New Zealand’s Electoral Act of 19 September 1893

With the passage of the Electoral Act of 1893, New Zealand became the first self-governing country in the world to grant national voting rights to all women. The first votes were cast in national elections that November.

The Corsican Republic, Pitcairn Island, Isle of Man and the Cook Islands all granted women the right to vote prior to New Zealand but were colonized resulting in a loss of voting rights for them.

The United States was relatively late to the party although select states granted full voting rights prior to the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (1920). These states included Wyoming (1890), Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Washington, California, Arizona, Kansas, Oregon, Montana, Nevada, New York, Michigan, Oklahoma and South Dakota (1918).

Great Britain followed suit in 1928 with their Representation of the People Act.

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