suffrage

Today marks the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote in the United States. But that right came much earlier in the Mountain West. 


Equality State Policy Center

The Equality State Policy Center, a nonpartisan advocacy group, is holding a live event to discuss the power of women voting. It will host Wyoming women political leaders on Thursday, July 16.

Nimi McConigley

Even though women in Wyoming were allowed to vote, run for office and get involved in politics back in 1870, it took much longer after that for women of color to get elected.

The first Black woman to get elected to office in Wyoming was Elizabeth Byrd. She started out in the Wyoming House of Representatives, in 1981. That's close to a century later after women were first granted the right to vote and run for office.

What took so long?

There's an ongoing debate in the American West about which state granted women the right to vote first. Wyoming ratified the decision first in 1869 but didn't vote until the fall of the next year; but Utah women actually went to the polls seven months earlier than that.

Either way, it was Western states that made the leap, and a new book called No Place For A Woman: The Struggle for Suffrage in the Wild West explores what it was about Western women that made them such suffragists.

Wyoming Public Radio's Melodie Edwards interviewed author Chris Enss.

Courtesy


The University of Wyoming's student government, also known as ASUW, has historically been male-dominated. This year, two women were elected to President and Vice President. That may be for the first time ever. But there's no way to know, since ASUW records don't always account for gender. Wyoming Public Radio's Maggie Mullen spoke with President Riley Talamantes and Vice President Courtney Titus about what it was like to be one of the few, if only, two-women tickets to win the election.

Bob Beck


In Wyoming history, only 119 women have won legislative races. Since about half of the state is made up of women, it means they seriously lack representation. It's an issue that has been discussed for years, though little gets done.

Wyoming Newspapers (newspapers.wyo.gov)

In 1869, journalism looked very different than it does today. There weren't the quotes or perspectives from both sides. Wyoming Public Radio's Cooper McKim dug into the archives to try and use journalism to learn more about women's suffrage. What he found wasn't much, but found out it was critical. Jennifer Helton, a Wyoming native and expert in the state's suffrage history, gives some background to the state was like in 1869 and how she used journalism to learn more about it.

Susan Simpson

The legal right to vote doesn't always translate to the ability to vote. 

There can be barriers to the polls, says Susan Simpson, the president of the League of Women Voters of Wyoming. That's a nonpartisan organization that provides information on political candidates and works for higher participation in the political process. Simpson talked with Wyoming Public Radio's Erin Jones about how Wyoming measures up when it comes to voting access.

Julie Greer

When Kristen Czaban started at the Sheridan Press in June 2008 as a new reporter, she thought she'd stay for a year, get experience and move on.

Collection of the Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum

Early May, the Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum hosted virtual beers and banter over Zoom.

"I'm excited that we're able to come together and celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the first all women council," said Morgan Jaouen, the executive director of the Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum.

Bethann Garramon Merkle

Her Flag is a nationwide project celebrating the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave some U.S. women the right to vote. Bethann Garramon Merkle is a research scientist at the University of Wyoming and one of the women chosen to participate in the Her Flag project.

Wyoming PBS

December 10 marks the 150th anniversary of Wyoming becoming the first state to allow women to vote, and there will be several celebrations around Northeast Wyoming.

Northwest College

Students from Northwest College will present their findings on women in Wyoming as part of a celebration of the 150th Anniversary of Women's Suffrage in Wyoming.

Women's Suffrage Limerick Contest Winners

Nov 22, 2019
Wyoming House for Historic Women

In celebration of 150 years of women's suffrage in Wyoming, the University of Wyoming Department of History presented a limerick contest. Here are the winning entries.

Enter The Wyoming Women's Suffrage Limerick Contest

Sep 5, 2019

Help celebrate one hundred and fifty years of women's suffrage in Wyoming-by writing a limerick!

Archives On The Air 163: Wyoming Defends Women's Suffrage—Morton E. Post Family Papers

Jun 17, 2019

2020 marks one hundred years since the nineteenth amendment allowed women to vote in the U.S. But Wyoming women have had the right to vote for 50 years longer than the rest of the country.

ThinkWY

The Wyoming Humanities Council is releasing a new podcast that celebrates the 150-year anniversary of women's suffrage in the state. Wyoming was the first state to give women the right to vote in 1869, and it was on September 6, 1870 that Louisa Swain cast the first ballot by a woman.

Wyoming House for Historic Women

In 2019, Wyoming will mark 150 years of women’s suffrage in the state – half a century before the U.S. ratified the 19th amendment. To honor the occasion, the Wyoming Office of Tourism has announced a new campaign called the “Year of Wyoming Women.”