Suffragist Movement

Suffragist Movement

How Votes for Women Swept the Nation

How Votes for Women Swept the Nation

Before 1920, many women around the country were already making their voices heard in local, state, and even presidential elections. Depending on where they lived, they could have been voting for decades. These are the generations of women in your family.

Before 1920, many women around the country were already making their voices heard in local, state, and even presidential elections. Depending on where they lived, they could have been voting for decades. These are the generations of women in your family.


By Ancestry®

Published March 3, 2020

When the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote was adopted on August 26, 1920, women in some states had already been given that right by the state in which they were residents.

When the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote was adopted on August 26, 1920, women in some states had already been given that right by the state in which they were residents.

We’ve put together both a chronological timeline, and a state-by-state list so that you can see when the women in your family finally had access to the ballot.

We’ve put together both a chronological timeline, and a state-by-state list so that you can see when the women in your family finally had access to the ballot.


Chronological Timeline

Chronological Timeline

1776-1807

New Jersey’s first constitution granted suffrage to “all inhabitants of this colony, of full age, who are worth 50 pounds.”

1838

Widows with school age children in Kentucky can vote in school elections.

1861

Kansas women can vote in school elections.

1862

Oregon widows with children and taxable property can vote in school elections.

1867

Women taxpayers can vote in school elections.

10 Dec 1869

Wyoming Territory becomes the first state to grant women the right to vote and hold office.

1869

Nebraska grants women the right to vote in school elections.

1870

Utah Territory grants women suffrage.

1875

Women in Michigan and Minnesota are granted the right to vote in school elections.

1876

Colorado women get the right to vote in school elections.

1879

Massachusetts women can vote in school elections.

1880

Tax-paying Vermont women are allowed to vote in school elections.

1880

New York women can vote in school elections.

1883

North Dakota women can vote in school elections.

1883

Washington Territory grants women suffrage.

1886

Wisconsin women can vote in school elections.

1887

Montana Territory and New Jersey grant women the right to vote in school elections.

1887

Women in Utah lose the right to vote, under the terms of the Edmunds-Tucker Act.

1887

Women in Washington Territory lose the right to vote when the Washington Territorial Supreme Court strikes the law that granted it.

1887

Kansas women granted suffrage in municipal elections.

1887

Montana Territory grants women the right to vote in school elections.

1890

Women in Washington get the right to vote in school elections.

1890

Women in Wyoming retain their right to vote when Wyoming becomes a state.

1891

Women can vote in school elections.

1893

Colorado grants women suffrage

1893

Connecticut women can vote in school elections.

1894

Iowa women can vote in municipal and school elections.

1894

Ohio women can vote in school elections.

1896

Utah women win back suffrage with Utah statehood.

1896

Idaho grants women suffrage.

1898

Tax-paying women in Louisiana can vote on taxation referendums.

1898

Taxpaying women in Delaware can vote in school elections.

1909

Connecticut women can vote on library issues.

1910

The state of Washington grants women full suffrage.

1910

New Mexico women allowed to vote in school elections.

1911

California grants women suffrage.

1912

Arizona, Kansas, and Oregon grant women suffrage.

1913

The Territory of Alaska grants women suffrage.

1913

Illinois allows women to vote for president and municipal offices, but not state.

1914

Montana and Nevada grant women suffrage.

Beginning in 1915

Several areas in Florida begin allowing women to vote in municipal elections.

1917

Arkansas women allowed to vote in primaries, but not general elections.

1917

New York grants women full suffrage. It is the first eastern state to do so.

1917

Nebraska, North Dakota, and Rhode Island allow women to vote for president.

1917-1918

Women in Indiana are given the right to vote in certain races, but not all. The legislation that granted that right was repealed in 1918.

1918

Michigan, Oklahoma, and South Dakota grant women suffrage.

1918

Texas women get the right to vote in political primary elections.

1919

Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Tennessee, and Wisconsin allow women to vote for president.

18 Aug 1920

19th Amendment is ratified; grants women the full right to vote across the U.S.

2 Nov 1920

8 million + women cast their vote.


By State

By State

Alabama

1920: Full suffrage with passage of the 19th Amendment.

Alaska Territory

1913: Full suffrage

Arizona

1912: Full suffrage

Arkansas

1917: Women can vote in primaries, but not general elections

1920: Full suffrage with passage of the 19th Amendment.

California

1911: Full suffrage

Colorado

1876: Women get the right to vote in school elections.

1893: Full suffrage

Connecticut

1893: Women can vote in school elections.

1909: Women can vote on library issues.

1920: Full suffrage with passage of the 19th Amendment.

Delaware

1898: Taxpaying women can vote in school elections.

1920: Full suffrage with passage of the 19th Amendment.

District of Columbia

1961: Full suffrage with passage of the 23rd Amendment.

Florida

Beginning in 1915: Several areas begin allowing women to vote in municipal elections.

