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Local History

100 Years Ago This Week, Missouri Women Achieved The Right To Vote

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League of Women's Voters
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100 years ago this week, the Presidential Suffrage Bill was signed into law in Missouri, giving women the right to vote ahead of the 1920 presidential election.

Before the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified, Missouri lawmakers passed a bill in Jefferson City that gave Missouri women the right to vote—even though there were still other places in the country where women could not take part in electing their leaders.

The Presidential Suffrage Bill was passed by the General Assembly and on Saturday, April 5, 1919, it was signed into law by Governor Fredrick D. Gardner as members of the Missouri Women’s Suffrage Association looked on.

The Missouri Secretary of State's office confirmed that date in the Missouri state archives.

That group is now known as the League of Women Voters of Missouri, and it still continues its mission today of educating and empowering voters. A local chapter, The League of Women Voters of Southwest Missouri, has hosted Making Democracy Work on KSMU since the 1980s.