1893 Colorado women’s suffrage referendum

A referendum on women’s suffrage was held in Colorado on November 7, 1893 to ratify a proposed constitutional amendment, HB 118, to prohibit discrimination against women voting. The amendment was drafted by lawyer J. Warner Mills of Denver and sponsored by Rep. J.T. Heath of Montrose County. The amendment passed with support from the Colorado Non-Partisan Equal Suffrage Association, a grassroots coalition of women’s organizations, churches, political parties, charity groups, unions and farmer’s alliances. This was the first time in U.S. history that a state referendum had passed women’s suffrage into law.

55% of the electorate turned out to vote, with 35,798 voting in favor and 29,551 voting against

The following year, three Colorado women – Clara Cressingham, Carrie Clyde Holly and Frances Klock – became the first women to be elected to any legislature in U.S. history when they were elected to the Colorado House of Representatives.

In 1919 the US congress voted in favor off the 19th amendment and needed 36 states to vote in its favor. This amendment was ratified on December 15th, 1920 by Colorado. Colorado was one of 35 other states that had recognized women’s suffrage rights in 1920.

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