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Original Idaho legislation showing 100 years of women's suffrage

Posted: 4:02 PM, Feb 07, 2020
Updated: 2020-02-07 18:02:07-05

BOISE — Sifting through the original documents that tell the story of Idaho's piece in the ratification of the 19th amendment

"There's something about knowing these pieces of paper are 100 years old, and at some point, somebody who received this file thought that they were important enough to hold on to," said state historian HannaLore Hein.

Three-fourths of all states needed to approve of getting the amendment in action.

Idaho women essentially had the right to vote for 25 years, thanks to a state amendment passed. They wanted to stay on top of the suffrage conversation.

"The women who worked towards that state constitutional amendment were still on the ground doing work for the national cause," said Hein,

Women like Margaret Roberts and Emma Drake. Drake was one of two women elected as a representative in the Idaho state legislature during the 1919-1920 session.

"The legislature thought it was fitting to have one of the women in the house sponsor this bill, so her name appears on the document, the original legislation that we drafted," said Hein.

Idaho was the thirtieth state to ratify it; you might wonder, why so late? Technically, Idaho's legislature wasn't even in session when the bill came about.

"In doing my research on this topic, I learned for the governor to call a special session of the Idaho legislature, they had to basically convince all the senator and all the representatives to come to Boise on their own dime," said Hein.

A dime well spent because Idaho still feels the effects 100 years later.