pageok
pageok
pageok
Women Voting in New Jersey, 1776-1807:

I hadn't known this -- it turns out that the New Jersey Constitution of 1776 allowed all heads of households "worth fifty pounds clear estate" to vote in state elections, and therefore in elections for the federal House of Representatives. This didn't include married women, but it did include widows and adult unmarried women; and women did vote under this constitution, until the franchise was restricted to men in 1807.

There's a pretty thorough article on this, though available online only to JSTOR subscribers: Judith Apter Klinghoffer & Lois Elkis, "The Petticoat Electors": Women's Suffrage in New Jersey, 1776-1807, 12 J. Early Rep 159 (1992). Thanks to Prof. Rob Natelson for the information. Wikipedia also reports that a short-lived Corsican Republic (1755-69) provided for women's suffrage as well.

Bill Poser (mail) (www):
I am unable to provide a reference, but a friend who grew up in Syria once told me that for a brief period in the 1930s women who met a property qualification had the vote in Syria. I think that this was under the French mandate prior to 1936 but am not sure.
1.22.2008 8:52pm
Crane (mail):
I've heard that during the 19th century respected older single women, like schoolteachers, were sometimes informally permitted to vote in frontier states. No idea how widespread this was,though.
1.22.2008 9:07pm
mark eckenwiler:
Eugene, this fact and many others are covered in Alexander Keyssar's excellent The Right to Vote: The Contested History of Democracy in the United States (2000). It is truly eye-opening to see how much, and in how many ways, the franchise has expanded and contracted at various places and times, and the ignominious role that religious intolerance, anti-immigrant sentiment, and (of course) racism have played in the process.
1.22.2008 10:15pm
neurodoc:
So since women have been enfranchised in this country, have they voted in greater, equal, or lesser numbers then men? Has their participation rate fallen in keeping with in keeping with the overall fall in the percentage of Americans turning out to vote, or has their participation rate bucked the downward trend, either holding about steady or rising, perhaps as a result of the women's rights movement? With Hillary in the race, are more women voting in these primaries than have in the past; with Obama in the race, are more African-Americans voting than in the past? If anyone knows, I'd be interested in the answers.
1.22.2008 11:24pm
Patrick McKenzie (mail):
Also see Vindicating the Founders, by Thomas West, for accounts of the first black female suffrage (in the 1700s, as I recall -- I won a bet against my Women's Studies professor on this one).
1.22.2008 11:25pm
Truth Seeker:
There's something to be said for only allowing property owners to vote, at least in such matters as property taxes.
1.23.2008 12:11am
Bill Poser (mail) (www):

There's something to be said for only allowing property owners to vote, at least in such matters as property taxes.

In British Columbia there is still something like this. Any Canadian citizen over 18 who meets the residency requirements can vote where he or she lives, without property qualification. However, if you own property in another place (municipality, regional district, or school district), you are entitled to vote there as well in local elections. (You can only vote once in each capacity - if you own property in multiple jurisdictions, you can only vote as a property-holder in one of them.)
1.23.2008 1:18am
Stephen M (Ethesis) (mail) (www):
Makes me think of Utah where women had the vote, the federal government took it away, then came back and changed their minds.

Interestingly enough, most textbooks only report the second date for women having the vote in Utah, not the first.
1.23.2008 9:14am
Aukahe:
There's something to be said for only allowing property owners to vote, at least in such matters as property taxes.

I believe California has weighted voting for special tax districts.
1.23.2008 11:26am
Mark Field (mail):

There's something to be said for only allowing property owners to vote, at least in such matters as property taxes.


Hm. Should only those with income get to vote on income taxes? Only those who buy things get to vote on sales taxes? Only those with capital gains get to vote on capital gains taxes?

What about deductions? Do only homeowners get to vote on that deduction? Etc. It seems to me that it could get very complicated very quickly to define the relevant voting group.

I think you're focusing only on the income side and not the expense side. Since we all have a say in the expenditures, we should all have a say in the collections.
1.23.2008 11:30am
Mark Field (mail):

I believe California has weighted voting for special tax districts.


Correct, though these are pretty limited.
1.23.2008 11:31am
Bama 1L:
Women voting in Syria: as I understand it, the actual story is quite different from that stated above. During Syria's brief period of independence between the collapse of Ottoman rule in 1918 and the imposition of the French mandate in 1920, some reformers wanted to give women the vote. Conservatives vehemently opposed such a move. It was a big question in the Syrian parliament. King Faysal I, interestingly, sided with the reformers. When the French came, Faysal was kicked out and the parliament was dissolved, ending the conversation.

Under the French mandate, Syrian women certainly did not have political rights; recall that metropolitan France did not give women the vote until 1945!

I refer you to Libby Thompson's excellent Colonial Citizens (2000).
1.23.2008 11:34am
happylee:

Since we all have a say in the expenditures, we should all have a say in the collections.


That's a pleasantly communistic thing to say. And, pray tell, when a neighbor refuses to fork over the money you and the remaining neighbors have decided belongs to you, will you beat him to get the money? There's the essence of democracy.
1.23.2008 12:39pm
Bill Poser (mail) (www):
Bama1L,

Interesting about Syria. Do I understand then that in 1918-1920 women never actually got the vote, it was just discussed?
1.23.2008 3:19pm
Bama 1L:
Bill, that's my recollection. Unfortunately I don't have the cited book or my notes from grad school to hand. But my recollection is that, after the French came, all the political actors in Syria decided to take women's suffrage off the table.

It occurs to me that your friend was probably thinking of the period from 1949 to 1953, when Syrian women had limited suffrage. The coup of 1953 ended that. I think women got the vote again in the early seventies and still have it.
1.24.2008 9:52am