State treasurer to issue commemorative medallions

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Ann Gillespie is marking the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote, as well as Illinois’ key role in the historic moment, with a pair of measures in the Illinois Senate.

Senate Resolution 79 declares June 10, 2019, as 19th Amendment Ratification Day in Illinois. Senate Joint Resolution 28 authorizes the Illinois treasurer to issue a commemorative medallion this year to mark the anniversary of women’s suffrage.

On June 4, 1919, Congress passed the Susan B. Anthony Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, or the 19th Amendment, giving women the full right to vote. Illinois was the first state to vote to ratify the amendment on June 10, 1919.

“Women today have the ability to wield great power over the future of their communities, their state and this nation, all because women a century ago refused to give up their quest for the right to vote,” Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights) said. “Women may not be unified on every issue, but our desire to be engaged in government and informed about the world around us is what always brings us together.”

Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs said he is honored to mark the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment with a commemorative coin.

“The perseverance, hard work and sacrifice from women’s suffrage organizations, including those in Illinois, have paved the way for future generations of women to exercise their vote with strength and pride,” he said. “Let this commemorative coin serve as a celebration of the trailblazers who changed the course of history for all women.”


Fact sheet: The road to women’s suffrage in Illinois

  • In Illinois, women’s suffrage movements began as early as the 1860s.
  • An 1873 state statute gave women the opportunity to run for any school office not created by the Illinois Constitution. Women were given the right to vote for school officers in 1891.
  • Women’s suffrage organizations, such as the Illinois Equal Suffrage Association, the Illinois Federation of Women’s Clubs, and the Chicago Political Equality League, worked for more than a decade to secure women’s suffrage in Illinois. Prominent citizens, including Jane Addams and Ida B. Wells-Barnett, were part of the women’s suffrage movement in Illinois.
  • On June 26, 1913, Gov. Edward Dunne signed a law that gave women the right to vote for president and for local officers, making Illinois the first state east of the Mississippi River to give women the right to vote for president.
  • The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, or the Susan B. Anthony Amendment, gives women the right to vote in all elections nationwide.
  • In May 1919, U.S. Rep. James Mann of Illinois, a Chicago Republican who was born in McLean County, sponsored the 19th Amendment. It was passed by Congress on June 4, 1919. Mann was chairman of the House Woman Suffrage Committee.
  • Illinois was the first state to vote to ratify the 19th Amendment on June 10, 1919. Two other states, Michigan and Wisconsin, ratified the amendment on the same day.
  • The amendment cleared its final hurdle Aug. 18, 1920, when Tennessee became the 36th state to vote for it. U.S. Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby certified the ratification on Aug. 26, 1920, ending decades of protest, marching, lobbying, picketing and civil disobedience by women’s rights advocates across the country.
  • On Nov. 2, 1920, more than 8 million women nationwide voted in elections for the first time.
  • Today, more than 4.2 million women are registered to vote in Illinois, accounting for more than half of the state’s 8.1 million registered voters. More than 525,000 more women are registered to vote than men, according to the Illinois State Board of Elections.