WHEREAS, In 1910, Washington became the fifth state to enact a
state constitutional amendment granting the right to vote to women, and
the first state to do so in the 20th century; and
WHEREAS, Washington's enactment revitalized the national women's suffrage movement, culminating in approval of the nineteenth amendment to the United States Constitution in 1920 to grant this right to women nationwide; and
WHEREAS, To commemorate the centennial of the 1909 legislature adopting a proposed constitutional amendment, chapter 18 (House Bill 59), Laws of 1909, to grant the right to vote to Washington women in all elections, which was placed on the 1910 general election ballot and approved in November of 1910, reprinted below are key provisions from that measure:
AN ACT to amend article six (VI) of the Constitution of the State of Washington relating to the qualification of voters within the state.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
SECTION 1. That at the general election to be held in this state on the Tuesday next succeeding the first Monday in November, 1910, there shall be submitted to the qualified electors of this state for their adoption and approval an amendment to article six (VI) of the Constitution of the State of Washington, and it is hereby proposed that said article six (VI) be amended, by striking from said article six (VI) all of sections one (1) and (2) and inserting in lieu thereof the following, to be known as section one (1): Section 1. All persons of the age of twenty-one years or over . . . shall be entitled to vote at all elections . . . . There shall be no denial of the elective franchise at any election on account of sex. . . .
SECTION 3. There shall be printed on all ballots provided for the said election the words: "For the proposed amendment of article six (VI) of the Constitution relating to the qualifications of voters within this state"; "Against the proposed amendment to article six (VI) of the Constitution, relating to the qualifications of voters within this state." . . .
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives of the state of Washington express its appreciation to the male members of the 1909 Legislature, the male voters of 1910, and the thousands of advocates, both women and men, for this major advance in expanding the implementation of the great principles of democracy; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives express its appreciation to the Washington Women's History Consortium and the Washington State Historical Society for its leadership in commemorating this historic advancement, including preparation of traveling displays and encouraging local commemorative activities throughout the state; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives further encourage citizens to organize and participate in educational and celebratory activities throughout the state during 2009 and 2010 to commemorate this historic advancement, thereby encouraging voter registration and involvement in democratic processes.