1920: Full suffrage with passage of the 19th Amendment.

Georgia

1920: Full suffrage with passage of the 19th Amendment.

Guam

1950: Women who were born in Guam got the right to vote when the Guam Organic Act went into effect and those born in Guam became U.S. citizens.

Hawaii

1959: Full suffrage with statehood

Idaho

1896: Full suffrage

Illinois

1891: Women can vote in school elections.

1913: Women can vote for president and municipal offices, but not state.

1920: Full suffrage with passage of the 19th Amendment.

Indiana

1917-1918: Women are given the right to vote in certain races, but not all. The legislation that granted that right was repealed in 1918.

1920: Full suffrage with passage of the 19th Amendment

Iowa

1894: Iowa women can vote in municipal and school elections.

April 1919: Women can vote for president.

1920: Full suffrage with passage of the 19th Amendment.

Kansas

1861: Women can vote in school elections

1887: Women can vote in municipal elections.

1912: Full suffrage

Kentucky

1838: Widows with school-age children can vote in school elections.

1920: Full suffrage with passage of the 19th Amendment.

Louisiana

1898: Tax-paying women can vote on taxation referendums.

1920: Full suffrage with passage of the 19th Amendment.

Maine

1919: Women can vote for president.

1920: Full suffrage with passage of the 19th Amendment.

Maryland

1920: Full suffrage with passage of the 19th Amendment.

Massachusetts

1879: Women can vote in school elections.

1920: Full suffrage with passage of the 19th Amendment.

Michigan

1867: Women taxpayers can vote in school elections.

1918: Full suffrage granted by state constitutional amendment.

Minnesota

1875: Women can vote in school elections.

1919: Women can vote for president.

1920: Full suffrage with passage of the 19th Amendment.

Mississippi

1920: Full suffrage with passage of the 19th Amendment.

Missouri

1919: Women can vote for president.

1920: Full suffrage with passage of the 19th Amendment.

Montana

1887: Montana Territory grants women the right to vote in school elections.

1914: Full suffrage

Nebraska

1869: Nebraska grants women the right to vote in school elections.

1917: Women can vote for president.

1920: Full suffrage with passage of the 19th Amendment.

Nevada

1914: Full suffrage with amendment of state constitution.

New Hampshire

1920: Full suffrage with passage of the 19th Amendment.

New Jersey

1776: New Jersey’s first constitution granted suffrage to “all inhabitants of this colony, of full age, who are worth 50 pounds.”

1790: Both men and women who own property could vote, but since married women couldn’t own property, only single or widowed women were eligible.

1807: Voting is restricted to tax-paying white male citizens.

1887: Women given the right to vote in school elections.

1920: Full suffrage with passage of the 19th Amendment.

New Mexico

1910: Women allowed to vote and run in school elections.

1920: Full suffrage with passage of the 19th Amendment.

New York

1880: Women can vote in school elections.

1917: Full suffrage

North Carolina

1920: Full suffrage with passage of the 19th Amendment.

North Dakota

1883: Women can vote in school elections.

1917: Women can vote for president and some local officials.

1920: Full suffrage with passage of the 19th Amendment.

Ohio

1894: Women can vote in school elections.

1920: Full suffrage with passage of the 19th Amendment.

Oklahoma

1918: Full suffrage

Oregon

1862: Oregon widows with children and taxable property can vote in school elections.

1912: Full suffrage

Pennsylvania

1920: Full suffrage with passage of the 19th Amendment.

Puerto Rico

1929: At urging of U.S. Congress, literate women got the right to vote.

1935: All women can vote.

Rhode Island

1917: Women can vote for president.

1920: Full suffrage with passage of the 19th Amendment.

South Carolina

1920: Full suffrage with passage of the 19th Amendment.

South Dakota

1918: Full suffrage

Tennessee

1919: Women can vote for president and in municipal elections.

1920: Full suffrage with passage of the 19th Amendment.

Texas

1918: Texas women get the right to vote in political primary elections.

1920: Full suffrage with passage of the 19th Amendment.

Utah

1870: Full suffrage

1887: Women in Utah lose the right to vote with Edmunds-Tucker Act.

1896: Full suffrage with statehood

Vermont

1880: Tax-paying Vermont women are allowed to vote in school elections.

1920: Full suffrage with passage of the 19th Amendment.

Virginia

1920: Full suffrage with passage of the 19th Amendment.

Washington

1883: Washington Territory – Full suffrage

1887: Suffrage law is struck down by state Supreme Court.

1890: Women can vote in school elections.

1910: Full suffrage

West Virginia

1920: Full suffrage with passage of the 19th Amendment.

Wisconsin

1886: Wisconsin women can vote in school elections.

1919: Women can vote for president.

1920: Full suffrage with passage of the 19th Amendment.

Wyoming

Territory 1869: Full suffrage

State 1890: Full suffrage with statehood