Votes for New York Women: Celebrating Our State Suffrage Centennial. (Image collage from the Collection of the Suffolk County Historical Society Library Archives. Copyright © Suffolk County Historical Society. All rights reserved.)
On November 6, 1917, New York's male voters headed to the polls and voted in favor of a state constitutional amendment granting New York women the right to vote. Monday will mark the 100th anniversary of that amendment to our state constitution, which was overwhelming approved by a margin of 53.92% to 46.08% statewide.
In New York, as in the rest of the United States, however, the road toward gender equality was not easy. Women had very limited rights when the new nation was founded, and it would take decades for the foundation of the women's movement to form. As with other social justice movements, it's easy to forget that women's right to vote was neither inevitable nor quickly won. But by 1917, New York's successful referendum helped set the stage for the adoption of the 19th Amendment nationwide three years later.
The 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New York has been marked by the Suffolk County Historical Society Museum's exhibit and programs, including our “Votes for New York Women: A Centennial Exhibit” profiling Long Island women involved in the suffrage movement, and the upcoming book talk on The Suffragents by Brooke Kroeger later this month. On Tuesday, Election Day, at your polling place, look for the official centennial sticker, "I Voted! Honoring 100 Years of a Woman's Right to Vote," which features the image of Rosalie Gardiner Jones, one of Long Island's most noted