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The territory of Oklahoma (at the time separate from Indian Territory) organized in 1890 and the same year the territorial legislature considered the issue of women’s suffrage and voted down full suffrage. Women were able to vote in school elections as well as serve in public offices in rural areas. Suffrage organizations formed in the 1890s to campaign for the vote and sent several bills and petitions through the territorial legislature. In 1904 the Woman Suffrage Association of Oklahoma and Indian Territory organized and as Oklahoma prepared to apply for statehood women pushed for the issue of suffrage again. In the 1906-1907 constitutional convention suffrage was hotly debated and there were many delegates in favor of granting women the vote. However, white Oklahomans were more united behind the idea of restricting the African American vote in the state. Full suffrage would extend the vote to blank women as well as white, and that ultimately meant that full suffrage was not granted by the 1907 state constitution. Between 1907 and 1917 suffragists continued to pressure the state legislature to pass an amendment for suffrage. In 1917 the state legislature approved the suffrage issue for a general vote in November 1918. Although there was a strong anti-suffrage campaign and election officials tried to rig the vote against suffrage, the suffrage amendment passed on November 5, 1918 and Oklahoma granted women full suffrage. Less than two years later, Oklahoma ratified the 19th Amendment on February 28, 1920.

Women in front of a Guthrie voting books in June 1889 (Oklahoma Historical Society)

Sky, Black, Style, Rural area

Brown, Diane. "How Women Got the Vote in Oklahoma." League of Women Voters of Oklahoma. Accessed July 14, 2021.

Corbett, Bill. "Suffrage Amendment." Oklahoma Historical Society. Accessed July 14, 2021.

"Oklahoma and the 19th Amendment." National Park Service. October 2, 2019. Accessed July 14, 2021.

"Votes for Women: 100 Years of Women's Suffrage" Oklahoma Historical Society. Accessed July 14, 2021.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

"Votes for Women: 100 Years of Women's Suffrage" Oklahoma Historical Society. Accessed July 14, 2021.