MADISON – One hundred years ago today, Wisconsin became the first state in the Union in ratify the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote. Wisconsin’s early and important ratification paved the way the many other states to join in ratifying the 19th Amendment, which led to the full ratification on August 18, 1920. While the ratification of the 19th Amendment did not guarantee the right for all women to vote, Wisconsin’s role in the women’s suffrage movement was pivotal.
“The significance of Wisconsin being the first state to ratify the 19th Amendment is a testament to our state’s progressive values. While women have made substantial advancements towards equality, we have a long way to go. Even though the Wisconsin Assembly Democratic Caucus achieved gender parity, women only make up 27 percent of the entire Wisconsin State Legislature. Wisconsin has a rich history women stepping into leadership roles and we have to remember their struggle to gain a seat at the table for all of us,” said Representative Dianne Hesselbein.
The public marked this historic day with the Wisconsin Women’s Suffrage Centennial Celebration at the State Capitol which included an unveiling of the original 19th Amendment.
“Today, we can celebrate our triumphs in the last century, but we must remain steadfast in our effort to ensure Wisconsin is a leader in women’s rights. We cannot become complacent in the continual fight for equality for every woman,” said Hesselbein.
For more information on suffrage history and Wisconsin’s part in ratifying the 19th Amendment, the Legislative Reference Bureau released a piece titled, “Capturing ‘First Honors’: Wisconsin Ratifies the Nineteenth Amendment on June 10, 1919” which can be read here: https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/misc/lrb/wisconsin_history_project/wisconsin_history_project_1_3.pdf.