In 1896 women had
full suffrage in only three states, all of them in the West. Wyoming gave women
the vote in 1869, when the state was still a territory. Colorado women won
suffrage in an 1893 referendum |
Utah adopted suffrage in the 1870s, but it was struck down in the 1880s by Congress in an effort to combat Mormon polygamy by blocking women's right to vote in the mostly Mormon territory. In January 1896, Utah entered the Union as a state and re-introduced full suffrage in its new state constitution.
In other states, many women held partial voting rights--usually for school-related matters, local offices, or bond issues. Except in unusual circumstances, such issues did not generate the same level of interest as presidential and congressional campaigns. This may have explained why women registered to vote in smaller numbers than expected--a fact used by anti-suffragists to support their argument that women were uninterested in voting.