Wed August 27, 2014
Western Slope Women Celebrate Right To Vote
The 19th Amendment guarantees women in the United States the right to vote. Tuesday was the 94th anniversary of its passage and Women’s Equality Day.
To celebrate about 15 women dressed like they’re from the early 1900's marched around the courthouse in downtown Montrose. They chanted and waved signs that said “vote it counts” and “women make a difference”.
Karen Connor wore a tri-color sash that read “votes for women”.
"We’re here to remind people that women worked really hard to get the vote and they need to remember that and go out and vote," Connor said.
Many of the women incorporated green, white and violet into their costumes.
Jean Blanning of Cedaredge explained how the colors relate to the suffrage movement.
"The colors which are green, white and violet stand for G for give, W for women, and violet [for] vote," Blanning said. "So give women the vote. I trimmed my hat with white, violet and green."
Most of the ladies who attended are members of the League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan organization that encourages people to vote.
Caitlin Switzer, the president of the Montrose chapter, said she dressed like Alice Paul, a leader of the women’s suffrage movement.
"She is an early suffragist who was on a hunger strike and forced fed by people in favor of the Wilson administration who objected to the women seeking the right to vote…and have a voice in our democracy," Switzer said.
Women in Colorado gained the right to in 1893. That's 27 years before it happen nationally.
"As a citizen of Colorado it makes me feel great that Colorado was ahead of the game getting the right to vote, but Wyoming beat us," Connor said.
Wyoming was the first territory to grant women suffrage in 1869. It became a state in 1890.
Connor said the demonstration was about celebrating women empowerment, but they also had another message they want to get out.
"It’s important to vote [and] to have a voice in what happens in our country," she said. "If you don’t vote then you don’t have a voice."