Jeannette Rankin, the first woman to serve in Congress, was elected to represent Montana in 1916. This election certificate, signed by both the governor and secretary of state, confirmed Rankin’s election with the Clerk of the House. Rankin was seated as a Member of Congress in the 65th Congress.
Before her arrival in Congress, Rankin devoted herself to the suffrage movement, helping secure the vote for women in her home state in 1914. She continued the fight for voting rights while in Congress, serving on the Committee on Woman Suffrage and introducing the issue for debate on the House Floor. The House passed a voting rights amendment in 1918, but the resolution never made it out of the Senate. Unfortunately, Rankin was no longer in Congress when the 19th Amendment was eventually ratified in 1920, finally guaranteeing women nationwide the right to vote.