History of the Women’s Suffrage Movement in Nevada

The outcome was far from certain. Past efforts over many years to enact woman suffrage in Nevada were not encouraging. In 1883 it had passed the house in the legislature only to be defeated in the senate. In the 1890’s, success had come heartbreakingly close. Woman suffrage passed the legislature in 1895. But that was not enough. For a constitutional amendment, the Nevada Constitution required passage by two successive legislatures and a popular referendum. In 1897 woman suffrage again passed the house only to be defeated on a tie vote in the senate. Action at the national level, where woman suffrage would not be enacted until 1920, offered little immediate hope. As Nevada suffragists took heart from their victories in the 1911 and 1913 legislatures and geared up for the 1914 referendum, no one could be certain that it wouldn’t be a near miss like 1897 all over again.

Sally Zanjani, Ph.D.
Author and Historian