Colorado’s Key Contribution to America’s Largest Voting-Rights Expansion
Bold Women. Change History. is a memorable and telling story of how Colorado’s voters became America’s first to extend voting rights beyond men on November 7, 1893. The exhibit highlights topics that are especially resonant during this presidential election year, like grassroots organizing, the influence of news outlets, and racism in political advocacy. Visitors to this intimate display will gain a newly informed perspective on the significance and power of the right to vote.
Visitors to Bold Women. Change History. at the Center for Colorado Women's History will find the stories of Colorado women's struggles for suffrage and equity both before and after the 1920 ratification of the 19th Amendment, told through an original 1884 Colorado ballot box, a reproduction Colorado ballot from the 1893 election expanding suffrage in the state, and letters from Susan B. Anthony to Colorado suffrage activists.
In 1893, Colorado was the first state to outlaw, via state referendum, denying citizens the right to vote based on their sex. This took place more than 25 years before the national women’s suffrage act was signed into law on Aug. 26, 1920. The trailblazing collaborative fight for women’s voting rights changed the course of history in Colorado and continues to inspire social, economic, political and cultural advancements today.
This exhibit is part of the Bold Women. Change History. initiative, which began as part of the Women's Vote Centennial // Colorado 2020 commemoration. It is inspired by the ambitious, innovative spirit of Colorado, where voters were America’s first to eliminate gender discrimination at the ballot box, more than 25 years before the rest of the nation. Bold Women. Change History. features the resonant personal histories of women who take risks, innovate in ways worth replicating, and demonstrate a powerful spectrum of leadership.