Mesquite, NV., February 7, 2020. Mesquite Nevada Mayor Al Litman prepares to reenact signing of Nevada resolution to ratify the 19th Amendment which secured women’s right to vote.
The 1864 Nevada constitution gave the right to vote to white men. The passage of the Fifteenth Amendment in 1870 opened the vote to black men.
In 1869, Curtis J. Hillyer from Storey County introduced a bill to allow women the vote. He argued that women possessed at least as much intelligence as men, they followed the same laws, paid the same taxes, and most importantly would introduce a new standard of public morality to the political process.
While both houses of the Nevada legislature passed a women’s right amendment that year, it failed to pass two years later during the constitutionally mandated second vote.
Nevada native Anne Martin pushed a second suffrage campaign in Reno in 1911 and led Nevada Equal Franchise Society through a county-by-county strategy to gain the vote.
Bird Wilson, a lawyer practicing in Goldfield, oversaw the suffrage campaign in southern Nevada and wrote the “Women Under Nevada Law,” pamphlet distributed throughout the state as part of the suffrage material.
In Las Vegas, Delphine Squires co-publisher of the Las Vegas Age, agreed to coordinate suffrage speakers.
On November 3, 1914, a general election vote allowing Nevada women the right to vote passed and women voted for the first time in the 1915 local race and in the 1916 statewide race.
Women gained the right to vote nationally with the 19th Amendment to the constitution ratified in 1920.