On this date in 1920, the state of Tennessee became the 36th of the then-48 states of the United States of America to ratify the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution, thereby granting women the right to vote. That vote was certified on 26 August 1920, and it is that date that the Democratic Party proposes to memorialize by having Senator Hillary Clinton address the party’s convention.
Here’s how that amendment reads:
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
It’s interesting to note that many states did not ratify the amendment until many years later. Connecticut and Vermont ratified it quickly, and Delaware did so within 3 years, but 9 others took a long time. I listed them and the year each ratified the amendment in the accompanying table. The dates I’ve noted are for the votes in the states; other dates (e.g., date of certification of the vote) function as different markers for several states. (Note that I’m depending on Wikipedia for these data. )
Thinking that it would be informative to examine the results of the recent Democratic primaries in those states, I snagged some data from CNN’s elections Web page. These data provide a glimpse of the extent to which the percentage of votes or caucuses Mrs. Clinton received in those states was consistent with the percentage of votes she received in other states. On average in those nine states, Mrs. Clinton received 37.3%; on average in the other states, she received 43.6%. Another way to examine this idea would be to calculate a correlation between order of ratification and percentage votes or caucus folks she received in each state.
See the Wikipedia entry. It refers to Modern History Sourcebook, where Paul Halsall of Fordham University has New York Times clippings for the time of the passage of the amendment.