Women's Suffrage: The question of giving women the right to
vote in Colorado was first seriously considered when Colorado became a
state in 1876. However, delegates to the Constitutional Convention
were hesitant to put such a clause into the State's foundation
document for fear that the issue would cause a serious split amongst
the male voters resulting in the failure to ratify the Constitution.
In 1877 a statewide vote on the matter showed that the male voters
were not ready to give this power to the women as the measure was
soundly defeated by a vote of 6,612 for, and 14,053 against. The
Colorado Equal Suffrage Association held its first state convention in
Denver in 1881 which began a grass roots effort to enfranchise women.
Labor unions, temperance societies and other women's organizations
organized around the issue until 1893 when the Colorado legislature
referred the matter to the voters. When the election on November 7,
1893 was over women won the right to vote by a count of 29,461 against
and 35,698 for equal suffrage. Colorado was only the second state in
the union to give women this right with Wyoming being the first in
1880. By 1894 the first three women in the nation were elected to a
state legislature (Clara Cressingham and Frances Klock of Denver, and
Carrie C. Holly of Pueblo). They were the first of many women to
spearhead legislation on important social welfare reforms in Colorado
such as child labor laws, relief subsidies, and the 8-hour work day.
The following document is the original bill that the legislature
passed which referred to the voters the question of whether women
should have the right to vote.