In the early days of our nation's history, voting was highly restricted. Literacy tests, gender and ethnicity limits, poll taxes, land ownership requirements, and other barriers prevented many people from casting ballots. People fought for many years to protect and expand voting rights to what they are today.
As with many points of progress in history, California was ahead of the curve when it came to expanding the franchise to women.
Californians voted in a 1911 special election to give women the right to vote. It took another nine years for all American women to gain equal voting rights when the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified in 1920.
The suffrage story is an excellent reminder that voting is an important civil right that cannot be taken for granted. Share it with people in your life, and use the 100-year anniversary to stir their interest in voting in the important 2012 elections.