Leaders celebrate a century of women’s right to vote

November 9, 2010

By Staff

NEW — 8 a.m. Nov. 9, 2010

A century ago, Washington voters — all of them men — voted almost two-to-one to grant women the right to vote.

The decisive vote ended a 50-year battle for equal rights and marked the start of a century of women’s leadership in Washington.

King County Council members recognized the milestone Monday, and proclaimed the day as Washington Women’s Suffrage Centennial Day in King County.

“It is a source of pride for our county and state that we were and continue to be leaders for involving women equally in civic life,” Councilwoman Kathy Lambert, the Issaquah representative and a former state legislator, said in a statement.

Washington became the fifth state in the union to enact women’s suffrage — almost 10 years before women won the right to vote nationwide upon the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920. Tennessee became the deciding state to ratify.

“For 12 years, from 1993 to 2004, Washington state ranked No. 1 in the nation for the percentage of women legislators,” Lambert said. “I had the honor of serving in the state House of Representatives during this period, when women made up more than 40 percent of the Legislature,” Lambert said. “This opportunity for women came about because of one man who cast the deciding vote in the 36th state to ratify the 19th Amendment — Harry T. Burn, of the Tennessee General Assembly — all at the request of his mother.”

Leaders in Olympia also marked the centennial Monday at the state Capitol. The celebration included costumed “suffragettes” and a reenactment of a suffrage statute legal challenge from territorial days.

State Senate Republicans also inducted female leaders to into a Senate exhibit highlighting women in government. State Sen. Cheryl Pflug, the Issaquah representative, dedicated the exhibit.

Pflug reflected on the Olympia celebration and the milestone of women winning the right to vote in a newspaper op-ed piece.

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2 Responses to “Leaders celebrate a century of women’s right to vote”

  1. Anonymous on November 11th, 2010 10:51 am

    WOMEN deserved the right ALONG TIME AGO

  2. Talk of the Town! « Votes for Women: Suffrage Wagon on November 14th, 2010 8:39 am

    […] theatrical company performs play about suffrage movement in Washington State. Suffrage movement source of pride in Washington State. People agreed to share power in Washington State.  “Oh, the women are […]

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