Women weren’t given the right to vote when the U.S. first became a nation. It really wasn’t until 1848 our right to vote became an issue around the country. It would be another 70+ years before women would get that right.
While many states and territories passed amendments to their constitutions allowing women the right to vote, it wasn’t proposed to the U.S. Congress until May 1919, when a Republican from Illinois introduced the Susan B. Anthony Amendment in the House.
It passed and two weeks later, passed the Senate as well. But, because this was an amendment to the Constitution, two-thirds of the state’s governments had to approve it, which finally happened in August 1920, by one vote of a young Tennessean lawmaker.
In 2012, women’s voices determined the outcome of the election; a fact not as uncommon as you might think. Not only were they 53% of voters, but they also made up nearly one-third of the electorate, of which 55% cast votes for President Barack Obama.
Overall, official exit polls say Obama had a ten-point gender gap over Mitt Romney, which is almost higher than any other presidential race since 1980. Women also determined the outcome of the 1996 election.
Brian Gaines, a political science professor from UI, joins us.