Sample 1918 Michigan Ballot Proposal on Women’s Suffrage

Written by: Andrew Lundeen

Primary Source: The Special Collections Provenance Project at MSU, August 18, 2015

The 19th Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified on this day (August 18) in 1920, finally granting American women the right to vote.  But the battle over women’s suffrage was fought first in the legislatures and courts of individual states, and with the passage of time it can be easy to forget just how uphill of a battle it really was.This ephemeral practice ballot for Michigan’s (successful!) 1918 vote on women’s suffrage was found stuck between the pages of an English grammar textbook in our stacks.  It instructs voters how to go about marking their ballots – conveniently showing them how to vote NO if they “desire to vote against Woman Suffrage.”  No bias there, of course.~Andrew

 

The 19th Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified on this day (August 18) in 1920, finally granting American women the right to vote.  But the battle over women’s suffrage was fought first in the legislatures and courts of individual states, and with the passage of time it can be easy to forget just how uphill of a battle it really was.

This ephemeral practice ballot for Michigan’s (successful!) 1918 vote on women’s suffrage was found stuck between the pages of an English grammar textbook in our stacks.  It instructs voters how to go about marking their ballots – conveniently showing them how to vote NO if they “desire to vote against Woman Suffrage.”  No bias there, of course.

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Andrew Lundeen
Andrew Lundeen, a Special Collections Librarian at MSU, is a recent master’s graduate in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (‘14). Since September 2013, Andrew has spearheaded the MSU Provenance Project, an effort to document marks of ownership and marks of use in rare books at MSU.
Andrew Lundeen

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