Passing the 19th Amendment

On August 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution became law.

The amendment prohibits the states and the federal government from denying citizens the right to vote on the basis of sex.

Here’s how the 19th Amendment was added to the US Constitution:

  • The US Congress issued a joint resolution proposing an amendment.
  • The proposed amendment was sent to the governor of each state.
  • Each governor submitted the amendment to their state legislature for ratification (approval).
  • When three-fourths of the states ratified it, the amendment was added to the US Constitution. It became law when it was certified.

Minnesota was the 15th state to ratify the 19th Amendment, on September 8, 1919. Celebrations broke out statewide. Suffragists led a parade to the State Capitol, followed by a banquet at the Saint Paul Hotel. 

That day, Minnesota Woman Suffrage Association president Clara Ueland said, “Today is the commencement rather than the end of our work.” She knew — as we know today — that having the right to vote does not guarantee the means to exercise that right. Women faced barriers at the polls in 1920. They face barriers today. The work continues.


19th Amendment Ratification.

Minnesota’s ratification of the 19th Amendment, September 8, 1919. Records of the US House of Representatives, National Archives.

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Related resources

Cameron, Linda A. "Ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment in Minnesota." MNopedia, March 9, 2020.