In the early days of our nation's history, citizenship and rights, like voting, were highly restricted. Literacy tests, gender and ethnicity restrictions, poll taxes, land ownership requirements, and other barriers prevented many people from casting ballots. People fought for many years to protect and expand voting rights to what they are today.
As with many points of progress in history, Utah was ahead of the curve when it came to expanding enfranchisement to women. Utah women had the right to vote both in 1870 and in 1895. It took another twenty-five years for some American women to gain equal voting rights when the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified in 1920.
The suffrage story is an excellent reminder that voting is an important civil right that cannot be taken for granted. The ratification of the 19th Amendment opened opportunities for women in a variety of spheres to strengthen, shape, and serve their communities. Share their stories with people in your life and use the 100-year anniversary to stir their interest in voting in the important 2020 elections.