Votes for Women
Ratification of the 19th Amendment
House Joint Resolution 1 (H. J. Res. 1) was introduced in the House on May 19, 1919, and referred to the House Committee on Woman Suffrage. This bill was the final version of a piece of legislation introduced many times, in various forms, in the years since Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott presented a "Declaration of Sentiments," which called for the right to vote for women, at the 1848 women's rights convention at Seneca Falls, New York. The bill language was succinct: "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" and Congress was empowered to enforce that right. By August 18, 1920, the amendment had gained approval in three-fourths of the states and was added to the Constitution. Rankin’s commitment to women’s suffrage was the great legacy of her first term and vital to its passage, even though she was no longer in Congress when the 19th Amendment was ratified.