Ottawas Own Audio Player
One hundred years ago, Illinois was kind of the first state in the nation to guarantee women the right to vote.
Illinois is holding its head high on this 100th anniversary of a woman’s right to vote.
Illinois U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth was one of a number of current and former elected women in the state who rallied in Chicago on Monday to remember just how far they’ve come in a century.
“This Democracy wasn’t just built by George Washington or Thomas Jefferson. It wasn’t perfected in the 18th Century when the ink dried on the original four pages of the Constitution,” Duckworth said. “It was shaped by women like Abigail Adams, who I named my first daughter after. It was strengthened by women like Sojourner Truth, who worked tirelessly to better the country that kept her in chains.”
Duckworth said there are still problems with ballot access in some states.
“Every American’s right to vote wasn’t truly secured on that day in 1919. Nor was it secured in 1965 when Lyndon Johnson picked up a pen and signed the Voting Rights Act into law. And it’s still not secure today,” Duckworth said. “Not when voter suppression efforts block so many of people of color from the ballot.”
Illinois was the first state to vote to ratify the 19th Amendment, which guarantees women the right to vote. But there was a mistake, so Wisconsin was the first to officially give women the vote.