher, Sylvia Plath, Pocahantas, Ann Richards, Elisabeth Kubler Ross, Esther Ross, Betsy Ross, Wilma Rudolph, Sacajawea, Elizabeth Seton, Muriel Siebert, Lucy Stone, Mary Church Terrell, Madam CJ Walker, Mary Edward Walker, Mary Walton, Mercy Otis Warren, Ida B. Wells, Phillis Wheatley, Sarah Winnemucca, Babe Didrickson Zacharias